On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, a Lone Pine sapling has been planted at Parade College’s Bundoora Campus, in commemoration of all Old Paradians who fought in both World Wars and as a living memorial to those who died in them.

The Old Paradians’ Association, with the support of Parade College, arranged for this morning’s planting of the sapling in a prominent grassed area in front of the campus’ administration block, opposite a cross dedicated to those who gave their lives in conflict.

Parade College Acting Principal Andy Kuppe was in attendance for the planting ceremony, as was the College’s Vietnam veterans – former students Paul Stock, Paul Vaughan and his wife Sandra, Ian Dunn and his wife Joan, and John Sonneveld and his wife Liz, together with former teacher John Joss (who participated in the planting of the tree and unveiled a commemorative plaque). Also present were veterans Peter Blackman, Alan Comben and John Stretch, whose daughter Marita facilitated the gathering.

The Old Paradians’ Association were represented by President Lewis Derrico, CEO Tony De Bolfo and committeeman Andy Walsh, and Parade's Year 7 students also took part.

In 2015, on the occasion of the Centenary of the Gallipoli Landing, the Lone Pine was acquired as a seedling in a forestry tube from the Australian War Memorial via Yarralumla Nursery. As council requirements dictated that the seedling was of insufficient height and root volume to be planted at the time, the seedling remained the responsibility of the Association for the next three years.

This year, the Lone Pine, which can reach a height of 35 metres, met the planting requirements.

This Sunday, November 11, marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice which ended the First World War.

In the four years of that war, more than 330,000 Australians served overseas, with in excess of 60,000 of them having died. The social effects of these losses cast a long shadow over the post-war decades.

At the outbreak of hostilities, the Old Paradians’ Association was in its first year of existence.

But it was not untouched.

In World War I, 193 former students of Parade are recorded as having enlisted for service, 24 of whom were killed in action; in World War II 1067, 34 of whom did not return – and in Vietnam 55 with one lost.

The Lone Pine was a solitary tree on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, which marked the site of the Battle of Lone Pine in 1915. The tree was obliterated during the battle; however, pine cones that had remained attached to the cut branches over the trenches were retrieved by various Australian soldiers and brought home to Australia.

The resultant seedlings sent home by one soldier, were propagated from the pine cone. Today, an Old Paradians seedling finds a home at Parade College.


images courtesy Anthony Glatzel