Photos: Peace Tree Campaign At Springfield

February 24, 2023 | 0 Comments

The Peace Tree Campaign continued at Springfield in Somerset.

A spokesperson said, “The Peace Tree Campaign, which began almost a year ago at Government House involving the presentation of young native olive wood trees, symbolically promoting the spirit of peace locally and globally, continued on February 18, 2023 at Springfield in Somerset.

“This latest presentation was done in collaboration with the Bermuda National Trust, the stewards of this centuries-old venue. They welcomed the Peace Tree Campaign to be a part of their scheduled tour of the area, which was wonderfully guided by BNT’s Head of Natural Heritage, Myles Darrell. The BEDC’s Somerset Office also played an invaluable role in the effort.

“The Peace Tree Campaign is but one community response out of concern regarding incidents of anti-social activities and the cycle of violence. This has involved fostering collaboration amongst stakeholder organizations from St. George to the West End.

“In keeping with the strategy of promoting the rich legacy of civic engagement in Bermuda, the timing of this Peace Tree presentation spoke to the beginning of the Progressive Group. That small group of youngish Bermudians first gathered in February 1959 on a weekend to secretly map out a strategy to transform our society to the benefit of all. Three of those pioneers were Somerset residents Gerald and Izola Harvey, as well as the late Dr Stan Ratteray, founder and chairman of the group.

“Following the insightful tour of Springfield, the adjoining Gilbert Nature Reserve, and the Clyde Best Way Wall, which borders the property, participants gathered as Myles Darrell quickly prepared the ground for the planting of the Peace Tree, which was donated by Aideen Ratteray-Pryse, daughter of Stan Ratteray. The brief ceremony included Izola Harvey and Speaker of the House of Parliament Dennis Lister.

“The 97 year-old Mrs Harvey gave a nutshell account of how in 1959 she didn’t let the fact that she was pregnant at the time limit her active contribution to the boycott campaign.

“Speaker Lister noted the vital importance of everyone leveraging our shared legacy and joining together in promoting a positive sense of community. The area’s MP went on to affirm that this issue remains on top of his agenda.

“Also joining for the occasion was Michael Forde, who runs a shop on the property. Glenn Fubler, coordinator of the Peace Tree Campaign, noted that he was impressed that, while Mr Forde had been subjected to anti-social activity, the store owner had been responsive rather than reactive by publicly and empathetically calling for more programs to assist those caught up in drugs and alcohol.”

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