by Reg Hynes
Updated: 25 April 2022
In the early days of the Waterloo district, the main centre for any form of social contact was the Waterloo Hall and, to a lesser extent, the school.
The fact that the we were members of the British Empire was a constant source of pride to the residents who were mainly of British stock and there was an annual celebration on 24 May, Empire Day, in appreciation of being a part of the “Empire on which the sun never set”.
In order to do something appropriate for Empire Day 1911, the Hall committee decided to have an avenue of trees planted beside the hall and, of course, the most appropriate tree to be planted was the English Oak. What nobody realised at the time, was that the trees planted were, in fact, Portuguese Oaks!
The task of planting the trees was entrusted to the children of the local school, two of whom were my father, Joe Hynes, and his sister Angela. At the end of the planting day there were two trees left over which my father and Angela were given to take home and were subsequently planted at “Fir Park” and eventually grew into huge trees which were great to sit under on a hot summer’s day.
Of the original avenue of trees planted at the hall, one has died.