Selena Jade A'lee and her father Colin A'lee.
Photo by Sandy Gall.
Throughout 2012 the UK communities, local government departments and cabinet office sponsored an initiative inviting people from all the nine major faith communities to contribute to their local areas across the UK by organizing events under the theme 'Earthkind' as a way to mark and celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
SGI-UK is the UK arm of Soka Gakkai International (SGI) a lay Buddhist organisation whose members follow and put into practice the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism.
Soka Gakkai translated means 'Value Creating Society'. With this uppermost in our hearts and minds, Moray Firth and Speyside District members of SGI-UK, invited members from Highlands and Islands to join them, in what we considered a most 'Earthkind' initiative, supporting the charity 'Trees for Life,' in their vision and inspirational work of restoring the Caledonian Forest of the Highlands of Scotland.
We determined to seek out creative ways of raising sufficient funds to create 'A Celebration Grove' of 60 trees. One tree to mark each year of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's reign.
Our combined efforts to raise funds included a joyous fund-raising Scottish Country dancing evening, selling on ebay, the contribution and sale of beautiful cards from a member and individual donations. Together, this has resulted in having generated sufficient funds for our grove to commence with the planting of not 60, but 84 saplings trees, on the designated site of 'The Dundreggan Diamond Jubilee Wood,' in the Highlands of Scotland.
"When we limit ourselves with low expectations, the growth of the tree of happiness immediately ceases. The power of growth, of improvement, the power to overcome all stagnation, and break through every obstacle and transform a barren wasteland into a verdant field, that unstoppable power of hope resides right there within your heart. It will well up from the rich earth of your innermost being when you face the future without doubt or fear: I can do more. I can grow. I can become a bigger and better human being: Life and faith is a never ending struggle to grow."
Daisaku Ikeda, SGI Newsletter no 6039.
As we celebrate the extraordinary reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, we celebrate in being proud disciples of our Mentor in faith and life Nichiren Daishonin, and our Mentor in the 21st century Daisaku Ikeda, the President of Soka Gakkai International. We join in celebrating the beauty and majesty of Scotland with our contribution for this grove of trees, entrusting it to assist with the restoration and regeneration of The Caledonian Forest. We determine that our grove of trees will thrive and mature magnificently, creating a beautiful landscape as our lasting legacy for future generations to marvel at and enjoy and that it will be a thriving home and source of nourishment for all manner of woodland life.
With deepest gratitude and THANK YOU to all who have contributed to this grove so far.
James Pretlove and all who made donations at the Scottish Country Dance evening on 6/7/2012, venue Cluny
Colin A'lee, Sandie and Alec
Carmen Rodriguez and Selena
Lorna of Lovat Lodge Nairn
And to all who have contributed in anyway and to all who may contribute in the future, thankyou.
Also, to all at Trees for Life, THANK YOU for your vision and dedication. Without it this grove and the future regeneration of the Caledonian Forest would not be possible.
On behalf of Highlands, Islands & Moray Chapter of SGI-UK.
The Buddhist Society for the creation of
value through peace, education and culture.
"A great human revolution in just a single individual will enable a change in the destiny of all humankind.