HomeCommunityZunker Family Memorial Pines legacy lives on

Zunker Family Memorial Pines legacy lives on

Zunker Family Memorial Pines
The Zunker Family Memorial Pines were planted in 1954 in memory of Charles and Mary Zunker

The Zunker Family Memorial Pines have become a defining feature of the Bargara foreshore, planted in 1954 in memory of Charles and Mary Zunker.

Charles and Mary were tragically caught in a fire while burning off on their cane farm in November 1953.

Mary’s father Carl Langbecker, who owned Langbecker’s Nursery, donated the 27 Norfolk Island Pines to the community to frame the coastal promenade.

Zunker Family Memorial Pines
The wedding of Charles and Mary Zunker. Photo: contributed by Graeme Langbecker

The trees are listed on Bundaberg Regional Council’s Local Heritage Register which said the tree planting was supported by the community.

“Fred Courtice, Chairman of the Woongarra Shire, appealed for assistance to plant the trees and the South Kalkie Progress League were among those who helped dig the holes in rocky ground,” the register states.

A cairn and brass plaque was also placed along the foreshore as part of the memorial.

Zunker Family Memorial Pines
The memorial plaque is located near Whalley Street on the Bargara foreshore

Charles and Mary’s eldest son Eddie was about eight when the tree planting took place.

Now 80 he said he’s still proud when he sees the Zunker Family Memorial Pines.

“It’s a wonderful honour,” Eddie said.

“In those days they come right from the basin right through to Nielson Park.

“They started off at the basin, I can remember that.

“I did see them when they were planted.”

One of the trees, near the corner of Whalley Street, will be removed as a result of deteriorating health.

Late last year Council arborists became concerned about severe decay in the base of the tree trunk and sought a second opinion from an independent arborist.

The independent assessment recommended removal in the interests of public safety.

Eddie was notified about the removal.

“They were going to plant another one in its place so it will go on,” Eddie said.

Zunker Family Memorial Pines
The avenue of Zunker Family Memorial Pines were first planted in 1954

Eddie's cousin Graeme Langbecker said his father Edward was among those who helped his grandfather Carl plant the trees in the 1950s.

“Eddie said he can remember going down there with grandpop to water the trees,” Graeme said.

He's taken an interest in the family's history and has kept newspaper articles that reference the Zunker Family Memorial Trees.

Zunker Family Memorial Pines
Carl Langbecker's grandson Graeme Langbecker still has a copy of the November 29, 1994 edition of the NewsMail featuring the front page story about the push to have the Zunker Family Memorial Pines placed on the local heritage register. Photo: Contributed

Eddie said his grandfather Carl owned the Langbecker’s Nursery for many years, likely inspiring his decision to plant the trees for the Zunker Family Memorial Pines.

“It was the biggest nursery in the southern hemisphere,” Eddie said.

“Langbecker’s roses went everywhere – even out to Mt Isa.

“Roses and citrus, that’s what they were known for.”

Eddie has three siblings, Kevin, Cathy and Morris.

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