21 November 2016
A moving ceremony took place at King George V College on Wednesday 19 October when members of Southport's Jewish community, led by Rabbi Norman Ashton, held a Memorial Tree Re-Dedication Service in remembrance of the Holocaust.
Rabbi Norman Zalud, from the Blackpool Reform Jewish Congregation, attended the service to bless the newly planted tree.
Paul Finnigan, Course leader of Modern History, said, "It was fantastic to see so many of KGV's staff and students, past and present, come together to remember the many victims of the Holocaust."
In 2003, Aaron Boasman, an A-level student at KGV secured a flowering cherry from a local garden centre. The tree was blessed by the late Rabbi Kay and acted as a focal point and a permanent reminder to students, staff and visitors of the many men, women and children who had been killed during the Holocaust.
Student members of the College's Holocaust Awareness group have held services to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day in January every year since.
Paul added, "Due to the construction of the Colleges new Creative Arts building, this year the original tree had to be moved to a more suitable position on campus, leading to this special rededication service.
"The Holocaust Memorial Committee for Sefton, led by Mr Michael Braham, was delighted to hear that King George V College wanted to replace the old tree and garden on a new site in the College grounds.
"The planting and re-dedication of the new tree will be a symbol of peace and reflection for all at the college and the wider community."
Anne-Marie Francis, Acting Principal at King George V College, added "The dedication of the tree was a most moving ceremony. I was very proud that so many students and staff attended.
"It is fitting that KGV college, which is committed to valuing young people and building their futures, should challenge those young people to never forget the past. The tree stands as a permanent and poignant reminder which is important to the college and the community."
For photographs from the service, visit the KGV Twitter account at @kgvcollege.