The Trees of Rideau Hall

When Prince William and his wife Kate visited Canada in 2011 they planted a hemlock tree on the grounds of Rideau Hall, the home of Canada’s Governor-General in Ottawa. It is a tradition that when someone famous visits Rideau Hall they plant a tree.  On our visit to Ottawa, we took a tour of Rideau Hall and the park surrounding it and I made some notes about the trees I saw.

There are 150 trees planted by famous visitors on the Rideau Hall grounds.  Many of the trees have grown large and their boughs stretch wide and high.

One thing I noticed was many of the people who planted the trees at Rideau Hall had made a positive difference in our world. 

There is a brass marker at the base of each tree telling you who planted it, when it was planted, as well as what kind of tree it is.

I saw a sugar maple planted by Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically elected president. The anti-apartheid activist spent twenty- seven years in prison and became a worldwide symbol of hope to those fighting for freedom and equality.

Diana, Princess of Wales has a tree in Rideau Hall Park. This popular British royal used her notoriety to draw the attention of the world to the needs of people with AIDS and the victims of land mines.

In July of 2011, when William her son and his wife Kate visited Rideau Hall, they stopped for a few moments of silence beside the tree Diana had planted, just after planting their own tree.  Following in the footsteps of Diana’s dedication to public service the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have established a foundation that promotes mental health and wellness.  

John F. Kennedy planted a flourishing red oak tree. Kennedy inspired the establishment of the United States Peace Corps. The organization has sent 200,000 volunteers to 140 countries to help those in need.

When Kofi Annan visited Canada Adrienne Clarkson was the Governor-General living at Rideau Hall.

There’s a tree planted by  Kofi Annan of Ghana, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations.  He won the Nobel Prize for his efforts to bring peace to conflicts in Iraq, Yugoslavia, Nigeria, Libya, East Timor and the Middle East.

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko greet Governor General Michaelle Jean at Rideau Hall before planting their tree

Japan’s Emperor Akihito has a tree at Rideau Hall. In 2011 after a tsunami devastated his country he did something no Japanese royal has ever done before. He made a live television appearance to talk to his people to reassure them and give them hope and then he and his wife visited shelters for storm refugees. 

Many of the famous people who have planted trees at Rideau Hall have used their lives to serve others, and make a difference in the world. 

 Other posts……..

The Beginning And End of Life

I Sat in The Speaker’s Chair

Canada A Country For All Seasons

1 Comment

Filed under Canada, History, Nature, People, Reflections

One response to “The Trees of Rideau Hall

  1. Robert Way

    Thank you for this wonderful memory about the Trees of Rideau Hall. Living in the National Capital since 1980, I have had the privilege and pleasure on several occasions to visit on my own or with other visitors in tow, to wander through the plantings and enjoy the thought of the various famous planters. One in particular stood out for me because I thought he was a wonderful Premier of Manitoba from 1969 to 1977 just before I left. The Right Honourable Ed Schreyer, planted a sugar maple near the end of his term as Governor General of Canada from 1979 to 1984 and before being awarded the Order of Canada. His planting is #47 in the official register of plantings, coincidentally 47 the shortened form for the year I was born in Manitoba:
    47. Sugar Maple
    Acer saccharum The Right Honourable Edward Schreyer, Governor General of Canada
    Mrs. Lily Schreyer and Family
    April 24, 1984
    For those curious to look at the list in more detail, here is the link provided to me by Rideau Hall:
    https://www.gg.ca/en/ceremonial-tree-plantings
    Again the blog you posted brought back so many very great memories of the names of the dignitaries that had graced us with a visit and left a tangible mark on the grounds of Rideau Hall.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.