Who can create a leaf?
This project is for those who consider themselves a Cobargo/Quaama local at the time of the 2019/2020 bushfires.
For locals to create their leaves to add to a memorial tree to commemorate what we lost, but also how we came together as a community in that time. We have had much interest of course from those further afield, and while many areas were impacted in the fires of 2019/2020, this is set up for Cobargo and district community.
Who is considered a "local"? Cobargo, Quaama, Coolagolite, Wandella, Yowrie, Dignams Creek, Verona, Brogo. For eg those living in Bermagui, Tilba, Narooma or Bega, would not consider themselves Cobargo/Quaama locals. If you lived here during the fires, but have had to move, you are of course welcome to create your leaf.
For those who have died since the fires, we encourage family members or friends to create a leaf on their behalf.
How can I make my leaf?
You can book in sessions with Iain at Mother Mountain Forge in Dignams Creek, or with Philippe at Galba Forge in Wandella. Go to the “Online Bookings” tab on this website to book in.
We will also be running public days in Cobargo and Quaama Villages.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page for future dates.
How many leaves can we forge?
Ideally, we would love every adult and child to be represented with their own individual leaf on the tree. For example, if you are a family of 5, every member can create a leaf, or just 1 member can create 5 leaves, or 1 member can create 1 leaf to represent the whole family.
As we will need thousands of leaves for the project, we would encourage the 5 leaf option!
What are the age limits – can I be too old or too young?
Can you hold a hammer? Then you can at least help create your leaf. We will have a few different sizes of hammers available, to suit different strengths. Even the very young or very old will be able to give at least a few hammer blows to a leaf to make it their own. Iain and Philippe will complete the rest.
BUT do not be put off by lack of experience! Iain teaches people with no tool experience at all to create a knife themselves in a weekend, so the vast majority will be able to make a leaf themselves.
Where will the finished tree be situated?
At this point, the tree’s home has not been finalised, but it will be somewhere on the main street of Cobargo Village. There are a few options available, and we are having meetings with those involved.
As this memorial tree belongs to our community this decision belongs to the community, guided by feasibility and logistical constraints. The finished tree will be approx. 4m x 4m x 4m.
How long does it take to forge a leaf?
Between 1 hour and 2 hours, average is 1 and a half hours.
Can I take my leaf with me once I make it?
No. The leaves will stay with the blacksmiths and be stored until they are attached to the tree.
What name can I put on my leaf?
We are suggesting your first initial and your surname, or if you are making 1 leaf for the whole family, then “Hamilton Family” or “The Hamiltons”. We are wanting the tree to last a very long time, for future generations to be able to look up into the branches and find their family. If space and time allows, you can also add your nickname.
How long will the project go for?
As we are needing approx. 2000 leaves or more, and are not running the project full time, it will take a couple of years to forge all the leaves. The leaf forging part of the project must finish in October 2023. It will then take approx another year to create the branches and assemble the tree itself.
How is the project being funded?
The blacksmiths are donating their time ad use of their personal workshop space and many tools.
The gas used to forge the leaves is being donated by Elgas/BOC. The steel for the leaves is being donated by Vulcan steel. Tools, PPE and other various necessities were funded by a grant from the Cobargo Bushfire Recovery Fund. The website hosting and some more PPE has been funded by The St Vincent De Paul. Society