We must honour our heritage trees

I have often enjoyed the view of the beautiful ancient maple now under threat.

I have often enjoyed the view of the beautiful ancient maple now under threat.

I was drawn to sign the petition under the tree just to save this large and glorious-looking tree. Once I got talking to the various people in the tree and under the tree who launched this rescue, I understood that this tree represents the talking point of many views.

For one, the ladies collecting signatures remember the tree as part of a family farm going back to the early 1900s and that it was colloquially called “Hattie’s tree” in remembrance of a family member. It was fascinating viewing the old photograph of the farmland where now multiple businesses and the Island Savings Centre sit.

For another young man, this tree was a gathering point for his Métis family.

The brave young woman up the tree clearly had a metaphysical/spiritual connection to the soul of the tree and its connection to the rhythms of nature.

This tree represents a valuable symbol of the farming history of Duncan, a symbol of the First Nations/Métis understanding of root connection and soul spirit, and simply a reminder that we can glory in natural beauty.

Its position at the entrance to the community centre couldn’t be a more perfect symbolic demonstration of the word “community”.

Trees bring people together and also ignite childhood memories.

My husband fondly remembers standing under the magnificent willow in front of Cowichan Secondary school, a gorgeous tree also apparently under the chainsaw microscope to create a roundabout.

We need to honour our old heritage trees.

They remind us to stay humble and feel connected at many levels. You cannot regrow these ancient beauties.


Marilyn S. Bowman

Shawnigan Lake

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