The Norden community gathered in Jubilee Park to pay tribute as a wishing tree was unveiled in memory of Councillor Ann Metcalfe.
Councillor Metcalfe, who served the Norden ward for eight years, wanted to erect a wishing tree in the park, but died aged 67 in February this year before the project was complete.
The Rochdale Township pressed ahead with the scheme and the wishing tree was installed in July this year before its official unveiling at weekend, which was attended by around 70 people, including Ann’s two daughters, her partner Alan and her grandchildren.
Speaking at the unveiling, Ann’s daughter Emma Metcalfe said that the tree was very much like her mother was, earthy and strong, and spoke about how proud her mother would have been to see her project realised.
Wishing trees have been used in village communities for many years and give locals the opportunity to hang messages and offerings from their branches.
Councillor Ashley Dearnley, Leader of the Conservative group on which Ann served, said: “It was a lovely occasion and good to see so many people turning out. It was also very moving. Emma spoke marvellously about her mother. Ann was a very optimistic person and I think it’s very fitting that such a positive symbol which will benefit the community in the future will always stand in the park in her name.”
The Rochdale Township will be writing to primary schools in the area in the next few months to encourage them to use the tree to hang their messages and other mementoes.
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