A parishioner of Our Lady’s Parish told staff and pupils at the school that a tree in Kensington Gardens, next to the school, had been planted many years ago in remembrance of the Holocaust.
After a search of the park, a plaque was found lying broken on the ground next to a tree. After cleaning it, the pupils were able to read that the tree had been planted in 2002 to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. The pupils were not happy that the sign had broken and fallen to the ground and decided to take action.
Pupils in Year 5 and 6 began to learn about the Holocaust. This led to the discovery that children from the Kindertransport travelled to Lowestoft in 1938. They also learnt about holocaust survivors and took part in a project to write postcards to them.
The pupils organised a prayer service on January 29, held by the tree and invited local residents and representatives from local churches. At the service they sang ‘Shalom my friend’, said prayers and made the sign of peace.
The newly-formed Friends of Kensington Gardens, have kindly offered to make a new sign to remind visitors why the tree is there and why we must not forget.
When asked what they had learnt from this experience, one child said: "We need to remember the mistakes of the past, so that we can learn how to live together in peace today."
Pictured above are some of the St Mary's pupils with the broken Holocaust Memorial tree sign