Manning Valley Historical Society’s Wingham Museum has a history of involving local schools in projects to enhance their displays.
In the past Mount George Public School has contributed a mural of poppies made from hand prints for the war display, and both Chatham High School and the Taree Christian College have donated murals – a dairy scene, and a rural landscape respectively.
This time it is Tinonee Public School’s turn. The entire school from kindergarten to year six have been involved in creating a large tree, taller than most adults.
The completed tree was handed over to MVHS president Neale Greenaway and volunteers Bob Berry and Ray Chandler on the school grounds on Wednesday, December 12.
The tree was the brainchild of Ray, who planned, designed and built the armature of the tree.
It was then given to the school for teacher Emma Atkins and the students to cover in papier-mâché.
“That took a long time as you can imagine,” Emma said.
You might need to spray it with a bit of Baygon when you get it home.Teacher Emma Atkins
Class 1KA was responsible for collecting bark and gluing it to the three’s trunk. All students made their own leaf, and inscribed it with their name.
“We wrote the kids’ names on them so they could identify them when they go to the museum,” Emma said.
High up in the tree is “Caramello Koala”, a stuffed koala representing the large koala population in Tinonee.
Crawling on the trunk are plastic bugs and spiders from the classroom’s toy collection.
Also crawling on the tree are real life critters.
“You might need to spray it with a bit of Baygon when you get it home,” Emma told the MVHS volunteers. “I’ve just been watching - there’s quite a few little things crawling on it!”
The tree was constructed in two halves, meaning the Tinonee ants and other real-life insects inhabiting it got a comfortable ride to Wingham inside the car.
“We didn’t want to lash it to the roof of the car!” Bob said.
The tree is now sitting in pride of place in the timber-getting display at Wingham Museum