Did you see The Herald on the first Wednesday in January?

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High excitement at my place when Jacqui Jones wrote an article showing the old photos of Laman Street.

She compared the 1957 shot of the park as a Cultural Centre and the 1961 shot before completion of the fountain with the same sites today.

I was so happy when later on Wednesday I was making a work phone call and the person I was calling asked me about the pictures. It made me think the whole town had seen them.

If people are able to visualise what losing a tree will be like it may make them think twice before agreeing with its removal.

In the same paper there was a story about the banning of the Greek Orthodox Church’s January ceremony that has been held at the Bogey Hole for many years. I thought all my Christmases had come at once (I love a good cliché) when I was told that night that the church went ahead with it anyway.

I have to say I was surprised at what I presumed was fantastic civil disobedience, but the next day’s Herald enlightened me.

The Crown Lands Person-in-charge phoned Father Skordilis at the last minute and gave the OK to go ahead with the ceremony. The article gave the impression that public pressure and disquiet were what changed the minds of the bureaucrats.

Three cheers for our town:)

And while I’m singing the praises of this place I have to give a plug for the roadside planting between the city and Wallsend. Have you looked sideways on that trip recently? It’s fantastic.

An inner-city view of how green we are

There are huge melaleucas near the old Water Board building, a great row of camphor laurels in Newcastle West (I know we’re supposed to hate them and that in the bush they’re a menace but they’re fantastic in the right spot). Then you pass stunning figs in Burwood Park as well as things that look like shimmering aspen. Some of the brush boxes are pretty intact and a great shape.

In Hamilton there are fantastic, tall debarked gums and a row of silky oaks in Hamilton, then the stand of figs near the entertainment centre and a few Agonis and lots of eucalypts near Forgacs, all those natives in Waratah, more figs at North Lambton and – my biggest surprise – some newish Bunyah pines at the roundabout at Jesmond then robinias, Cape Chestnuts and grevilleas as you go up the hill to Wallsend.

I was surprised by the Bunyah pines because there’s been a tall lonely one there for as long as I can remember.

If you want to correct my tree identification please feel free: there’s heaps I don’t know.

Cheers.

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