Today at Calton Hill, alongside the Holodomor Stone which commemorates the estimated seven million Ukrainian victims of the forced famine of 1932-1933, a ceremonial Rowan Tree was planted and dedicated to Edinburgh’s Ukrainian community.
This tree was planted as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) initiative. Established for the Platinum Jubilee of her late majesty Queen Elizabeth II earlier this year, the initiative was extended by the current patron King Charles III until March 2023 to include the full UK tree planting season.
The ceremonial planting was attended by the Lord Lieutenant of the City of Edinburgh, Councillor Robert Aldridge, Council Leader Cammy Day, Branch Chair of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB) Edinburgh, Hannah Beaton-Hawryluk ,Consul of Ukraine Andrii Kuslii, Polish Consul General Łukasz Lutostanski, and Father Vasyl Krenj of the Ukrainian Catholic Church Our Lady of Pochayiv.
December 20th also marked three hundred days since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine which made the proceedings even more poignant and served as a reminder of the great cost of the conflict.
Here in Edinburgh, we remain committed to supporting Ukrainians living and settling in the city. Just this month we welcomed a delegation from our sister city Kyiv and also were recognised alongside the Ukrainian community for the work that has been carried out over the past year.
The Lord Lieutenant of the City of Edinburgh, Councillor Robert Aldridge said:
“It was a great honour today as Lord Lieutenant to take part in the planting of this tree to highlight our fantastic Ukrainian community here in Scotland’s capital city.
“I can think of few worthier groups to recognise for their efforts. In the last year under the most trying and testing of circumstances our Ukrainian community has worked tirelessly with compassion, dedication, and solidarity.
“I would like to pay tribute to AUGB Edinburgh who have been at the forefront of these efforts, alongside all our colleagues and partners.
“I would also like to thank the Queen’s Green Canopy for providing this wonderful opportunity today”.
Hannah Beaton-Hawryluk, Branch Chair of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB) Edinburgh, said:
“It was a great honour that the Ukrainian Community in Edinburgh were remembered by Her Majesty the Queen. The Rowan tree will be a great producer of berries for the wildlife and help feed them.
“Also, Rowans are planted at the gates of homes to keep evil spirits away, I truly hope both are true. We must look after our planet and all those that inhabit it.”