To mark the 25th anniversary of the University of Northern British Columbia, hundreds of people gathered at its Terrace campus June 2 to witness the planting of a western red cedar.
It’s one of 16,000 to be planted around the north in honour of the same number of people who signed a petition in the 1980s advocating for the formation of a university to serve the north.
The red cedar at the Terrace UNBC campus joins another one beside it planted a few years ago.
The significance of the tree-planting was expressed in an address by Phil Burton, the university’s northwest administrator and an ecology professor.
“This is a manifestation of the resolve,” said Burton of the continued success of the university that is based in Prince George but has satellite campuses in Quesnel and Fort St. John in addition to Terrace.
“It’s a living memorial to those 16,000 individuals.”
In 50 years one of the two tree will be taken down and used for a totem pole carving.
Several of the original petition signees were there to mark the occasion including Margaret Warcup and John and Evelyn Pousette.
University president Daniel Weeks was also on hand.
The tree planting followed the university’s local convocation which was held at the REM Lee Theatre.