20 April 2011
new oak tree was planted in New Ferry Park on Tuesday 19th April 2011 in
a ceremony to honour soldiers from the local Merseyside area. A
new bench, one of a number of new benches in the park, was also
dedicated to their sacrifice.
The bench, which bears a plaque dedicated to those killed and wounded
like Wirral soldier Pte Danny Oxley who lost three limbs in an IED
explosion, was presented by the New Ferry Friends of the Park and the
New Ferry Regeneration Action Group.
Soldiers from 107 Field Squadron were joined by Wirral south MP Alison
McGovern and Major Eddie Pickering MBE, representing the Mercian
regiment, as the tree was planted with a silver spade.
Among those being remembered were Mercians Pte Douglas Halliday, 20,
from Rock Ferry and Pte Alex Isaac, 20, from Eastham who drowned when
the vehicle they were travelling in crashed into a canal in Afghanistan
The new oak
tree was chosen to be planted as it traditionally has symbolised
strength and courage. In previous times, the oak has also symbolised
ancient Romans thought oak trees attracted lightening and thereby
connected the oak tree to the sky god, Jupiter and his wife, Juno,
the goddess of marriage, making the oak a symbol of conjugal
fidelity and fulfillment.
tree was regarded by Socrates as an oracle tree.
Druids likewise ate acorns in preparation for prophesying. Druids
also believed the leaves of the oak tree had the power to heal and
renew strength. At mid-winter the Druids cut mistletoe from the oak
tree for a good harvest for the year ahead and this is where we get
our Xmas tradition with mistletoe.
has also been a centre piece for tribal meetings and ceremonies, and
would often be used by Vikings as a special meeting place for the
Viking Thing, or Governing Assembly, something Wirral is known for
with its well documented Viking ancestry.
The new tree
in New Ferry Park will not only be a location for remembrance and thanks
to our past and present service personnel, it will also become a new
place of meeting – and if it grows – and if the vandals leave it alone –
will hopefully become a part of New Ferry’s heritage for future
generations to enjoy.
additional new benches have been installed in the park with plaques
dedicating them to the memory of former New Ferry residents and friends
including Mel Roberts (aka "The Butterfly Man") who helped to found the
Butterfly Park and NFRAG, Dave Gregory - a former councillor who also
worked very hard for the New Ferry Community; and Amy Brady, who founded
the phenomenally successfully Wirral Farmers Market.
were kindly donated by the Wirral Old People's Parliament, whilst Wirral
Council Parks department provided the new oak tree.