PUPILS from Silvermines NS planted a special ‘Remembrance Tree’ in the picturesque grounds of the school last week in memory of all who have passed away during the past year.
The Acer Maple tree was planted by children from Junior Infants, Senior Infants and 1st class to commemorate all who have passed away in the parish since the first Covid-19 lockdown and school closure on the 12th of March 2020.
The idea to plant the remembrance tree came about on the eve of the anniversary of the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in the country and subsequently it was decided that the school would plant a tree to remember all those in the Silvermines parish who have passed to their eternal reward over the past year.
School Principal, James Hayden said that it had been initially planned to plant the tree last September to mark the progression of sixth class pupils to secondary school after the school year had been cut short by the first Covid-19 lockdown.
“However, due to restrictions we were unable to invite the pupils who had graduated to secondary school back to the school. Our school caretaker, Josephine Corcoran kept the tree until the onset of Spring a few weeks ago and we decided it would be lovely to plant a tree on the school grounds in remembrance of all who have passed in the parish throughout this unprecedented year,” Mr. Hayden explained.
“In the first few months of the pandemic, people were often not able to be with their loved ones as they passed away and family members were unable to attend the funeral and this has been the case for the past year under the restrictions. Hopefully, this tree will serve as a memorial to all who have died in the parish of Silvermines over the past year,” Mr. Hayden added.
“The past year has also brought grief and loss to our lives in ways that most of us have not experienced in our lifetime and it has raised our awareness of the importance of the processes and rituals related to bereavement, dying and death. It is important that we reflect, take time to remember and pay tribute both to those who have lost their lives but also to everyone who has contributed to keeping everyone safe in these challenging times.
“We also thought it fitting here in Silvermines NS that the youngest pupil in the school, Annie Powell should be chosen to plant the tree. Annie was one of a number of pupils in the school who would have experienced loss over the past year, with the passing of her well-known and popular grandfather Samuel Powell from Ballinaclough,” Mr. Hayden concluded.