Anzac Day 2022: Gallipoli pine propagated by late Albany resident to be planted at Albany War Memorial

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Bev Voss with the propogated pine from Mt Clarence.
Camera IconBev Voss with the propogated pine from Mt Clarence. Credit: Laurie Benson

A pine tree sapling which can trace its roots back to Gallipoli will be planted near the Albany War Memorial ahead of Anzac Day.

Late Albany resident Arthur Voss propagated the sapling from a pine cone he collected from the site of the Lone Pine memorial tree next to the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial.

His wife, Bev Voss, said he managed to cultivate three saplings from the pine cone he found on the ground before his death in 2018 — but only one had survived to this day.

The original Lone Pine memorial tree atop Mt Clarence was planted by World War I veterans in 1974 to mark 60 years since the Anzac convoys left Albany.

Bev Voss with the propogated pine from Mt Clarence.
Camera IconBev Voss with the propogated pine from Mt Clarence. Credit: Laurie Benson

It was said to be descended from pine trees on the battlefields of Gallipoli, where Australian soldiers took pine cones as souvenirs during WWI.

The tree was badly damaged in a storm in 2020, prompting the City of Albany to remove and replace it with a sapling germinated from the original.

The Battle of Lone Pine, from August 6 to 10 in 1915, took its name from a solitary pine tree on the 400 plateau in Gallipoli.

The pine tree propogated from a seed of the Lone Pine on Mt Clarence will be planted in St John's garden this Sunday.
Camera IconThe pine tree propogated from a seed of the Lone Pine on Mt Clarence will be planted in St John's garden this Sunday. Credit: Laurie Benson

One of many pines that grew in the area, it was the only one left standing after Turkish soldiers cut down the rest for their trenches.

Ms Voss said her late husband did not have a great passion for gardening, but he would sometimes propagate seedlings “off the cuff”, including two Norfolk Island pines on their property in Little Grove.

His father served in World War II and fought on the Kokoda Track in 1942.

After her husband’s death, Ms Voss said she was not sure what to do with the Lone Pine sapling, but she “thought it might be fairly special”.

“If that tree up there died, there would be no other trees,” she said.

She spoke to her friend and fellow Granny Grommets member, Sandra Shakespeare, about the sapling.

A member of the Albany RSL, Ms Shakespeare brought the sapling to the sub-branch, and it was decided it would be planted near the Albany War Memorial on York Street.

Reverend Karen Cave and Bev Voss with the propogated  pine.
Camera IconReverend Karen Cave and Bev Voss with the propogated pine. Credit: Laurie Benson

It has been under the care of the Reverend Karen Cave at St John’s Anglican Church for the past few weeks.

The sapling will be planted near the Albany War Memorial at 9.30am on Sunday, during a service led by the Rev. Cave as part of the church’s “Padre White Sunday” commemorations.

Held on the Sunday before Anzac Day each year, the service commemorates Reverend Arthur Earnest “Padre” White, who is credited with starting Albany’s dawn service tradition.

Ms Voss, who will attend the service with her children, said she thought her late husband “would have been very pleased” with where the sapling has ended up.

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