Maidenhead Rotary Club president Mary Spinks travelled to the Czech Republic at the weekend to take part in the planting of nearly 100 oak trees in memory of Sir Nicholas Winton.
A long-serving member of the Rotary Club, Sir Nicholas, who died in 2015, is a national hero in the Czech Republic for saving 669 children from the Nazis at the outbreak of WWII by bringing them to the UK on the so-called Kindertransport trains.
Hundreds of people of all ages took part in the planting of 90 trees to form Winton’s Alley, a 550m footpath within sight of the legendary Říp Hill, one of the country’s most important national monuments where, according to legend, the Czechs first settled.
In a day heavy with symbolism, participants including the Czech prime minister, and Sir Nicholas’s son Nick, travelled to the area by train from Prague station – where the Kindertransports had set out from.
Also there were four of those saved as children by the Kindertransports, among them British peer Baron Alf Dubs. The family of Sir Nicolas’s daughter Barbara, who passed away recently, also took part in the tree-planting.
President Mary said: “It was very moving and interesting. Schoolchildren sang songs in Hebrew while the trees were being planted and a stone was unveiled to mark the creation of Winton’s Alley. Sir Nicholas is like a rock star there and it was a great honour to be invited to take part.”