A symbol of renewal and rebirth

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The ‘Tree of Life’ gates at Healesville.

For 11 months during 2010, six Scotch Sea Scouts worked industriously every Thursday afternoon during Sea Scout activities on the ‘Tree of Life’ gates at Elliott Lodge, Scotch’s Healesville property. The gates were made for the entrance to the lodge, replacing gates damaged during the Black Saturday fires of 2009, with the flowing tree design chosen as a symbol of renewal and rebirth.

The Sea Scouts study metalworking as part of their activities, to give them the skills to repair or renovate boats and boat trailers.

The gates were manufactured under the supervision of Scotch Design Technology staff. A forge was used to heat and bend the metal, and the installation at Healesville was undertaken by Scotch Maintenance staff and a sub-contractor. New posts and bracing rails were installed to provide adequate structure to support the weight of the gates.

During the project, the boys were taught the traditional skills of hot metal forging and welding by Mr Justin Purser, a master artisan who normally works out of his studio in Healesville, but was willing to travel to Hawthorn each week to encourage interest in this dying art.

This project was made possible through the generous support of the Ken Field Fund and the Scotch Hawthorn Scout troop. The project was so successful that the Sea Scouts now hope to make another set for the second entrance to Elliott Lodge during 2012.