Commemorative events took place in the dramatic setting of St Mary’s Lighthouse, Whitley Bay, as part of North Tyneside Council’s programme to mark HMD 2016.
Lit up in purple for the whole week, the lighthouse provided a venue for the opening event of a week of commemorations as school pupils, dignitaries, the local HMD committee and elected mayor of North Tyneside, Norma Redfearn, came together to mark HMD.
Students from Whitley Bay High School shared their thoughts as they reflected on a recent visit to Auschwitz.
Rob Smith from North Tyneside Council said: ‘We illuminated St Mary’s Lighthouse in North Tyneside to raise awareness of the victims of genocide and used the colour purple to reflect the symbolic flame of the HMD symbol’.
A separate service was held on Wednesday 27 January at North Tyneside Council’s Quadrant building, featuring Marta Josephs, the daughter of a holocaust survivor reflecting on the theme of Don’t stand by. This service was attended by local primary schools, veterans, religious leaders, councillors and officers.
Other speakers included 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 were lit and visitors to Quadrant also had the opportunity to write in a Holocaust commemorative book. Guests were also invited to spend time in the council's Holocaust Memorial Garden - the only one of its kind in the North.
Elected Mayor, Norma 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 today.
‘This year's illumination of the lighthouse will be very symbolic and will draw attention to the HMD message across our borough.’
- If this example has inspired you to organise an activity for HMD 2017, read our theme vision here.