Hiroshima sapling planted at Oldham Sixth Form College

A SAPLING whose seeds were brought to the borough from Hiroshima by survivors of the atom bombs dropped there in 1945 has been planted at Oldham Sixth Form College.

In April 2017, the two survivors visited Oldham and met representatives from Saddleworth Peace Group and gifted seeds of the Gingko tree from Hiroshima.

Six Ginkgo trees, growing less than two kilometres from the blast site, survived against the odds and were seen as symbols of hope for the country.

For the last four and a half years, the saplings have been nurtured at Alexandra Park and are now ready for planting.

Having signed the Pledge to Peace, Oldham Sixth Form College is delighted to have been presented with one of the trees.

On November 12, a special ceremony took place to plant the sapling next to the college’s Peace Pole, outside the Duncan Lawton Building.

The tree comes with a commemorative plaque explaining its provenance and contains a QR code showing the location of the mother tree.

Suzannah Reeves, Associate Principal, said: “OSFC is extremely honoured to have been selected to receive one of the rare saplings from Hiroshima to plant on our campus.

“As a college community, we will continue to nurture the plant in our peace garden.”

Richard Outram, Secretary of The Oldham Pledge to Peace Forum, added: “The college was one of the first educational establishments in Oldham to sign the Pledge to Peace, so I was delighted to offer the college this ginkgo sapling as a symbol of our hope for eternal peace in our hearts, in our communities and amongst nations.

“I was so pleased to see that in the college’s Peace Garden it has such a fitting place to grow.

“This sapling is very special. It was grown from seeds sourced from a tree which survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in August 1945.

“The seeds were given as a gift by the Mayor of Hiroshima, who is the President of Mayors for Peace, to Oldham as a fellow member of that international organisation.

“They were planted in April 2017 by Hibakusha, Japanese survivors of that same atomic bombing, at a special ceremony at Alexandra Park.”

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