Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Stop Taking Our Plants; Cenotaph Volunteers Slam Thefts

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Stop Taking Our Plants; Cenotaph Volunteers Slam Thefts

Article excerpt

Byline: Richard Bruinsma

A SMALL team of volunteers that loyally tends the gardens and lawns at the Cotton Tree Cenotaph has been facing a constant battle with people stealing plants from the military memorial.

Neil "Prickles" Longden, 84, and his co-volunteer Michael Powell, 63, are determined to maintain the cenotaph, spending up to two hours daily ensuring it remains worthy of the men and women it honours.

They are working towards having it looking its best for Anzac Day, less than three weeks away.

The duo and other helpers make sure the plants are watered, the lawns mown and the garden beds mulched, but they face constant hurt from the heartless thefts.

"Our aim is to get it up to a standard for people to be proud of it," Mr Longden, whose father served at Gallipoli before his 17th birthday, said.

Mr Powell, whose grandfather served in the First World War and father in the Second World War, said the need for constant garden repairs and plant replacements was "horrible". …

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