Hundreds of people, young and old, came together to remember the victims of one of the worst genocides in history.
A special service took place on Monday, January 27, to mark this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day, which had a national theme of ‘Journeys’ – relating to the journeys travelled by victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.
Keynote speaker was Gay Keenaghan, who came to North Tyneside on the kindertransport from Vienna as a child and ended up staying, going on to become a teacher and headteacher in a Wallsend school.
Rabbi Aaron Lipsey let the candle on the Holocaust Memorial Plaque to mark the start of the service, which had earlier been opened by North Tyneside Council chairman Coun Janet Hunter.
Children from Carville and Holy Cross RC primary schools, Burnside Business and Enterprise College students, veterans, religious leaders, councillors and officers were also in attendance.
Year 6 pupils from Wallsend’s Holy Cross RC Primary School performed a song they had written for the ceremony after working with local singer-songwriter Phil Caffrey.
Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “This is a very special service which brings together people of all ages and faiths.
“It is a time for all of us to reflect and remember the victims of truly dreadful atrocities which have taken place over the last 70 years and sadly continue in some parts of the world today.”
All those attending the service were asked to write a message to holocaust victims on luggage labels, as part of the ‘journeys’ theme.
Memorial candles were also lit and visitors to Quadrant had the opportunity to write in the Holocaust commemorative book before spending time in the council’s Holocaust Memorial Garden.
• For a video and more pictures from the service visit www.newsguardian.co.uk