Rideau Hall Grounds. Ottawa, Canada
7 May 2015
President Benigno S. Aquino III marked his state visit to Canada with a ceremonial planting of a tree in his name on the grounds of Rideau Hall.
Accompanied by Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada and Mrs. Sharon Johnston, the President did the ceremonial throwing of a spade full of earth to a red spruce (Picea rubens) tree planted beside the grown red maple (Acer rubrum) tree that was planted by his mother, former president Corazon Aquino, during her state visit to Canada on November 6, 1989. It was a symbolic act to use the same spade that his mother used in planting the tree.
Governor General Johnston remarked later that evening in a state dinner for the President that he was so touched when he watched President Aquino planted a tree beside the one planted by his mother.
“With the exception of those planted by our beloved Queen and her children, this is, in fact, a first at Rideau Hall. Nowhere else on the grounds will you find two generations of trees—planted by parent and child, mother and son—standing side by side. I have no doubt that your tree will thrive and grow tall and strong, as your mother’s tree has done,” he said.
The tradition of ceremonial tree planting at Rideau Hall goes back in 1906 with the visit of Prince Arthur of Connaught, son of Prince Arthur, the Duke of Connaught, and later governor general.
Over the years, more than 130 commemorative trees now grace the grounds of Rideau Hall, planted by members of the Royal Family, heads of state and other dignitaries, and to mark special anniversaries and the end of a Governor General’s mandate. It symbolizes the living friendship and cooperation of nations.
The National Capital Commission helps in the selection of the species of the trees — for their beauty and their ability to withstand the Ottawa climate. NCC officer Jennifer Macnamara assisted the President during the ceremonial tree planting.
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