The hashtag #blueforSudan has been trending internationally on Twitter as people seek to raise broader awareness of the situation in the country. The colour has been chosen because it was the Instagram avatar of Mattar, an engineering graduate. The hashtag has become a rallying point for Sudanese nationals outside the country, with users encouraged to share statistics of victims of the government’s crackdown alongside the images: 500 killed, 723 injured, 650 arrested, 54 raped, 1000 missing. My own sister was born in Sudan but sadly it was a whole different, politically stable, country 70 years ago.
The invasion 75 years ago was postponed 24 hours to take advantage of a good weather window forecast for 6th June 1944.
Rain and strong winds returned on 7th June – just as they are doing right now on 7th June 2019. #dday #dday75 #dday75thanniversary #weather #ukweather
J U N E . L I G H T H O U S E
This month our lighthouse calendar features St Abbs Head in Berwickshire. The #lighthouse was engineered by David and Thomas Stevenson and first lit in 1862.
Photo credit Razvan Dan.
In 1935, the French rose breeder, Francis Meilland, the third generation in a family of rose growers near Lyon, selected 50 ‘promising’ seedlings from his seedbeds. One was tagged 3 – 35 – 40 and over the next four years Francis and his father, Papa Meilland, watched its development with interest.
In spite of war clouds gathering, the unnamed rose was introduced to friends and professional rose growers who gave it an enthusiastic ‘thumbs up’. But three months later Hitler invaded France and, with the nursery under threat of destruction, three parcels of budwood were hastily sent out of France, one of which was smuggled out in the diplomatic bag to America for safe-keeping.
For the duration of the war the Meilland family had no idea whether any of the budwood had survived. In America their agent planted the rose in his own trial beds and gave it to other rose growers for testing in all the climatic zones throughout the United States. The rose did so well that it was decided to release it in the United States and thousands of plants were propagated. Although the war was still raging in Europe, the launch date was set for 29 April 1945, in Pasadena, California.
On the same day that two doves were released into the American sky to symbolise the naming of the rose, Berlin fell and a truce was declared. It was sheer coincidence. In naming the rose, this simple statement was read: “We are persuaded that this greatest new rose of our time should be named for the world’s greatest desire: ‘PEACE’.” ‘Peace’ went on to receive the All American Award for roses on the day that the war in Japan came to an end. On May 8, 1945, when Germany signed its surrender, the 49 delegates who met to form the @UnitedNations were each presented with a bloom of ‘Peace’ and a message of peace from the Secretary of the