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Celebrate ANZAC Day with a Lone Survivor

Monday 15 April, 2013

Not many people know that the nation’s oldest Gallipoli Lone Pine stands proudly in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs at Wattle Park. It was planted there 80 years ago, by the Mayors of Box Hill and Camberwell on 7 May, 1933, at the annual Trooping of the Colour by the 24th Battalion.

The Turkish Red Pine is one of four pines propagated from a cone collected from the remnants of the solitary tree at Gallipoli, after which Lone Pine Ridge was named. Two of these seedlings were planted by the 24th Battalion, the second being the Lone Pine at the Shrine of Remembrance which was sadly lost to disease last year.

In recognition of the significance of this, an Anzac Commemoration Service is held every year in the park by the Wattle Park Heritage Group and Parks Victoria. The venue is the park’s Patriotic Area which has a clock tower monument erected by Mrs Zilpah Bennett in memory of her son Royden of the 7th Battalion, who was killed at Pozieres, France in 1916.

Wattle Park’s military connection began as a parade and training location for the 24th Battalion after WWI. This militia battalion remained active outside the war years, holding the first annual Trooping of the Colour in the park in 1929, which it continued until the outbreak of WWII.

This service is held on behalf of the 24th Battalion (AIF) Association, 2/24th Australian Infantry Battalion Association, 7th Battalion (1939-45) Association, 2/7th Australian Infantry Battalion Association and the Hawthorn RSL sub-branch.

Following the service, the Melbourne Tramways Band will present its final concert for the season with the theme of ‘ANZAC Reflections’, featuring both the stage and brass bands playing favourite tunes from the war years.

Wattle Park Heritage Group secretary, Ed Bright says it’s a very special event at this significant site. “We’re encouraging everyone to come and join us for this enjoyable and moving tribute to our lost service men and women. Visitors are welcome to bring flowers to place at the Patriotic Area.”

The service will begin at 1.00pm on Sunday 21 April. Entry is free.

Wattle Park is situated on Riversdale Road, Surrey Hills (Melways Reference Map 60 K3).

Car parking is available and there is public transport to the park via the number 70 tram.

Media and Photo opportunities available

More information: Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963.

Media enquiries

Sally Nowlan

Parks Victoria media centre

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