Tree of Light

At the beginning of December many Rotary clubs throughout the United Kingdom launch their annual ‘Tree of Light’.  The concept of the ‘Tree of Light’ was introduced into Shropshire from South Africa in the 1990s by a county Rotarian. For many years, since its inception, my father was a member of the small committee of Rotarians that run the Telford ‘Tree of Light’; these Rotarians are from the four Rotary clubs of Telford.

The name and symbolism of the ‘Tree of Light’ reminds us that there can be light and hope even in bleak circumstances.  The main aim of the ‘Tree of Light’ is to serve the public and the community which is at the heart of the Rotary organisation whose motto is ‘service above self”.

People are invited to sponsor a light on the tree in memory of a loved one (or a cause dear to them) and the monies raised are divided between local charities. The commemoration of a loved one around the tree provides a sense of wellbeing to those who take part.

The names of the nominees are displayed around the base of the tree, on the ‘Tree of Light’s web page and also published in the local newspaper.  There is always one main charity to which half of the monies raised is donated; the other half is split equally between the Rotary clubs that administer ‘The Tree of Light’, for them to donate to a local charity of their choice.  This year the charities are the Telford Hospice, Landau (supported employment), Hope House Children’s Hospices, Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Princess Royal Hospital Breast Cancer Support Group.

My father spent many a long hour in the run up to Christmas attending committee meetings or sitting upstairs at home processing names and lists for publication under the tree and in the local newspaper.  His involvement included receiving phone calls from some of the sponsors who had queries   about their request.  He loved the premise and the concept of the ‘Tree of Light’ and that it provided a treasured service to people at this particular time of year.

Christmas is a time for families and friends and also a time for remembering absent friends and family.  The ‘Tree of Light’ is a welcome opportunity to remember and cherish absent friends, it is only fitting that my father’s name now appears amongst those names that, alongside his fellow Rotarians, he helped commemorate over the years.

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One thought on “Tree of Light

  1. I love the idea of the tree, and what it represents.
    December 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChantal

    This is a beautiful tribute to your father, Cherry, and to all Rotarians everywhere who serve the interests of others. The trees in your image remind me of Christmas trees covered in angel’s hair. How appropriate!
    December 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGinnie

    We have – in the Judaic tradition – what’s called the ‘Tree of Life’..whereon every leaf is inscribed the name of a remembered loved one. It’s so much more beautiful when the tree is all lit up like this..and such a meaningful way for you to honor and remember your father and all of the work that he did.
    Gorgeous image!
    December 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarcie

    The Rotary club does good work around the world; this concept being one example of there charitable acts.

    I’m curious about your beautiful image. Did you use a little pixel bender or a fractal program? What ever technique you used, it was utilized very effectively.
    December 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSue

    A lovely post Cherie, I love the tree and the thoughts that went with it. I am sure it was always the Rotary Club that have done those wonderful Christmas carols on a lit up wagon too. As someone above says ~ a great tribute to your Dad and lots of other people who spend their time on very worthwhile causes.
    December 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChrissy

    your image is really beautiful, and i was moved by your words that included remembering those who are no longer alive to celebrate while lighting up the pathways with magic for those who have so much about which to feel joyful. light, hope, memory, and santa!!! nice.
    December 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhoney

    A beautiful gesture and wonderful symbol… I like what some people do for other people. It makes my heart grow and spread love.
    Thank you for describing tradition of R.C in your country. I hope it will stay alive forever!
    December 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJozica @ Creatissimo

    Chantal – Thanks, I love the idea too.

    Ginnie – Thankyou, I always find it heartwarming when people look after others.

    Marcie – That sounds a wonderful tradition, helping keep memories alive.

    Sue – Yes the Rotary organistion does a lot of good work. I processed the image through Corel Painter using the oil painting option.

    Chrissy – Thankyou, I am glad you enjoyed the post. The ‘Tree of Light’ gives hope and light on so many levels.

    Honey – I am glad the post conveyed to you what I meant 🙂

    Jozica – I like that some people will go out of their way to help other people. It is the way forward in life 🙂
    December 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCherryPie

    Lovely image. Like a Van Gogh:) I definitely miss my family members who aren’t with us anymore, especially the ones who pass too soon.
    December 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPuna

    What a beautiful photograph, Cherry and a very meaningful post :-).

    I also love all it represents, spending my Christmases away from my family is always hard. This year I also would place lights in this tree for the memory of the loved ones I have lost this year.
    December 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnyes – Far Away in the Sunshine

    I love the idea of this Tree of Light – a tree of life really. The Rotary Club is such a great organisation that does so much good work around the world. What a lovely tribute this is to your father as well.
    December 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarola

    What a great tradition, a wonderful memory of your father, and a beautiful photo to go with it all. This has given me an idea of creating ornaments out of photos of my family members who haved passed away or live too far away to see at Christmas time. Kind of a way to remember and feel their presence during the holidays.
    December 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaery Rose

    Love that picture, looks as if There is cotton wool around the lights.
    And a beautiful tribute to your father.
    December 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterPetra

    Puna – I hadn’t thought of it looking like a Van Gogh, but now you mention it…

    Anyes – Thank you, I can see your lights in that tree already 🙂

    Carola – Yes the Rotary Club, does a lot of good work. I agree the tree is all about life 🙂

    Maery Rose – I really love your idea, I am glad I inspired you to think of it.

    Petra – Thank you. I rather like the effect around the lights.
    December 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCherryPie

    A beautifully rendered image and such a heartwarming story of love and commitment.
    December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

    Oh Cherry…love…love this image and your sentiment!!
    December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary Sherman

    what a lovely image, and a beautiful way to remember loved ones. such a touching tribute.
    December 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkelly

    Marie – Thank you, I am glad you found it so.

    Mary – I am so glad you enjoyed it.

    Kelly – I think it is a lovely way to remember loved ones too.
    December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCherryPie

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