Report from Fremantle, Australia
Hundreds of people in the South West of Western Australia have been inspired by the stories from hibaku-jumoku, second-generation A-bombed trees, grown from seeds brought to Fremantle in 2014. Now healthy saplings, the Gingko biloba trees were honoured and planted in seven South West cities’ parks, with formal ceremonies and plaque unveilings held on Hiroshima Day, Nagasaki Day, and International Peace Day 2020. Various events were attended by mayors and dignitaries, staff and school children, and many locals, including Indigenous elders who bestowed welcomes and blessings, attracting local media coverage.
Some photos from the seven events show the relaxed attitude to social distancing rules compared to many other places in the world, thanks to there being no community-transmission, for now. We hope this ease of gathering in peaceful sharing will extend to all places on our precious planet.
Conversations continue to grow understanding of the plantings’ themes of peace, resilience, and hope for a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to come into force.
August 6 – City of Fremantle planted two saplings grown from the seeds. (Also South Perth planted a sapling. Their nursery grew half of the 20 seeds sent from Hiroshima. South Perth plans to join Mayors for Peace soon.) Also on this day the City of Cockburn had their regular event to honour Hiroshima Day, the 35th year of planting commemorative trees in many parks which thereby become ‘peace parks.’
August 9 – City of Fremantle planted two more of the Gingko saplings.
September 21 – City of Fremantle, had an unveiling ceremony of the Gingkos’ commemorative plaque, inviting notable dignitaries to participate alongside Mayor Pettitt by speaking and helping with the unveiling. The Cities of Cockburn, Rockingham, Busselton, Albany and Subiaco also planted their remarkable second-generation a-bombed Gingko saplings in events honouring this 2020 International Day of Peace.
Other events include the Mayors for Peace art competition and display in the City of Busselton, seen by visitors to the popular tourist precinct in the seaside town during recent school holidays.