Tree of Lights big switch on

Tree of Light switch on the ash tree at the Village car park, Sowerby Bridge
Tree of Light switch on the ash tree at the Village car park, Sowerby Bridge

Crowds gathered in Sowerby Bridge as coloured lights adorning a tree were officially switched on in a life-saving community campaign.

Around 100 people showed their support to the Rotary Tree of Light campaign which is asking people to ‘buy-a-light’ for a loved one whilst supporting the project to install a life-saving defibrillator machine, at a cost of around £2,000, in the town centre.

The Mayor of Calderdale coun Pat Allen, who attended with her consort coun Robert Weeks, switched on the lights infront of special guests including Halifax RLFC’s mascot Halicat, ex-player and project supporter Tony Tonks, community first aid responder Sue Bell and local Labour councillors; who were joined by members of the public at the Village Restaurant car park.

Folk singer John Kemp and local brass band Imperial Crusader drum and trumpet corps band provided the musical rhythm for the evening.

Candles were donated by Sowerby Bridge business Trinkette and were a source of ‘light reflection’ for the lost loved ones the project is asking people to dedicate sponsorship.

After the ‘big switch on’, men, women and children were welcomed by Village Restaurant owners and project sponsors to enjoy complimentary warm drinks, samosas and cakes.

Rotarian Hazel Brindle and project organiser, said: “It was a wonderful evening and a wonderful chance to socialise in the community.

“It’s been really moving to be a part of people’s lives - whether it’s remembering a lost loved one or celebrating a birth or marriage - the tree of light is symbolic of love nad hope - especially at Christmas time - as well as a great opportunity to save a person’s life in case of cardiac arrest.

“We want to stress that there’s still time complete donation forms.”

Forms can be collected from the town’s Deli Belge, Trinkette, Village Restaurant, and can be downloaded at rotarysowerbybridge.org under ‘The Tree of Lights’.