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Gallipoli Oaks Project

Bannockburn Primary School is one of 500 Primary Schools from across Australia that has planted a Gallipoli Oak as part of the National Trust of Australia’s Gallipoli Oaks Project.

The ceremony took place on Friday the 24th April, when two school leaders, Alice Schenk and William Milsome planted the tree with Inverleigh RSL President, Mr Malcolm Johns. 

The tree has taken its place beside the Lone Pine in the school’s Anzac Memorial Garden.  The garden is the centerpiece for the school’s annual Anzac Day service.

The story of the Gallipoli Oak has its origins in the story of a young Australian soldier, Captain Winter Cooke from Murndal, near Hamilton, who noticed some unusual holly bushes while stationed at Gallipoli that had acorns like oak trees.

Captain Winter Cooke remembered that his Uncle Samuel in Hamilton was a bit of a tree enthusiast and someone that would be interested in these rare acorns. He sent a package of acorns to him from Gallipoli almost 100 years ago. Bannockburn Primary’s Gallipoli Oak is a direct descendant of those acorns from Gallipoli. 

The story of both the Gallipoli Oak and the Lone Pine have played a central role in the Centenary of Anzac teaching and learning that has taken place within classrooms. Students in the school will be able to watch as the two plants mature over the coming years and will be able to remember this special commemoration and even pass the story onto their own children in years to come.

The National Trust of Australia’s Gallipoli Oaks Project has been made possible by the Victorian Government’s ANZAC Centenary Community Grant program and the assistance of many other generous sponsors and supporters.