Piece of history saved after rescue crews repair damage to Lone Pine at Binnu Primary School

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
A crane is used to position the Lone Pine
Camera IconA crane is used to position the Lone Pine Credit: Supplied

After a mammoth inter-agency recovery effort, a cyclone-damaged Mid West Lone Pine tree has been saved.

Onlookers cheered as the tree — understood to be a descendant of the Gallipoli Lone Pine — was lowered by crane back into position after being uprooted during cyclone Seroja last month.

With the tree secure, staff and students were allowed to return to the school site today after weeks of learning from the Binnu Town Hall.

The Binnu campus was the last of the Mid West schools to return to classrooms following the cyclone, with Kalbarri District High School students learning from the Kalbarri Allen Centre and St Marks Anglican Church for two weeks while their campus was made safe.

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Binnu Primary School principal Helen Barnes said watching the Lone Pine being reinstated was a “special moment” which would never be forgotten.

“Students and staff cheered and clapped as the crane pulled the tree back to its original position,” she said. “It’s a relief to see the tree placed back where it has stood for decades at Binnu Primary School, and a sign we are moving forward and rebuilding.

“As a school community we are extremely grateful for the combined efforts of the departments of Education and Finance, Freo Cranes, Western Power, and Classic Tree Services.”

People who had followed the rescue mission took to social media to express their gratitude and excitement about the successful outcome. “I am stoked to see that put back in the ground. Praying it continues to grow, just like our beautiful children,” one woman said.

Another person said it was “fantastic” to see the “very special tree” had been “lovingly restored”.

Ms Barnes said the school community would carefully monitor the tree to ensure it continued to thrive.

The tree was planted at the school in 1968.

The cyclone-damaged Lone Pine at Binnu Primary School has been saved.
Camera IconThe cyclone-damaged Lone Pine at Binnu Primary School has been saved. Credit: Supplied

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