Freo's View

FREO’S WRAY AVENUE A PLACE OF SPECIAL PEOPLE

Posted in fremantle, photography by freoview on September 8, 2012

Community spirit in Fremantle always warms my heart. When people take the initiative in their own hands, instead of complaining council or someone should be doing things, good positive things happen. One of those was the Verging Bushland project at Wray Avenue where local people worked from early morning till late, with support of Fremantle council, to plant Xanthorroeas along the verges.

The gorgeous little black trees are better known as Blackboys but I was told off that this is now inappropriate and politically incorrect. So it is wrong to say Fremantle MP Melissa Parke has now two black boys in front of her office. Deputy and acting Freo Mayor Josh Wilson and his family were out there this morning to dig holes and Heath Adams was the initiator of the project.

Xanthorroeas are very slow growing but live up to 600 years, so future generations will thanks the present residents of Wray Avenue for their hard work and initiative. Well done all!!

Roel Loopers

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4 Responses

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  1. curiousjulz said, on September 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    I also grew up calling them Black Boys. Political correctness gone mad, but anyway, if you’re looking for an easier to pronounce but also PC name you could start calling them Grasstrees (which is what several species of this tree are known as by local Aboriginsl people).

  2. Heath Adams said, on September 9, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Great photos again Roel!

    I wish I could claim being the initiator.

    The real brains (and brawn) behind it was Bruce Abbott from Replants (who was up all night on Friday digging the things up!) and Emma (my awesome girlfriend) for pushing and facilitating it. I mostly just dug loads of holes ;)

    Bruce also did a load of work with City of Fremantle to get this to happen. I think the council cop a lot of flack for being obstructive but that wasn’t our experience on this occasion. They did (with sound reason) stop some things that we wanted, but they also really embraced the project and helped it to happen (especially council officer Michael Leer who was onsite all day).

    That aside, unlike the March of the Lanterns, where we did a lot of coordination, yesterday more or less took care of itself. Once people got into it, they bonded and showed loads of initiative.

    While the trees do look stunning, for me the real success was the people of Wray coming out onto the avenue and working to make something new their community. Everyone commented on how great it was to make new friends, meet their neighbours and help each other out. People who lived next to and across the road from each other met each other for the first time.

    The other thing that was special (unfortunately you missed it, Roel) was the excellent work people did in the kitchen to keep us fed and watered.

    BTW, the Noongar name for them is Balgas or Balgkas, like the suburb (where I bet you’ll struggle to find one because our society’s done a pretty good job of bulldozing them across the metro area).

  3. Andrew Sullivan said, on September 9, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Awesome little project, now we have a whole street of grass trees starting at Bruce’s awesome little business RePlants yard at one end of Wray Avenue and ending in the Balcony Balgas at Lynn MacLaren’s office and the roundabout Balgas at South Terrace. Walked past at beer-a-clock on my way to the Moondyne Joe’s to watch the Fremantle beat Geelong. Well done to all involved.

    Andrew Sullivan

    • Heath Adams said, on September 11, 2012 at 9:42 am

      Yeah, and you never even said hi to me! Was very put out. Then I realised that I was covered in dirt, had a replants vest on, had my back to you as you went past and was half buried in a hole ;)


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