Report by Sean Morris, UK & Ireland Mayors for Peace Chapter Secretary
Since 2015, Manchester City Council has been promoting ‘Project G’, a local educational project focused around the story of the ginkgo tree seeds originating from a mother tree exposed to the atomic bombing in Hiroshima.
Manchester City Council has also been advancing its ‘Project G’ scheme with ginkgo tree seeds from Hiroshima. In December, five of the trees were delivered to four Manchester primary schools and to Manchester Children’s Hospital. They are being planted by the children, and a follow-up event to be held in Manchester University is being planned for March 2018.
The tree was officially unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Manchester Cllr Abid Latif Chohan. Also present at the ceremony were the Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor of MMU, Dr. David Lambrick, the Honorary Consul of Japan, Jo Ahmed, senior councillors and teachers and children from three of the six Manchester Primary Schools involved in ‘Project’ G since 2015, as well as John Smith, representing Manchester Children’s Hospital, where Manchester’s 7th ginkgo tree is planted.
As well as planting the tree, the Lord Mayor unveiled a specially designed plaque providing information on the mother tree and giving the tree its own name―for MMU they have chosen the Japanese word ‘heiwa’―or ‘peace’ in English. The schools and the Children’s Hospital have also chosen names for their tree, and, in a reception after the ceremony, the schoolchildren explained why they had chosen their particular names for each tree. The children and invited guests also took part in a workshop to fold paper peace cranes. Manchester City Council sincerely thanks MMU for supporting this project and funding the plaques through a small grant. It particularly welcomes the assistance provided by Dr. Becky Alexis-Martin, who has a particular academic interest in the issues of those directly affected by nuclear weapons; and Manchester City Council Biodiversity Officer Dave Barlow, who has proved invaluable support in the promotion of the trees project.
Remaining trees are earmarked for Manchester University, for Heaton Park – the largest park in Manchester – and for a new contemplative Manchester peace garden being developed in Lincoln Square, close to Manchester Town Hall. The Council will continue to work actively on promoting this peace education project.
|Lord Mayor of Manchester at the planting ceremony in Manchester Metropolitan University||Children, teachers and invited guests to the ceremony at MMU|
|(Photos courtesy of Manchester City Council)|