Gingko Biloba for peace

Hiroshima Day commemorated in South Perth 6 August 2020

A six-year-old sapling, grown from the seeds of a Gingko Biloba tree which survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, was today planted at the scented gardens in Sir James Mitchell Park, South Perth.

COMMEMORATION: RECOGNISING THE PEACEFUL PLACE

Only two Gingko trees survived the blast and fires of the Hiroshima attack and the seeds emanate from one of these which was situated 1370 metres from the blast’s epicentre.

As part of the Mayors for Peace program, City of South Perth mayor Greg Milner and nursery supervisor John Murray planted the sapling, one of six germinated from the seeds.

The cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed in August 1945 and their massive destruction with great loss of human life hastened the end of Japanese involvement in World War II.

Seeds from Gingko trees which survived these bombings have been distributed around the globe as symbols of peace.

LEAF: GINGKO IN FOLIAGE

Ten of these were received by the City of Fremantle in 2014 and that council asked the City of South Perth to germinate and grow the trees.

Six of these grew to planting maturity and the one in the scented gardens will have siblings at other council jurisdictions throughout Western Australia, in Albany, Rockingham, Cockburn, Fremantle and Subiaco.

Council CEO Geoff Glass briefed invited guests and told how the City of Fremantle planted its tree at 7.15am today, the time the first air raid siren went off in Hiroshima on 6 August, 1945.

Mr Glass told the audience of the name hibakusha given to Hiroshima and Nagasaki victims and of one man, known as a double hibakusha. This businessman was in Hiroshima on 6 August, survived the bomb attack, and returned to Nagaskai where a second atomic bomb was dropped on 9 August, 1945. He survived there too.

Mr Murray paid tribute to the longevity of Gingko Biloba trees which he said are the only trees to survive the Jurassic era.

He said the world’s longest surviving Gingko Biloba tree is 3500 years old. The trees are widely planted throughout the world and are very slow growing

He also praised 10-year staff member, nursery horticulturist Jennifer Grainger, who attended the ceremony. “Her fingers planted the seeds,” he said.

Mayors for Peace was a 1982 initiative of the Mayor of Hiroshima to symbolise and further world peace. Each year on today’s date, Hiroshima Day is celebrated in more than 8000 cities.

CITY OF SOUTH PERTH CEO GEOFF GLASS & SOUTH PERTH MLA JOHN McGRATH
REPRESENTING PEACE: ATTENDEES AT THE CITY OF SOUTH PERTH PLANTING

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