Four of the cherry trees in Prince Rupert received grafts in April and have a high chance of survival after being carved up in March. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

In Our Opinion: From lemons to lemonade

How a mistake turned into a memory for a Japanese family and Prince Rupert residents

Here’s a plaque that will never die, but will etch a family history for all time.

Now that is an apology.

After the Northern View published more than 10 stories, updates and opinions about the accidental chopping of the historic Japanese cherry trees, the government made a big play to ease the tension.

Not everyone was privy to the moving speeches delivered by Henry Shimizu and his son Gregory on Nov. 15, which is why we shared the whole 25-minute presentation in the story.

The public apology felt genuine. The government spoke little, and stepped back to allow the Shimizu family to take the spotlight, reconnect with their past and find honour in sharing the family story.

READ MORE: Ottawa apologizes to Japanese family in B.C. after chopping historic cherry trees

There are moments in their story — when young Henry was sent away to the internment camp never to return, or when a nearly blind Shotaro decided to gift 1,200 trees without ever seeing them blossom or even planning a return to hear praise from Rupertites ­— that send a shiver up the spine.

In the past month we started posting our podcast, and noteworthy audio, on our Podbean channel, and the Shimizu speech has had the most listeners so far with more than 330 downloads in a couple of days.

With delicacy, and respect, the federal government placed the appropriate book ends to story. Even though none of the Shimizu family live in Prince Rupert, they were all flown up to Prince Rupert, which proved to be more of a gift for residents who have followed the story since the trees were cut down in front of the federal building in March.

While the Shimizu’s were rekindled with their history, and have had it set in stone for eternity, Prince Rupert also learned what it means to look beyond our everyday trees, buildings, boats and other objects within our landscape.

This city is full of stories just waiting to be told. Hopefully it doesn’t take a loss to remember what they are.

READ MORE: In Our Opinion: The sound of cherry trees



newsroom@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

In Our Opinion

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Heavy rainfall warning

Rainfall expected to exceed 100 mm in Prince Rupert and North Coast regions

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

Community engagement process launched to implement northern B.C. First Nation’s rights and title

Dogs are matched with the person, not the person matched to the dog – Prince Rupert SPCA

Prince Rupert SPCA does their due diligence in adopting dogs to suitable human companions

Photo Gallery: Memorial totem pole raising in Prince Rupert

The memorial pole stands in memory of Prince Rupert carvers mother on Second Ave. West

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

External community engagement process launched to help implement Wet’suwet’en rights and title

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Most Read