Old tree yields new objects

A SPRAWLING mulberry tree at Seven Hills North Public School, that was the site of many school photos and playground lunches, has given root to other fixtures.

Members of the Western Sydney Woodturners in Lalor Park have created bowls, cups, jewellery boxes and other items from the wood of the tree, which was removed in 2009 to make way for a new school hall, built with BER funding.

Parent Nicole Armstrong said she bought two bowls to own part of the school's history.

"This school is not just a school, it's a family as well, and that tree was part of the family," she said.

"It just worked out that the tree was sick at the time it was cut down, so that lessened the blow. We actually had a goodbye ceremony for the tree."

Margaret Bannister's grandchildren Sebastian, 9, and Darcie, 6, attend the school.

The nursing unit manager at Cumberland Hospital said she decided to purchase a pen and some other items to keep some history of the tree for her grandchildren.

"It's part of the school heritage, plus some of the woodturners support our fete at the hospital so it's part of supporting them also," she said. "I think history is very important and it gives the children an understanding of pride and what is important to people."

Principal Kate Pugh said the timber was dried out then given to the woodturners in September last year.

A polished slab of the wood sits in the school's reception area, while a cutting has grown into a second mulberry tree about 120 metres from where the original was planted.

"Any child who had attended since the 1950s probably sat in that tree," Mrs Pugh said.

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