Citizens recognize the gift from our twin city in Japan. Blossoms on the Sakura trees worth celebrating.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  April 25, 2012  It took a little juggling but Burlington’s Mundialization Committee managed to get the permit they needed out of the Clerk`s Office and they can now hold the Sakura Tree celebration ceremony they had planned on Sunday April 29th.  It will take place at 1:00 pm at Spender Smith Park and while there may not be a large crowd on hand the significance of the event is important.

These sakura trees have been in place for close to 25 years. Each spring their blossoms come out, first in pink and then change to white, and then fall to the ground. Each spring the hope, the beauty and the relationship with the people of Japan who gave us the trees is renewed.

The trees have been in place for close to 25 years.  Each spring they sprout pink blossoms that turn to white.  Set out as they are in two rows in Spencer Smith Park closer to the east end immediately south of Lakeshore Road they are a very, very impressive sight.

After a short period of time the pink blossoms turn white and then they fall away.  The early spring we have had this year brought the pink blossoms out a little earlier than usual and then the sudden shift in weather shook everything up.  But the ceremony to commemorate and remember the relationship we have with Itabashi still takes place.  Each year the trees blossom and remind us of those people in Japan.

Ed Dorr worked with Parks and Recreation staff and can’t say enough about Karen Sabzali, with the Parks and Recreation department, and the help she gave in getting through the layers of bureaucracy in the Clerk`s department.  Sabzali gets the `we have customers` message.

Dorr couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about.  The city wanted the $100 fee for the permit paid, the Mundialization committee had to pass a motion to approve the payment when all that was happening was $100 was being moved from one city pocket to the other.  Such is the way some departments at city hall work.  The city managers direction to treat citizens as clients and leave them wanting to come back to your store is quite new and hasn’t reached all the departments yet and those that did get the message are still getting used to the idea.

When you are in Spencer Smith Park and you see the trees, pause and remember how they got here.

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