Cnr McLean and Macintyre Street, Goondiwindi
Artist: Jamie Sargeant https://www.jamiesargeant.com/
Artwork Medium: Steel, Korten Steel
The old Carbeen Tree, situated inside the Memorial to the Levee could tell many a tale. Today it is a meeting place for the town when the river is in flood but many years ago it was used as a notice board.
The remains of a notice can still be seen embedded in the tree. Mrs Harry Rackham, who objected to people keeping birds in cages, printed “Birds in cages are a disgrace to jailors eyes” on a piece of tin and nailed the sign to the tree. Many stories have been told of how she went around town letting birds out of cages.
Until the levee bank was constructed, Goondiwindi experienced some devastating floods. Every few years the floods would arrive causing havoc and loss. Often the only area completely free of water was the sand hill in front of the Catholic Church.
When heavy rain was reported up river, residents and visitors to the area would gather under this tree to read the river height and get the update on the estimated heights and times the flood peak would arrive at Goondiwindi.
You could stand under the tree at any time day or night and there would always be people looking at the river discussing the river height, how quickly the water was rising and the potential flood damage to the town.
Rumours abounded of massive storms up river, of roads being washed away, and the biggest flood ever was on its way. Tall tales were told of previous flood adventures with people staying to swap stories. Subsequently the tree became known as ‘The Tree of Knowledge’