Carrying on the tradition .... Ian Thom introduces his grandchildren, Cooper and Bailey, to their ancestor, Sir Henry Parkes, in Centennial Park.
Photo: Sahlan Hayes

Wendy Frew Environment Reporter
July 29, 2006

IAN THOM has a long connection with Centennial Park. He and his family are regular visitors to the more than 360 hectares of parkland dedicated as public space by Mr Thom's great-great-grandfather, Sir Henry Parkes, in 1888. And it was Centennial Park that the founder of Federation's many descendants chose 10 years ago as the site for a giant family reunion.
Some of the family will be there again on Sunday for a special event where members of the public will "adopt" trees for $500 each to help fund a long-term tree replacement program.
"There has been a lot of fuss about [the loss of] trees in Hyde Park and the Domain but when you talk to arborists they tell you we have to face the reality that over time trees have to be replaced," said Mr Thom, who will turn the soil on Sunday for a young angophora that will be planted near a statue of Sir Henry.
"Centennial Park is the lungs of the city … It gives us the air to breathe," he said.
As many as 60 per cent of the 10,000 trees in Centennial, Moore and Queens parks will be removed or replaced over the next 30 or 40 years because of age or disease.
However, the director of park assets, Ian Innes, said it would be done gradually, with the Moreton Bay and Port Jackson figs, hoop pines, broadleaf paperbarks and holm oaks planted 100 years ago remaining the backbone of the park.
"We hope we will always have these trees because they form the overall character of the place," said Mr Innes. Exotic species would be replaced with trees indigenous to Sydney, such as angophoras, he said.
Olga Constantine and her sisters, Dena and Paula, have adopted a tree on behalf of their mother, Phoebe Pareas, a "greenie" who loves the park and visits regularly. "It was her 81st birthday recently and we had just a low-key party, so this will be the surprise," said Mrs Constantine.
P10 Sydney Morning Herald 29 July 2006
Ian is a member of the Old Lions and has served on the committee for many years

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