Tree-planting ceremony to commemorate 150th

Wednesday 12 December, 2012

On the evening of Wednesday 12 December, Professor James Angus, Professor James Best and a selection of distinguished guests gathered to mark a quiet yet momentous occasion in the history of the Melbourne Medical School. 

As part of the 150th Anniversary celebrations, Mr Chris White, Executive Director of Property and Campus Services, presented Professor Angus and Professor Best with one of the world’s oldest and rarest trees to plant outside the Medical Building. The Wollemi Pine was discovered in 1994 in a rainforest gorge in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. 
 
Professor Angus said at the ceremony that the planting of the tree was “deeply symbolic.”
 
“The Melbourne Medical School was the seed planted 150 years ago, which has grown into what is now the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences. A tree with many strong branches, with a wide, spreading canopy and which bears excellent fruit.”
 
The Property and Campus Services division of the University has long held ties with the Melbourne Medical School. In the early years of the School’s establishment, the University struggled to secure sufficient government funding for staff, buildings and equipment. In order to pay for medical staff and laboratory supplies, the University used savings from cuts to funding set aside for work on the University’s grounds. 
 
Professor Best, who turned the first sod at the planting ceremony, said that the tree would act as a reminder of the Medical School’s enduring gratitude to all those who made sacrifices to ensure the School’s foundation, many years ago.