Visitors to the Sunshine Coast’s popular Eumundi markets often admire mature figs, camphor laurels, lillypillies, flame trees and a jacaranda along the town’s main thoroughfare without knowing their significance.
The Eumundi Women’s Patriotic Committee raised £100 for the planting of 20 trees, representing local lives lost in WWI. Between 1914 and 1918, 87 men from Eumundi and the surrounding district enlisted.
Memorial avenues were an uncommon choice in Queensland although many flourished in southern states. Originally figs were planted to create Eumundi’s memorial drive. Only five have survived. Replantings introduced the mixture of trees. Every tree had a unique bronze tablet bearing in brass letters the name, unit, date and place of death of a deceased soldier. Over time some were lost. The 12 remaining plaques now can be found in the Eumundi Historical Museum.
Eumundi is one of the few towns in Queensland without a monumental type WWI memorial.
The trees provide a focal point for remembrance ceremonies, particularly on ANZAC Day when school children place floral tributes at the base of each tree.