On Saturday the 23rd of September the old Buchan RSL flag flew proudly from the oak trees of the Buchan South Avenue of Honour as a group of past and present locals gathered to witness the planting of an Aleppo Pine tree. The tree was planted by Zillah Roach with the help of her brother Mick Butterworth. Zillah, now in her 90s, was a student at the Buchan South State School in the early 1920s when the children planted the oak trees of the avenue to honour the Buchan South men who went to the First World War. A third of these men made the supreme sacrifice. The Avenue of Honour has survived for nearly 80 years as a sentinel to these brave men.
The Aleppo Pine planted at the eastern end of the avenue is a descendant of the original Lone Pine Tree from Gallipoli and was donated by Ron King from the East Keilor branch of the RSL. It commemorates the 91st anniversary of the Battle of Lone Pine. Lone Pine was a heavily fortified Turkish position eventually taken by the Australians after heavy fighting and the loss of many men. It was identified by a solitary pine tree which did not survive the battle but later when the Australians were evacuating Gallipoli, a soldier collected a cone and brought it back to Australia. From the seeds of this cone, several seedlings were struck.
Over 45 people attended, some from as far away as Orbost and Bairnsdale and many related to the original Anzacs who feature on the Honour Roll in the old Buchan South arts room now re-located in the Buchan School.
This important and unique historical site is now undergoing restoration through the hard work of the ‘Friends of the Buchan South Avenue of Honour’ under the guidance of Clive Norfolk who is also a returned serviceman and a member of the Buchan Heritage Group. Plans are also underway to reintroduce the Anzac Day Ceremony in the district at this venue in 2007.