Rev Weldon with Folkestone Mayor Cllr Nicola Keen, Chair of FHDC Cllr Philip Martin & Mrs Martin at the ceremony – Photo: Ray Duff

Words and pictures by Ray Duff – Around 100  people, including school students, local councillors, members of affected communities and the general public, joined Folkestone Town Mayor Cllr Nicola Keen, Deputy Mayor Cllr Belinda Walker and MP Damian Collins, to mark the annual commemoration ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day.

Joining them were representatives from Kent Police, the Armed Forces, Merchant Navy Association and the Royal British Legion.

The congregation assembles in the Garden of Remembrance Photo: Ray Duff

The gathering took place in the Garden of Remembrance in Sandgate Road, beside the memorial stone and flower bed at 11am. This year’s theme was ‘Ordinary People’.

Everyone was welcomed by the Mayor, followed by an introductory speech by the Mayor’s Chaplain the Rev Bob Weldon who both recounted why the event is needed so that no-one forgets the horrors perpetrated during World War Two in the concentration camps, and the subsequent genocides since then, plus the on-going work to try to prevent such from happening again.

The school students then led the ceremony in recounting their studies of the Holocaust and related to this years theme:

  • Perpetrators as ordinary people: Earlscliffe & Folkestone School for Girls.
  • Persecuted as ordinary people : Turner Free School.
  • Rescuers as ordinary people: Harvey Grammar School.
  • Ordinary people as bystanders: Brockhill Park performing Arts College.

FHDC leader Cllr David Monk with MP Damian Collins and aide Photo: Ray Duff

There followed a short musical piece entitled ‘Shoah Memorium’ , composed and performed by Isaac Jones on tenor horn, accompanied by Mr Steve Barker on piano.

The Rev Weldon led the introduction to the reading of the Statement of Commitment, with each school taking turns to read sections of it concluding with The Town Mayor and Chaplain.

The ceremony concluded with the placing of stones on the Memorial, a Jewish tradition, whilst The Kaddish was read by Debbie Freidman, the event then closing with prayers by the Rev Weldon followed by a reception in Holy Trinity Church.

A Wreath and flowers were laid by the Royal British Legion Photo: Ray Duff

This year people are also asked to take part in ‘Light the Darkness’, which involves placing a candle safely in a window at 4pm. 

Further info:- 

The event brochure cover

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust:

By Ed

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