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Community Christmas tree spreading joy

Community Christmas tree
Firefighters and a local family are behind the community Christmas tree, situated on the side of the Isis Highway.

For more than a decade a tree on the side of the Isis Highway has been spreading Christmas joy to those driving by thanks to the efforts of a local family and firies.

Wrapped in tinsel, baubles and lights, decorating the tree has turned into a tradition that Roxanne Bennett and her family have been partaking in for many years.

“It all started about 12 years ago and my mum was the one behind the idea of it,” she said.

“She wanted to make special a non-descript tree in an unexpected spot.

“Now we have four generations go to the tree to decorate, including great gran who is 87 and watches from the car.

“It brings joy to our family, the fact we come together on the side of the road, armed with decorations, a ladder, cars with roof racks to stand on – we all get involved.

“The kids love when cars and trucks go past while we are decorating and honk their horns.”

Roxanne said the tree was decorated for one month in December with the aim of making people happy during the festive season.

“We decorate the tree as a token of goodwill and to let people know the world is not all bad,” she said.

“We hope that it spreads Christmas cheer and makes people smile.”

Firies do their part to save Christmas tree

Roxanne said the tree was also a symbol of hope and strength after having gone through some tough times.

She said when the area was impacted by bushfires in 2019 the community rallied to save the Christmas tree, including the Childers Rural Fire Brigade.

“When the bush fires went through all the surrounding area was burnt,” she said.

“The lights and decorations were all melted but the tree itself was still standing thanks to the amazing efforts of the fire fighters.”

Community Christmas tree
The tree was saved by the Childers Rural Fire Brigade in 2019 after bushfires swept through the area.

Roxanne said there were many other factors that had impacted the Christmas decorations, but the generosity of the community had always ensured the tree remained standing.

“The tree has been through some rough times with stormy weather and we've often had to stop by the next day and check for damage and do running repairs,” she said.

“Lovely people have since restored our faith and have randomly left donated decorations at the site, including a star [which] has been placed on top of the tree every year since.”

The tree is located on the Isis Highway, about 15 minutes out of Bundaberg.

The family again visits the site after Christmas each year to return the tree back to its natural state.

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