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Colorful Rites Mark First Planting of Jubilee Forest

December 20, 1935
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Jubilee Forest in honor of King George V of England was inaugurated today with the planting of

twenty-five trees, one for each year of his reign, atop a high hill opposite the Jewish colony of Nahalai in the hills of Nazareth, with Government officials and Zionist leaders participating in the ceremonies.

Palestine High Commissioner Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope placed into the freshly dug soil the oriental cypress tree presented by King George, the only one of its kind in the Windsor Great Park in London and the first tree to be shipped from Britain to Palestine.

The remaining trees, which mark the beginning of the most ambitious of forestation attempt in the Holy Land, aiming to restore to the hills of Nazareth their one-time forest beauty, were planed by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the World Zionist Organization; Menachem M. Ussishkin, 71-year-old president of the Jewish National Fund; David Ben-Gurion, head of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and other Zionist leaders.

The speeches were broadcast to England.

Sir Arthur stressed the importance of afforestation projects in Palestine and promised to convey to the King the message that the forest expresses British Jewry’s homage to the throne.

Speaking in Hebrew, Mr. Ussishkin emphasized the historical importance of the forest as a future symbol of Britain’s role in Jewish history.

Chaim Solomon, member of the Jerusalem Municipal Council, then presented the forest in the name of British Jewry to the Jubilee Committee as a “symbol of loyalty to the throne and a token of gratitude for the freedom the Jews have enjoyed in Britain during the King’s reign.”

The forest was termed a “symbol binding Jewry to the throne” in an address by Dr. Weizmann.

Before the tree-planting ceremony, the party visited the forest planted in honor of Lord Balfour, British Parliamentary leader who drafted the proclamation making Palestine a Jewish homeland. Sir Arthur evinced interest particularly in the tree planted in his honor.

During the visit, members of the party were presented with baskets laden with produce of the forest by children from the Ganigar settlement.

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