It is not surprising that a progress association within a suburb named Fig Tree Pocket should decide to stage a celebratory tree planting, a cel-arbor-ation, to mark Australia’s Bicentenary. What is surprising is that there should be so much uncertainty about how the suburb came to bear such a name.
Was Fig Tree Pocket named after one tree in particular or was the name a consequence of the Fact that the general area abounded in Fig trees? IF it was named after one tree in particular, is that tree still in existence, and if not, where did it grow?
By deciding to stage a Bicentennial cel-arbar-ation, the Mandalay Progress Association committed itself to trying to answer such questions. If we came up with answers, that would be a Bicentennial gift to present and future residents. If we failed to find answers, the tree planting exercise would be a worthwhile exercise in itself.
We did, in fact, discover that there had once been “a remarkable fig tree” (and where it was) … but our search for that information unearthed many other interesting facts and cultivated a desire to know more about- our own suburb and to share our findings. This booklet and the accompanying poster are a record of our findings. Numbers on the map of the suburb on the poster correlate with the numbered annotations in the booklet. While much of the information is historical, much of it is also general interest material that will assist you to get to know the suburb better – including what plans there are for the future.
In Search of “a Remarkable Fig Tree” is a beginning, not an end. We hope it might act as a stimulus to further investigation. IF you have information to add to the story, it will be gratefully received by any of the compilers of this booklet or by Libby Wager at the Pullenvale Field Study Centre, which acts as an archive of local history.
We gratefully acknowledge the assistance given by numerous people and organizations. Specific sources of information are acknowledge throughout the notes, but our particular thanks go to the Following:
Dawn Langford and Henry Clarkson (authors of Tell the Next Generation, the book that stimulated us to further research.)
Libby Wager (Pullenvale Field Study Centre)
Bill Kitson (Curator, Museum of Mapping and Surveying, Sunmap) State Archives
We hope you find the annotations useful in adding to your knowledge of Fig Tree Pocket, the suburb named after “a remarkable Fig tree”.
For the Mandalay Progress Association
Photo via Wikipedia – The large fig tree, 1866