Lone Pine link for Lucas

June 23, 2022 BY

Symbol of endurance: Friends of Gallipoli chair Dr John Basarin OAM filled in some soil around the pine tree in the school yard. Photos: EDWINA WILLIAMS

A LIVING piece of Gallipoli has found a home in Lucas, where it is expected to grow for more than one hundred years.

A descendent tree of Gallipoli’s iconic Lone Pine was gifted to Lucas Primary School on Monday morning by Victorian not-for-profit Friends of Gallipoli, and planted in the school yard.

Friends of Gallipoli chair Dr John Basarin and Arch of Victory Avenue of Honour president Garry Snowden helped Lucas’ junior school councillors put the tree in the ground.

Dr Basarin said the pine is a symbol of peace and friendship between Australians and Turkish people, and part of a broader initiative his organisation is leading.

“The 100 Lone Pines project is celebrating 100 years of the Republic of Turkey, and is a commemoration of the war dead,” he said.

Mr Snowden explained to the students why Gallipoli’s iconic Lone Pine, and its surrounds, are so significant to their community, and its World War One story.

Lucas Primary School grade 3 pupil Georgia helps with the planting.

“A part of the battlefield is called Lone Pine today, and that’s where Australia’s national memorial is, with a cemetery, a building, and wall with many names on it,” he said.

“If you visit there, there’s one single tall pine tree, the Lone Pine. On Anzac Day, there’s always a service there.

“The school has such a special connection to our Avenue of Honour. At Lone Pine, there are 11 men from our Avenue who are buried in the cemetery, and another 55 from Ballarat who have no known grave, and their name is on the wall.”

Lucas Primary School principal Sue Sawyer said students and staff are proud to be part of The 100 Lone Pines project.

“This is a special part of history, and we are honoured to have such a strong connection with the Avenue of Honour, Arch of Victory and the Lucas girls,” she said.