Report by Mr. Sean Morris, UK & Ireland Mayors for Peace Chapter Secretary
One worthwhile international peace education project promoted by Mayors for Peace is ‘growing’ within the UK and Ireland Chapter in several members taking up the offer of receiving gingko tree seeds from Hiroshima. There are now 9 Councils who have received and are nurturing gingko and other Hiroshima tree seeds – Manchester, Edinburgh, Shetland Islands, Aberdeen, Hull, Oldham, South Ayrshire, Hebden Royd, Rochdale, and most recently, Cornwall. Norwich and Hastings are also in the process of applying for seeds, which originate from mother trees that were damaged in the Hiroshima bomb attack in 1945 but regrew the following spring, giving encouragement to the hibakusha to rebuild the shattered city.
The Chapter Secretary recently accompanied the Mayor of Hebden Royd Council, Councillor Val Stevens, to visit the Council’s gingko seeds. These are being nurtured at Manor Park Garden Nurseries in Halifax. The Council is considering where the trees will be planted around the towns and villages that make up Hebden Royd and how they can be used as part of a peace education programme. Cornwall is also hoping to talk about their seeds project during the upcoming G7 Summit, which takes place in the county in June, and will see political leaders from the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.