peace-garden_westmountmag

Green Legacy Hiroshima
takes root in Montreal

Participate in a special tree planting ceremony and pilgrimage

On Friday, September 21, representatives of four different local communities will share in a unique planting and pilgrimage ceremony, with four young saplings of a Ginkgo biloba tree that survived the terrible Hiroshima atomic bombing in 1945. These saplings have grown from seeds provided by the Green Legacy Hiroshima Initiative (a UNITAR supported organisation, sharing seeds across the world for a nuclear free and more ecological planet).

This expression of Green Legacy Hiroshima (GLH) in Montreal is an inter-faith peace association bringing together citizens and members of three religious institutions: Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom, Westmount Park United Church and The Unitarian Church of Montreal. They will be joined by members of the Dawson College community, led by the Sustainability Office.

After the bombing, people thought the trees were dead, but they sprouted leaves that were the first signs of life in the bomb zone, giving people a desperately needed sign of hope life would be restored.

On the UN Day of Peace, the GLH Montreal Peace Group will lead a short ceremony in the Dawson College Ecological Peace Garden with the planting of the first of four Ginkgo saplings. Then three more saplings will be planted, one at each community, on a Peace Pilgrimage carrying the precious trees. The route will be westwards, from Dawson College campus across Wood Ave to Temple Emanu-El-Beth Shalom, then along de Maisonneuve Boulevard to Westmount Park United Church (Lansdowne), and then still further west to the Unitarian Church (Bulmer).

Dawson CEGEP Peace Garden - WestmountMag.ca

Dawson Peace Garden

Japan’s Green Legacy Hiroshima, founded in 2011, is a global volunteer campaign “aiming,” in its words, “to disseminate the universal message of trees that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima” by sharing “the double message of caution and hope that the unique survivor trees represent.”

‘Now, for the first time, the seeds of those trees will grow in Montreal… their very presence here will provide a living link between the people of Hiroshima and Japan and Montreal and Canada.’

After the bombing, people thought the trees were dead, but they sprouted leaves that were the first signs of life in the bomb zone, giving people a desperately needed sign of hope life would be restored.

Now, for the first time, the seeds of those trees will grow in Montreal. Their physical existence and their history is a moving, powerful story, and their very presence here will provide a living link between the people of Hiroshima and Japan and Montreal and Canada.

The GLH – Montreal Peace Group plans to use these planted trees as symbols here in the city of the importance of hope to face the threats of our times, the absolute necessity to ensure the survival of biodiversity and a healthy environment for the young people of the future.

Special Gingko Tree Planting and Peace Pilgrimage
from Dawson College Peace Garden to the Westmount-NDG border
UN International Day of Peace, Friday, September 21 from 10 am
Starting in the Ecological Peace Garden at Dawson College
3040 Sherbrooke W, west grounds

For more information, contact Rev. Neil Whitehouse (Westmount Park United Church) at 514 649-3787.

Images: courtesy Biopolis

Read also: Finding Faith in Nature



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