People linked to the College will know that a beautiful tree once stood directly outside the Refectory, a tree that had witnessed all of the College’s history from its foundation in 1871 and featured in numerous photographs of the College in its early days, even providing a backdrop to the installation of Winston Churchill as Warden of the Cinque Ports in 1941. Tragically, the diseased tree had to be cut down in the summer of 2015 as it was a danger to pupils and staff.
After suggestions from pupils, the tree that replaced it today was a Peace Tree.
Inspired by trees from the Far East and across the globe, most specifically at The Hague outside the International Courts of Justice, pupils and staff will be encouraged to add to its branches with tied paper containing thoughts, prayers, names of loved ones, or indeed anything that they want to share in a private yet public way.
The tree was planted by Robin Fletcher, Chief Executive of the Boarding Schools Association, and forms part of a worldwide project that every boarding school in the world plants a tree to represent knowledge and growth. For the College, the tree will also be an emblem of world peace and a reminder of our common humanity.