Special events to remember the Holocaust

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Two special commemorative events are to be held to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

On Monday, January 25, St Mary’s Lighthouse will be illuminated purple, the colour used by the national Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.

Guests including Mayor Norma Redfearn and Lessons from Auschwitz Ambassadors (students from Whitley Bay High School) will be in attendance for a short service before the switch-on at 7.30pm.

Mrs Redfearn, said: “Our Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations are when we pause together to remember those who have been victims of dreadful atrocities; not just from the Holocaust, but in the years since and sadly continuing in some parts of the world.

“This year’s illumination of the lighthouse will be very symbolic and will draw attention to the HMD message across our borough.”

A memorial service, not open to the public, will be held at the council’s Quadrant headquarters on Wednesday, January 27. Keynote speaker is Marta Josephs, the daughter of a holocaust survivor.

Pupils from Waterville, Holystone, Carville and Marine Park primary schools, along with veterans, religious leaders, councillors and officers, will attend the event.

Year 6 pupils from Wallsend’s Holy Cross RC Primary School will perform a song they have written especially for the ceremony, working with local singer songwriter Phil Caffrey.

Students from Churchill Community College will share their reflections from Auschwitz, following a recent visit to the former concentration camp.

Other speakers are Monsignor Andrew Faley of St Edward’s RC Church, Reverend Tony Curtis of St Mark’s Church, John Anderson – former Newcastle United footballer – representing Show Racism the Red Card and North Tyneside’s Young Mayor, Abbie Armstrong.

Memorial candles will be lit, and visitors to Quadrant will also have the opportunity to write in the Holocaust commemorative book.

Guests will then be invited to spend time in the council’s Holocaust Memorial Garden – the only one of its kind in the North.