A fascinating article published in The Gap magazine, dated 1924.
If you have wondered where the pine trees on the slopes of Mt Mesley came from, and why they are there, here’s the answer.
As described in the article, fifty acres extending from the frontage of the Livingstone Creek, some distance up the slopes of Mt Mesley was secured for the establishment of a pine plantation.
The planting of 1200 Pinus Insignis trees began in 1924.
Two acres of land were allocated for the 1924 school year, and the job was undertaken by senior boys and girls from Omeo State School.
Here’s the context of the article:
OMEO SCHOOL ENDOWMENT PLANTATION
The residents of Omeo have undertaken the work of constructing a pine plantation for the benefit of the local school, and for this purpose, an area of fifty acres, extending from the frontage of the Livingstone Creek, some distance up the sloping sides of Mt Mesley, has been secured.
A school concert was held to defray the cost of wire and netting to be used in fencing, and the posts were donated by the local progress association.
The erection of the fence was carried out by “working bees’.
An area of two acres was fenced this year, and the work of planting the 1200 Pinus Insignis trees, obtained from the State Nursery, was done by the senior boys and girls of the school, under the supervision of the head teacher. It was found that 30 children can dig holes for and plant 200 young trees in three hours.
This work proved pleasant and interesting, and there was keen rivalry between the various groups of children, regarding not only the quantity but the quality of the work. The children, working in twos, soon became expert tree-planters.
Two additional acres are to be planted each year, until the whole area is planted. The plantation is in a prominent position, and although the main objects are to provide a school endowment, and to assist the State in the production of softwoods, within a very short time the scenic effect will be noticeable.
Mr D Furey was the school principal.
Pictures are from The Gap School Magazine, 1924.