Peace ethos takes root

11 Oak trees have been planted to mark the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. Pictured are Sunshine RSL President Gary Collins and Alan Dash from the Sunshine and District Historical Society. Picture Shawn Smits.

By Tate Papworth

A lasting tribute to peace has been established at Kevin Wheelahan Gardens’ avenue of honour.

The Sunshine RSL and the Sunshine Historical Society held a small ceremony at the gardens last week to officially unveil 11 fastigiate oak trees.

Sunshine Historical Society president Alan Dash said the trees capped off the avenue’s recreation.

“About three and a half years ago we decided to recreate the avenue of honour that H.V McKay created in 1917 because it had been lost,” he said. “We decided it was time to celebrate the end of hostilities in an appropriate way involving schoolchildren and the community.”

The original plan involved one tree, but given the significance of the number 11 in the signing of an armistice, Mr Dash said it was an obvious decision to increase the number.

“These trees are resilient, striking and are something that will outlive us all if they’re cared for properly,” he said.

“They’re something the community can be proud of.”

Following the ceremony, schoolchildren, councillors and members of the RSL placed a wreath at a plaque next to the trees.

Mr Dash said the trees were a fitting way to convey an important message.

“When they grow, they’ll be a striking memorial to the importance of having peace, both in Australia and the world,” he said.