BEFORE Christmas the ‘Weekly brought you the story of the Lone Pine tree that was cut down and stolen from the Merbein Cemetery where it had been growing for the past six years after having been planted in 2015 the Centenary year of the landings at Gallipoli in 1915.The thoughtless, callous act of vandalism shocked the community and now a new replacement Lone Pine has been planted in the same spot next to the commemorative plaque.

The tree was donated to the Merbein RSL by the Geelong Cemetery, who had some other Lone Pines in their nursery which came from the same batch as the original tree planted at Merbein had come from in 2015.

Last Friday a team from the Geelong Cemetery drove up to plant the tree at the Merbein Cemetery, for which Merbein RSL president Brian Munro and his members were extremely grateful for.

Mr Munro said he wanted to thank those who had made this possible after they heard about what had happened to the tree before Christmas.

A large number of members from the RSL and the Merbein Cemetery trust were present to witness the planting, including World War Two returned serviceman and former Merbein resident 99-year-old Jack Braidie.