Rotherham stands together to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

Published Monday, 29th January 2018
Speakers at the Holocaust Memorial Day service.
Speakers at the Holocaust Memorial Day service.

Over 350 people attended a moving ceremony in All Saint’s Square on Thursday 25 January to mark this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day.

The event, hosted by the Mayor of Rotherham Cllr Eve Rose Keenan, featured a number of songs and readings linked to this year’s national theme of “The Power of Words”.

Faith leaders, local community members and dignitaries came together in a show of unity and solidarity – urging all the community to think about the language they use, and the impact their words have on others around them.

Cllr Rose Keenan said: “We have once again been overwhelmed by the number of people from across the borough who came forward to speak and support this event – every year we have more and more people attending and taking part.

“It was an extremely moving occasion, which brought together people of all ages, and from all communities. A special thank you to the 150 school children that sang some wonderful songs at our event to make it even more special.”

A choir made up of pupils from St Mary’s Primary School and St Bernard’s Secondary School opened the event, with additional performances from year six pupils from St Ann’s Junior and Infant School performing their school anthem, ‘Can You Hear My Voice’, and students from Oakwood High School singing a song called ‘Butterfly’.

To close the event, an original song, ‘The Power of Words’, was performed by Nic Harding and Mario Dabbor, a Year 11 pupil from Clifton Comprehensive School.

Faith leaders, community members and dignitaries in attendance included the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, Mr Andrew Coombe; Major Adrian Hunt from Military Community Veterans Centre; Rabbi Yonason Golomb from Sheffield Synagogue; Imam Zahid Hussain from Rotherham Council of Mosques; Reverend Phil Batchford from Rotherham Minster; Pastor Adrian Dexter from Rotherham Inter-Faith Forum; Cllr Chris Read, Leader of Rotherham Council; Cllr Allen Cowles, Rotherham Council’s Leader of the Opposition; Sharon Kemp, Chief Executive of Rotherham Council, Emilia Ashton from Rotherham Youth Cabinet: and the Mayor’s Consort, Mr Pat Keenan.

Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust Olivia Marks-Woldman said: "Holocaust Memorial Day is such an important day for people to learn the lessons of the past to create a safer, better future. Rotherham's HMD event, attended by our Regional Support Worker Rosie Crook, was a moving community event with young people at its centre. All who attended cannot fail to have been inspired."

The public event in Rotherham is now in its third year and is an annual event to help local people mark Holocaust Memorial Day.  The internationally renowned Anne Frank + You exhibition, run through the Anne Frank Trust UK, will also be displayed in Riverside House from 21st February to the 7th April 2018.