A native oak tree has been planted at Chapel Gate as a part of a national campaign to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR).
The AJR is a national charity providing social and welfare services to Holocaust refugees and survivors in the UK. BU has created space for the oak tree at Chapel Gate as a part of the 80 trees for 80 years campaign, which will see 80 trees planted across Britain to honour people and places that symbolise the contribution made by refugees who escaped from Nazi Europe.
The tree was planted on 27 January 2022, on Holocaust Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for the millions murdered during the Second World War, and subsequent genocides across the world.
The tree planted at Chapel Gate was sponsored by Charlotte Balazs, whose parents arrived in England from Austria before the outbreak of the Second World War, finding sanctuary in the UK. She spoke at the event, saying, “Bournemouth has long been a much-loved holiday destination for the Jewish community, and as a family we started coming here in the late-50s. Bournemouth was always so welcoming and friendly, and remains so today, as I am a regular visitor to Bournemouth. Bournemouth and Dorset is my second home and it is so very special to plant this tree today.
Professor John Vinney, Vice-Chancellor of Bournemouth University, also spoke at the event, helping to plant the tree. He said, “We are delighted to be able to be able to provide a site for this tree, something that we will take good care of as it grows, and to be able to commemorate this important day together. I am proud that this tree will act as a permanent reminder of the contribution that the Jewish community has made to Bournemouth, Dorset and the UK, and a place of remembrance for many years to come.”
For more information about the Association of Jewish Refugees, including the 80 trees for 80 years campaign, visit the AJR website. BU’s Chapel Gate site houses a variety of sporting facilities, and the tree is planted at the site’s entrance, among the 65-acres of green space.