80 cherry trees hacked down
in orgy of mindless destruction
EIGHTY ornamental cherry trees have been hacked down in a mindless, destructive rampage by vandals on Cowra’s Sakura Ave, which links the historic Prisoner of War Camp site and the Japanese Garden.
The trees were cut off at their bases by hoons wielding a tomahawk or similar implement between Sunday evening and Monday morning.
Cowra Shire Council has appealed to the public to help catch the louts whose attack has been described as “intentional, methodical and widespread”.
Right: Hacked down . . . one of the dedicated cherry trees destroyed on Sakura Ave.
“These cherry trees have been planted in recent years as part of the beautification of Sakura Ave and the ongoing development of Cowra’s unique Peace Precinct,” says Cowra Council general manager Paul Devery.
“Many of the trees were planted in recognition of the importance of the POW Camp to Australian and Japanese history and the town’s special place in the hearts of both nations.”
The destroyed trees will need replacement by council staff.
“We’re appealing to anyone who was out on Sunday evening and Monday morning and who may have seen something unusual to contact Cowra Police on 6341 5099,” says Mr Devery.
Each of the trees had been dedicated by a Cowra school student and a Japanese donor, making the destruction even more senseless, he says
“Cowra Council and the local community remain committed to the cherry tree avenue and all that it represents to our town,” says Mr Devery.
Several instances of vandalism in the POW precinct have been reported over the past few months.
The Italian POW monument and the old stone hut both sustained serious damage.