Missing trees to be replanted along Avenue of Honour

LYNETTE Walker would often visit a tree planted as a tribute to her father in Ballarat’s Avenue of Honour.

However, in November last year she was shocked to find the tree was missing. 

Yesterday, Ms Walker followed in the same footsteps as her mother by planting a tree in honour of her father, Stan. 

“I remember him as being a military man, a soldier, but he was a very loving father and very caring,” she said. 

Ms Walker said her father was overseas from 1915 until 1919, serving in both Gallipoli and France before returning to Australia. 

“When I was just a child, not even a teenager, we would come out with his mother and his sister and my mother, come on a Sunday afternoon and have a look at his tree and the trees for his two brothers,” she said. 

“To see that they were going well and that they were healthy.” 

"When I was just a child we would come out... and have a look at his tree and the trees for his two brothers." - Lynette Walker

Ms Walker said she had contacted the RSL after her discovery and was very pleased to see a new tree planted today. 

“It connects me again with family, the history of Ballarat and to service and the men and women giving their lives to serve Australia,” she said. 

“It just connects me in a deeper way than I have been connected before.” 

While it is not known why the tree was missing, it is one of many which have been lost due to either disease, other natural problems and car accidents.  

City of Ballarat mayor Joshua Morris said the replanting would be one of many to take place during the next 12 months. 

“We have 285 trees missing from the Avenue of Honour, it is going to be critically important that we have all of those trees back in before the Centenary of Anzac,” he said. 

“I think one of the really important to make the connection to the real people whose relatives are celebrated in the Avenue.” 

Two of Ms Walker’s uncles also have trees dedicated to them in the Avenue.