Woodstock | Eulogies for the Lyre Tree – From the WS Community Worldwide
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Eulogies for the Lyre Tree – From the WS Community Worldwide


07 Aug Eulogies for the Lyre Tree – From the WS Community Worldwide

Little Hugs

Little Hugs

The Lyre Tree is no more. It’s being cut down as I type these words. I know we’re all feeling the weight of the sad news. So, here’s a poem to hopefully lessen the blow and burden.-Rachit Malhotra ( Class of 2009)

Bye, Tree – Good Job

The Lyre Tree
The tree of lies
Under which I read
The Lord of the Flies

Where’d you come from
Where’d you go?
Under your shade
I hung out with my bros

Why’d you leave us
Here all alone
I wish you’d left us
A Lyre Tree clone

Like Gandalf the White
You coulda kept goin’
Now all we got
Is this drab ol’ poem

So I wish you well
And don’t you frown
It ain’t personal
When we cut you down

-Rachit Malhotra ( Class of 2009)

Lyre Tree (5th Aug 2015)

Lyre Tree (5th Aug 2015)

Our beloved Lyre Tree, standing alone on the edge of the khud, ravaged by storms, bravely hung on growing its branches protectively around its great wound. The branches still reached for the sky, thus the Lyre Tree became more beautiful. It was the focus of many a Parker Hall sermon, forming our characters, inspiring our young minds, capturing our devotion….On August 6th we will see it no more. But in our hearts, watered by our tears, it surely lives forever. With loving memories that bind us all, Charlene Chitambar Connell ‘51

Dr Long Relating The History and Present State of the Lyre TreeDr Long relating the history and present state of the Lyre Tree

What a sad message, although not an unexpected one. The hope was that some miracle would save this icon for future generations, as well as for us for whom over a lifetime it has been so much more than a tree. Each return to Woodstock has been marked by that astonishing darshan of the Lyre Tree against the Tehri Hills as one turned the corner after Mullingar. A welcome beyond all words. Thank you for your plans to protect the precious timber. Hopefully, some remnant of the Lyre Tree can remain, perhaps as a seat commanding the same view which the Tree has commanded for all these years of the Doon, our hillside and Mussoorie  The Lyre Tree at least has a chance to be resurrected as an idea of love, care and loyalty that should endure beyond the physical. Nurturing that process will be a challenge, so that a symbolic Tree can communicate as the living one did that “sacred peace” which Mrs. Burgoyne’s poem celebrates so beautifully… You and all at the School will be enveloped by the memories of multitudes of Woodstockites on August 6, and uplifted I am sure by the deathless spirit of this beloved Tree.
-Ashoke Chatterjee (Class of 1951)

A poignant obituary for the Lyre Tree so beautifully penned by you. We can truly learn so much from what this Tree has represented for over a century, even if it is symbolic. I’m sure that the emotions evoked by its passing on will go a long way in drawing all ‘Friends of Woodstock’ closer to this great institution and all it has stood for over the ages.-Ranjit Dass, Board member

Last Farewell

The Last Farewell, 6th Aug 2015


Like the death of all whom we love, we will celebrate Lyre Tree’s long life – its symbolism for Woodstock to everyone who had had the privilege of attending Woodstock, or taught at Woodstock, or served at Woodstock, or supported Woodstock in many different ways. The Lyre Tree stood placidly and gracefully, gently and muscularly – through snow and heat, war and peace, good and trying time at Woodstock and Landour/Mussoorie; it taught us to persevere and strive for what we can envision for the community and the individuals. May it rest in peace.
I take this occasion to urge every alum to remember Lyre Tree by joining the Lyle Tree Society. The Lyre Tree has steadfastly stood by Woodstock for over a century; now it is up us to continue its work. -T.Z. Chu ’52

Students, Alumni, Staff And Parents at the Gathering

Students, Alumni, Staff And Parents at the Gathering

Well, I guess we all knew the day would come, but it is a sad day! Maybe for part of the wood when it’s cut down you could get a good picture of the tree and use some of the tree itself to make a lovely frame around around the picture with a caption inside the matting stating some of its history and that the frame was from the tree…..
My thoughts.-Joy (Garrison) Schwindt ‘ 76

“When I left in 1949 it was called ‘The Whispering pine’ which is how I always remember it! That name seems to be completely forgotten…..! I’m glad they will be planting another tree in its place.” –Alison (Soddy) Thursfield ‘54

I was there for the Centenary (over 50 years ago) and when the first design was made. I was surprised it was still going. -Judy Stovel Robinson ‘59

Alumni with Dr Long

Alumni with Dr Long

It is so very, very sad! The end of an era. –Gindy Miley,Ex staff

I embrace the tree as a timely symbol of the transition that Woodstock is undergoing in its quest to be meaningful to successive generation. I think of the Lyre Tree as being something of the past. -Ruth Harper Axelrod ‘70

I was shocked and saddened to see the Lyre Tree terminally dry and brown. It has assured me that it would go on forever like a parent or like Tennyson’s brook.-Maya Malhotra ’58

Sounds like a very fitting memorial for our beloved Lyre Tree. Thank you for doing this on behalf of all of us who attended and loved Woodstock. -Ruth Lacy Long ‘60

Bravo! Appropriate and dignified. -Eleanor Nicholson, President of the Board

As a teacher I spent many joyful hours beneath the Lyre Tree; and to see each graduating class congregate in its piney shade – what a privilege. The memory of this famous tree will live long. –John Derksen, Ex staff

Class of 68 I’m so sad. I understand. My heart breaks. -Loris Dillingham Sprinkman ‘68

I spent many hours brushing up my painting skills at its feet…many a time meditating/talking to it… PLEASE preserve it as a piece of sculpture and find a nice sheltered place from natural elements but with natural light. -Raksha Mehta Talwar ‘52

Lyre Tree -Last Rites

Lyre Tree -Last Rites

What a beautiful photo – the bark, the moss, the ferns – makes my heart leap! –Naomi Lindell States ’67

I have never seen so many people mourning a tree. This shows how deeply Woodstock taught us our humanity. -Miky Kanazawa ‘011

In a way so sad to see it go but thank you for the way it was allowed to bid farewell…! -Shobha Arole ’78

The end of an era. Several eras, actually! -Kairas Mistry ’83 

The heart of Woodstock -Meher Malani, Parent 

It is sad to let it go !!!! -Noeline Mangalwadi,Ex Staff

So sorry we couldn’t save it. –Ray Husthwaite, Ex staff

Very sad! -Sangeeta Agarwala, 97

This is the saddest thing that has ever taken place as a Woodstocker! -Jeremy Arthur ‘011

New beginnings! -Arshdeep Sahni ’92

(Do post your comments)


Photos: Lalitha Krishnan. See more on Woodstock Flickr





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