Just thought I'd share this rather wonderful story about one of Australia's most ancient residents who, at 750 years old, had to up roots (literally) and move 3,200 kilometres to his new home.
The Gija Jumulu, or Boab Tree, is native to the very northern tip of Western Australia. It is very slow growing, stores enormous amounts of water in its trunk and is known to live up to 1500 + years.
This particular Jumulu stood in the way of a new bridge development near Telegraph Creek, so the local Warmun Aboriginal people decided to give the tree as a gift to the people of Western Australia. After a special ceremony in which Warmun elders prepared the Jumulu for his journey and said their farewells, he was placed on a truck and sent on his way. Thousands of kilometres later, he now sits in King's Park Botanic Gardens in the state's capital, Perth, with some much younger relatives for company.
I haven't spoken to any of the Warmun people about their feelings on the subject. No doubt they had some stern suggestions in the first instance about making the bridge works go around the old fella. Alas, there seems to have been no other resolution apart from moving him. On the brighter side, you couldn't ask for more conscientious new custodians than the King's Park staff, who will look after the Jumulu to the very best of their ability.
I find this absolutely amazing. He was just a little seedling in 1250 AD. He has sat there all this time while the human species ran around like mad things. Empires rose and fell, innumerable wars, plagues and famine occurred - the mind boggles at how much human history went by while he was in his quiet corner of the world just being him.
He was replanted in July 2008 and so far, he is doing well. It will probably take him at least 50 years to realise what has happened. :0) In the meantime, there have been many visitors and a lot of very respectful gazing. Puts any of our complaints in a new light doesn't it? :0)
Cross posted to fifty_something . Apologies for any double ups.