Barking school plants COVID-19 memorial tree
Manor Junior School in Barking planted a tree of hope last week in memory of those who have suffered during the pandemic.
The school welcomed special guests Councillor Evelyn Carpenter, Councillor Lynda Rice, Headteacher of Barking Abbey Tony Roe, and the school’s board of governors.
The planting of a tree is something current, and future generations can come together to enjoy too - it draws us together to remember and commemorate.
Head pupils, Shiloh and Zafir, led the event with readings and personal experiences of the devastation COVID-19 has had on their families and the community.
Headteacher, Clare D’Netto, said: “Many of our families lost dear ones and have struggled emotionally and financially; the anxiety caused by the pandemic still resonates.
“The planting of a tree is something current, and future generations can come together to enjoy too - it draws us together to remember and commemorate.
“We chose to plant a magnolia tree because it will blossom in early spring, an annual reminder of when our community began to feel the full force of the COVID-19 infection.”
The new tree replaces a cherry tree planted at the school in 1953 for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, which fell in a storm earlier this year.
Councillor Evelyn Carpenter, Cabinet Member for Educational Attainment and School Improvement, commented: “I had a memorable afternoon at the COVID-19 memorial at Manor Junior School.
“I was honoured and delighted to be part of the thoughtful afternoon’s reflections and had the pleasure of helping to plant the magnolia tree as part of the school’s memorial with eloquent readings and reflections from the pupils.”