THURSDAY around midday saw the end of an era.
The huge old rope swing tree on Wanda Beach is no more.
The Majestic old gentleman held many a local in his branches, nurturing us through our childhood as well as our children’s, grandchildren and great grandchildren’s.
He stood tall, looking over Wanda Beach and out toward the heads over many decades.
Many a story can be heard from the saddened community as they pay tribute to the old tree that overlooked the Wanda Beach Strip from as far back as the early 1950’s.
Every morning and afternoon saw people visiting the rope swing tree.
In summer time, it was not unusual to see local and visitors to the area, lined up to have their thrill, taking the rope into their hands, swinging high over the water.
Last year a huge storm saw some damage to the tree and its lean become more prominent.
Wanda strip locals reported the damage to the council and the old tree recovered to live another season.
Two weeks ago, it was again reported to council that a crack had appeared in the root system.
On Thursday morning, neighbours heard lots of giggles as they watched a mother and her two children swinging from the tree into the soft sand below,
The family soon left, completely unaware of what would soon occur.
An hour later, a huge thud was heard as the grand old gentleman fell to the ground.
He held himself upright till the end, allowing this young family to be the last to swing from his huge old limbs.
“We were taking our normal morning walk and couldn’t believe that it had fallen,” locals Mike and Carol Lewis told News Of The Area.
“We will miss seeing the beautiful old tree, it was fortunate that no one was hurt when it fell,” said Mrs Lewis.
In today’s world of economic and technological progress it is easy to forget that it’s often the simple things in life that really matter.
There was nothing like holding that old rope between your hands and launching yourself excitedly over the water, reminding you that nothing else mattered except for the ’here and now.’
The Wanda beach rope swing tree will be greatly missed by locals and tourists alike.
By Jewell DRURY