The Spirit of Endurance, The Cazneaux Tree

Michael John

Oatley, Australia

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533 views at 18/4/12
The majestic river red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) has always appealed to Australians.

It was Australian photographer Harold Cazneaux who took a picture of one of these giants, with the walls of Wilpena Pound as background, in May 1937. He regarded it as his most Australian picture and called it the ‘Spirit of Endurance’.

This famous tree has survived the test if time and today is now known simply as the ‘Cazneaux Tree’.

In May 1941 Cazneaux wrote:

‘This giant gum tree stands in solitary grandeur on a lonely plateau in the arid Flinders Ranges, South Australia, where it has grown up from a sapling through the years, and long before the shade from its giant limbs ever gave shelter from heat to white men. The passing of the years has left it scarred and marked by the elements – storm, fire, water, – unconquered, it speaks to us from a Spirit of Endurance. Although aged, its widespread limbs speak of a vitality that will carry on for many more years. One day, when the sun shone hot and strong, I stood before this giant in silent wonder and admiration. The hot wind stirred its leafy boughs, and some of the living elements of this tree passed to me in understanding and friendliness expressing The Spirit of Australia.’

Wilpena Pound, Flinders Ranges National Park, South Australia, Australia

Mamiya ZM Film.

Australiana Challenges (Eucalypts) – Dec 2010
The World As We See It – Aug 2011
Remember When – Oct 2011

533 views at 18/4/12

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