A charitable project
The information in this section deals specifically with information presented on or about TORn. It is not meant to be a comprehensive look at any particular topic.

what needs to be done

Info on Wellington, NZ Commemorative Tree Scheme and Willowbank Park

Wellington Parks & Garden Services Site

Friends of Tawa Bush Reserves Site - details of known Memorial or Commemorative trees planted in the Tawa area

  • entry: 27 August 2004, "Commemorative Trees a Thank You from Lord of the Rings Fans"

Scoop Independent News - 27 August 2004, "Commemorative trees a thank you from LOTR fans"

Give Life NZ - Friday, 27 August 2004, "Commemorative trees a thank you from LOTR fans"
(This is the same article as posted on TORn's Home Page 8-26-04 The dates for each may not reflect the same time zone so it's unclear to me which site posted it first.)

Willowbank Park Site

TORn Home Page Articles

LOTR Films Lead to International Fundraising Efforts by Fans - 8-26-04
(This is the same article posted on Give Life NZ's site, 8-27-04. The dates for each may not reflect the same time zone so it's unclear to me which site posted it first.) (same article in archives)

Trees for Tolkien & PJ - Part II

Take a look at another batch of images from the TORNsibs tree planting event in NZ. Delyth and Estelwyn were in Wellington to support their TORNsibs, who raised money and organised a treeplanting, in conjunction with Wellingtonís Commemorative Tree Programme, to honour LOTR, Tolkien, and Peter Jackson. (links to Scrapbook Group II listed below)

TORN-Sibs Tree Planting Update - November 3rd, 2004

display of certificate given to 'TORn' (by proxy of White Aslan) in commemoration of the trees planted - later sent to Peter Jackson

TORNsibs Treeplanting in honour of LOTR, PJ - September 2nd, 2004 - same article in archives - short entry that jumps to this article


TORn Mathom-house Picasa Album: NZ Commemorative Trees - tree images taken in 2009 and 2012

TORn Scrapbook Album: Trees for Tolkien & PJ - 3rd Sept 2004.

Delyth and Estelwyn were in Wellington to support their TORNsibs, who raised money and organised a treeplanting, in conjunction with Wellington's Commemorative Tree Programme, to honour LOTR, Tolkien, and Peter Jackson.

TORn Scrapbook Album: Trees for Tolkien & PJ - Part II - 5th Sept 2004.

(Same text as scrapbook listed above)

Posts on Message Boards

NOTE: for development of this article, I've copied text from the old TORn message boards here since the old boards are so creaky. This copied text will not (necessarily) be part of the finished article but I suggest we be slow in deleting any of it until we're sure we don't need it. Magpie

From private message from Elizabeth to Magpie - January 8, 2012

Elizabeth made up a packet consisting of the green certificate, a cover letter, and an acknowledgement from the GiveLife Foundation. The sets were personally presented at ORC 2005, ORC 2006, and possibly a Dragon Con about that time (Elizabeth emailed the lot to someone who was going, and asked her to present) to:
Sean Astin, Elijah Wood, Billy Boyd, Dominick Monaghan, John Rhys-Davies, Bruce Hopkins, Jorn Benzon, Jarl Benzon, Sandro Kopp, Peter Tait, Daniel Falconer, Royd Tolkien, Paul Badali
Elizabeth did most of them, via autograph lines, and got other people to do some to people I didn't sign up for or have access to.
image of cover letter in TORn Mathom-house Picasa Album: NZ Commemorative Trees

A gift revisited - Elizabeth, January 8, 2012

The trees were a "gift that TORnsibs (led by White Aslan) organized in 2004 as a "thank you" to Jackson et al. for the LotR movies: ~$1200 was collected by donations here, and with the assistance of the Wellington mayor 11 native Kauri trees were planted in a park. The rest of the money was donated to Jackson's favorite charity."
coordinates (for the trees) on the certificate are in some NZ-specific notation. For future reference, it is Willowbank Park, Tawa, Wellington, and the coordinates are:
Lat: 41deg 11min 04.120 sec. S
Lon: 174 deg 49 min 36.996 E
11 trees were planted: 1 ea. for the Fellowship, Jackson, and Tolkien. One of the trees isn't doing well, possibly the one for Boromir.

Willowbank Trees update - hobbithearted, May 30 2009

contains two photos of the tree (hosted in a photobucket account. We might try to get permission to include them in the wiki so they don't get lost if the photobucket account goes dead.)

Whatever happened to the trees?... - diedye, Mar 31 2007 (thread asking about trees resulted in these two updates:)

  • response from Wellington City Council upon inquiry about trees - Ataahua, Apr 1 2007
    Thank you for your email on Monday 2 April requesting an update on the health of the Lord of the Rings kauri trees that were bought by theonering.net (TORN) and planted in Willowbank Park in Tawa, and also information about any other developments in the area around the trees. We have forwarded your enquiry on to our Parks and Gardens Team for their action. We expect your information request will be responded to within 10 - 15 working days.
  • more detailed response from Wellington City Council - Ataahua, Apr 5 2007
    response from Wellington City Council's Customer Liaison Arborist: Thank you for your email concerning the trees. They are growing well and looking great!

Tree planting pics - Estelwyn, 9/3/2004

The photos in this post are no longer on the web - contact Estelwyn for them?
Or they may be part of the TORn Scrapbook Trees for Tolkien & PJ group or Trees for Tolkien & PJ - Part II group.
The text for each pic is copied below. Magpie
* Willowbank park. - A few of the trees waiting to be planted are on the ground in the bottom left of the picture.
* The speeches. - From L to R; Jonathon (?) from WCC nursery - he grew our trees :-) ; Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast (centre); Paul Andrews, WCC Parks and Gardens manager (speaking)
* Planting the first tree. - From L to R; Jonathon (positioning tree), Paul Andrews (obscured by tree) Mayor Kerry (note the shiny mayoral spade), Estelwyn (in TORn T-shirt), Delyth (love that hobbity hair!)
* Filling in the hole. - Jonathon, Paul, Kerry, Estelwyn, Delyth (WCC photographer in foreground)
* Muddying the mayoral gumboots. - I didnít mean to throw that dirt on her boots, honest!
* Proud TORnsibs - Estelwyn (L) and Delyth (R) feeling rather silly posing for the newspaper photographer, before planting our second tree.
* Kauri tree - Freshly planted and staked.
* Delyth with tree - This one was intended to give you an idea of the size, but it's a little hard to make out against the gum tree in the background!
* Close-up of kauri foliage - The crown of one of the young trees. The leaves change shape as the tree matures. Here is some more information about the kauri tree.
* The finished product - Some of the trees are obscured in this picture, but there really are eleven, I promise! There are nine on the near side (from this POV ) of the path that runs in front of the brown shed. The final two (that canít be seen here) are on the grass bank across the path, to the left of the shed.
We are hoping for some better photos from the "official" photographers who were there - I think they may be sent to W_A along with the certificate. These are just to be "going on with". More will come!

Report from the Tree Planting - Delyth and Estelwyn, 9/2/2004

OK folks, here's our report from the Tree Planting this afternoon.
Delyth writes:
This morning for me, started with a positive and a negative. Firstly, to my surprise, Wellington had turned on an unusually warm and sunny day, no sign of the wintry cold and rain from yesterday. As one of the council people commented later, LOTR events seem to have this effect on the weather, as the same thing happened on the day of the ROTK premiere. Then I received a call from a disappointed Estelwyn about a delayed ferry to Wellington that meant she might not make it in time! Yet another twist in the Travels of Estelwyn, but I'll let her tell that tale. ;)
Estelwyn butts in:
*My* day started with a 6:00am alarm, then a 2 hour-drive to Picton. I was looking forward to a nice snooze in the sun on the ferry, but arrived at the terminal to discover the boat was delayed by at least half an hour and would barely get in to Wellington by 1:45pm! Considering we were looking at a 20-minute taxi ride out to Willowbank, this constituted panic stations! But after several phone calls, a wasted ferry ticket, and some expensive minutes at the ferry terminal internet cafť, I had booked a flight across the Strait instead. It was game on! and Delyth and I agreed NOT to talk about how much money I had thrown into my impulsive decision (made just yesterday) to attend the treeplanting.
Continuing in tandem:
We eventually met at the Wellington Railway Station. It was great to finally meet in person. We chatted enthusiastically about LOTR and TORN over lunch and then were kindly picked up by Amanda White (publicity coordinator for WCC events) and given a lift out to Willowbank Park. She was really excited to have some people from TORn present, and took great delight in introducing us as 'The Lord of the Rings Fans' to everyone present. We arrived at the site at about 1pm, which gave us plenty of time for more chat (!) and to check out the location -- a very nice area, with a stream and some large Eucalyptus trees, one of which had been blown down in a recent storm, making it seem even more appropriate to be planting there.
Our trees were planted together at a site near the road so they will be easy to find if anyone is there in the future. The kauri trees were 7-8 years old and about 2m tall. We were introduced to people as they arrived, including the Mayor, Kerry Prendegast, and Myfanwy Hill, the organiser of the event, and keeper of the mayoral gumboots (the ground was pretty muddy after recent rain) and the well-polished ceremonial spade. ;)
The ceremony began with an introduction from Paul Andrews, the manager of the Parks and Gardens department of the council. He explained how the Commemorative Tree programme was a part of the greening of the city, talked about the management and care of trees by the council, and said a little about these particular trees. The Mayor then went on to welcome all those present, including Estelwyn and I! Others present were 2 or 3 city councilors, a handful of council staff, a couple guys who volunteer in the maintenance of parks, and midwife (?). Kerry P. spoke about the concept of planting a tree as a memorial, to celebrate a birth, an event, or to "honour someone or express appreciation". She mentioned the appropriateness of TORnís trees launching the councilís commemorative tree programme -- to be honouring both "one of Wellingtonís best-loved sons", and Professor Tolkien, who loved trees! She then indicated that we could say a few words.
Estelwyn again:
I offered to speak on behalf of the TORnsibs, as Delyth wasnít keen :-). It was pretty much impromptu, but I tried my best to explain how this "commemoration" had come about, and what it meant to us at TORn -- the idea of saying "thankyou" in a tangible, lasting way that also gave something back to the community of Wellington. I mentioned that we were only two of hundreds (a guess) of people who had contributed to this project, and I finished by explaining the significance for us at TORn of planting 11 trees. Of course, I thought afterwards of all the things I *should* have said and didnít -- the most important of which was to acknowledge the sibs who made this happen, especially White_Aslan!!! Oops! {W_A}
After I spoke, Holden Hohaia (another council person?) explained how this scheme would offer people an opportunity to bury the placenta under a tree (a Maori custom relating to the Maori concept of connection to the land, and a personís sense of Ďplaceí) and said a karakia (a Maori prayer/blessing.)
Delyth again:
After this, Estelwyn and I helped the Mayor plant the first tree! Plenty of photos were taken of us for a local newspaper, and I'll send along a scan of the article when it is printed. Estelwyn and I got to plant another two trees while more photos were taken, although without our own pair of ceremonial gumboots it got a bit messy! :
Going on together:
One of the newspaper photographers gleefully informed us that he had just come from a press conference with Peter Jackson about King Kong, which we assume explained PJís absence! Call us naÔve, but we like to think he would have been there otherwise!
The actual process of getting the trees in the ground got pretty hilarious, and Amanda was taking pictures on our cameras (our hands were a bit muddy!), so weíll post some as soon as possible. When all eleven trees were in the ground, we took some (more!) photos of the finished job, and were just about to start naming them all, when we were whisked off (in good Kiwi style) for a cup of tea in the restaurant next-door.
Inside, one of the councilors we met proudly claimed he was very likely the second New Zealander to read LOTR back in 1954. His 4th form (about age 14) English teacher had been a student of Tolkienís at Oxford and had brought back to NZ these three big hard cover books and given them to him to read. He said he had enjoyed them very much, but they were hardly talked about then. He then went on to tell us of his surprise some years later (1968) when he was in California, to discover LOTR had become all the rage with the "flower power" people. Didnít think to ask him what he thought of PJís movies, though!
Once everyone had left, Amanda drove us back into town while telling us stories of her encounters with LOTR in Wellington. She had one particularly interesting tidbit of information. She was in the crowd at a rugby match where PJ and Co. recorded the "Death!" chant for the Ride of the Rohirrim scene. They also recorded the chanting of "Grond! Grond!"
Estelwyn: Of course the day wasnít over yet! Perhaps the best part of it for me was meeting another TORnsib, and having the chance to share this moment with Delyth. We had another hour of enthusiastic conversation about you-know-what before the ferry left to take me back to the South Island. It wasnít late this time, but I *did* miss the boarding call because we were so engrossed in making plans for a TORnsib Trilogy weekend in October!
Delyth: All in all, it was a fun afternoon. It felt good to represent TORn and to make sure some people at least understood what was happening and our reasons for doing so.

Very Special Announcement! - WhiteAslan, 9/1/2004

At this moment, the planting our trees to honor PJ, the cast & crew of LOTR, and Professor Tolkien is beginning. It took six months for this to happen and it's great see to it completed. We can accomplish great things when we put our hearts and minds to it. Thanks to all of you who made this possible.
Also, I am still collecting money to donate to the organ donor awareness program. Andy Tookey (the founder of GiveLife.org) hoped to attend the planting. I think that it would be great for us to show our generosity by matching our donation for the trees with our donation for the organ donor program (if that makes any sense). Email me if you're interested in contributing.