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Largs Bay RSL memorial garden targeted by tree-stealing thief

The Advertiser 2020-08-20 08:50:00

A thief has targeted the Largs Bay RSL’s memorial garden for the third time in nine months, this time stealing a lemon tree.

The man, who was on a bike, targeted the RSL’s memorial garden in the early hours of August 18 stealing the tree that had been planted about five months ago.

RSL president Peter Cates said the club’s 300 members were “disappointed”.

“The lemon tree was planted there for a purpose,” Mr Cates said.

“There are lemon trees in areas of conflict.

“A lot of the plants in the garden are specifically planted for a reason.”
Mr Cates said this was the third time plants had been stolen from the memorial garden since it was opened on Remembrance Day last year.

“We’re about to place ashes of deceased members in there,” Mr Cates said.

“It’s to recognise those groups of people who aren’t usually recognised, like nurses and prisoners of war.

“You can sit on the wall there and have some time to yourself.”

He said the community had helped find two women who stole about 20 plants, including an established olive tree, from the Carnarvon Terrace garden in May.

Most of the plants had been provided through the “kindness and dedication” of local veterans, their families, members of the local community and business sponsors.

The memorial garden is named after Port Adelaide great Roy Drummond, a member of the club’s “Incredibles” as a premiership player in 1913 and 1914.

Born in Largs Bay, Mr Drummond won the military medal with the Australian Imperial Force during WWI and returned home to be a founding member of his local RSL.

Mr Cates said the RSL now planned to buy a more established lemon tree with a larger root system, to make it difficult to steal.