Almost twenty years ago a taxi ride proved the catalyst in the development of a unique partnership that has helped both grieving families and the environment.
A conversation between Tim Lawrence, the taxi driver, and his passenger Joe O’Dea Jnr of Bowra and O’Dea Funeral Directors, led to a Memorial Grove program that provides a living and lasting memorial for those who have lost a loved one.
Tim is a life member of Trillion Trees and a past President. Joe’s concern for bereaved families and both men’s passion for the environment fuelled their vision to set up the Bowra & O’Dea Memorial Groves to assist in the healing of grieving families.
Trillion Trees coordinates the site selection and the provision and planting of the native seedlings. Bereaved families select a tree within a newly planted grove which they can visit at any time. A certificate is also provided in recognition of the planting on behalf of their deceased family member.
The plantings aim to symbolise re-birth and the cycle of life and provide a peaceful reflective space for families to visit.
The first Bowra and O’Dea Memorial Groves planting took place in 1996 with thousands of trees planted each year.
Memorial Grove sites have been planted throughout Western Australia.
The Memorial Groves at Beckenham are a result of a collaboration between Trillion Trees, Bowra & O’Dea, the Western Australian Planning Commission and South East Centre for Urban Landcare (SERCUL).