QUEANBEYAN and Canberra strengthened their bond on Tuesday as Canberra presented its neighbour with a 175th anniversary gift of 1,000 trees to line the stretch of Canberra Avenue between the two cities.
It follows Queanbeyan's centenary gift to Canberra of a sundial for the new National Arboretum, commissioned from artist Hendrik Forster and presented to Canberra last month.
ACT chief minister Katy Gallagher said she hoped the trees- a mixture of exotics and natives- would feature as a visible demonstration of the links between the cities.
"The trees will present a really beautiful avenue for people who are visiting between the two cities ... and will hopefully in time be a place where people get out, have a look, take some time, and understand the inextricable links that exist between Queanbeyan and Canberra," the Chief Minister said.
And Queanbeyan Mayor Tim Overall said it was a 'wonderful gesture' from a city that Queanbeyan had helped found.
"This is wonderful gesture, chief minister. Very apt, very thoughtful and will be very much appreciated by the whole Queanbeyan community," Cr Overall said.
"Queanbeyan takes pride in its contribution to the early development of the national capital, not only in influencing the siting of the capital through a few key individuals, but in those formative years.
"It provided the labour...the medical services, the education support in those early days, and now it's very much being reciprocated the other way," he said.
The trees include Inland Scribbly gum, She oak, Brittle gum, Atlas cedar, Turkey oak and Pin oak, and will be looked after by ACT Government staff over the coming months to help them establish.
Meanwhile, Canberra's centenary gift from Queanbeyan now sits at its permanent location atop Dairy Farmers Hill at the National Arboretum.Cr Overall said the sundial would mark a special moment in the relationship between the two cities, and the anniversary milestones celebrated this year.
"The idea for a sundial came a few years ago after a visit to the National Arboretum. My thought was that the gift should embody Queanbeyan's early contribution to the development of Canberra, recognise the importance of the centenary and embrace our wholeness as a community," he said last month.
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