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06 November 2016


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Thank you Phil, Arnold and Daniel for sharing your experiences of the old trees. Appreciate your tales.

Phil, from where I live, when it is mango season the fruit hanging on the trees outnumbers the bats. We do sometimes get tired of people offering mangoes and, mind you, sometimes they come in a bag.

Arnold, sad to hear about the Gembogl klinkii pine. I hope someone in Gembogl will replace it.

I notice that town councils are chopping down trees in some of our urban centres for development purposes and other reasons.

A common trend is to remove trees that provide shades for buai vendors and their customers. Also, if you come down Goroka way, all the pine trees and kamarere trees at Peace Park have been chopped down to make space for the airport extension.

Daniel, perhaps the action of the enemy raiders in your tale is symbolic. In times of hostility, they cut down the hardwood.

We must remember that, at times of brokering peace, our people also plant trees (or coconuts) as a reminder of the end of hostilities.

'If you love life, plant a tree' is a saying I picked up somewhere. It has stuck with me since. And I have planted hundreds of trees hoping some will continue to grow for many generations.

I grieve for this old mango tree. It has been murdered like an innocent victim of sorcery, a story so common in this country.

Another time I felt loss was when a hardwood tree called a 'pai' that had been planted generations ago in the middle of the village square or ‘moka’ place had been cut down by enemies during a tribal fight in the 1980s.

Great story! The story reminds me of the famous Klinkii pine tree that went down at Gembogl station last month.

The Gembogl Klinkii pine was standing there for more than 100 years and, when it was finally cut down, the district staged a huge farewell party.

For those who have visited Gembogl be reminded that the famous pine that usually stands in the middle of the field in the station is now no longer there.

I really like this story Raymond.

I've got two old mango trees in my backyard and spend a lot of my time raking leaves. We don't get too many fruit off them because the flying foxes and possums get there first.

I've built a deck with a fire pit under them and it's a beautifully cool place to sit even on the hottest day. Mango trees are masters of transpiration. It's a great place to read too, quiet and relaxing.

The idea of ever cutting them down is appalling.

I've been an atheist since I was about seven years old but I still wonder whether there is a spirituality in trees and certain places. It is a quality that defies definition. I think that's shared by a lot of people and explains why taking an old tree down is an emotional thing.

It's a pity the loggers don't feel the same way.

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