Tree for peace is planted in Cumbernauld Peace Garden

Under-fire Kyiv may be some 1900 miles from the town but that did not stop volunteers paying tribute to embattled Ukrainians by planting a highly symbolic tree in Cumbernauld Peace Garden.

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Bobby Johnson welcomed the crowds and spelled out exactly why the tree was being planted
Bobby Johnson welcomed the crowds and spelled out exactly why the tree was being planted

Much has been made of the fact that the sunflower is an emblem of Ukraine but the willow is its national tree and that is exactly what stands in Cumbernauld Peace Garden in a public ceremony held last Wednesday in dazzling sunshine as Ukrainian flags fluttered in bunting.

Those attending included organisers from Cumbernauld Environmental Society and Cumbernauld Rotary Club who helped create the majestic and tranquil garden which could outshine many of Scotland’s local authority-run parks.

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Also attending were pupils from nearby Woodlands Primary, Greenfaulds High School plus Deputy Lord Lieutenant Anne Walker who many of our readers will recognise as a teacher of four decades standing in the town and who spoke of her “pleasure and privilege” at attending this very special event which also featured a two-minute silence for reflection and prayer.

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The tree itself was planted by one of the Woodlands youngsters Syzmon Bulka and Sophia Bradley from Greenfaulds High School. It was stressed to the youngsters that the tree is to be treasured at all costs as it would still be standing when they had had families of their own. The assembled crowd heard the late Reverend Desmond Tutu quoted with the words: “Goodness is stronger than evil, love is stronger than hate, Light is stronger than darkness, Life is stronger than death”

Bobby Johnson said: “It was a tremendous day and quite humbling to see how many people came along. And when you see the pictures coming in from Ukraine, it also makes you realise how lucky we are.”

The ceremony also paid tribute to the local community for contributing to the recent collections in support of Ukraine held in the local Tesco and Asda stores, Caulders Garden Centre and elsewhere.

Pictures supplied courtesy of Andrew Pearson.

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