First Tree by Sidney Pascall

Sydney Pascall, RI president in 1931 was the first president to plant a tree during a presidential visit. In ‘The Rotarian’ in July 1932, Sydney Pascall wrote: “Before I left London for my round the world club visitations, Paul Harris, revered founder of Rotary, suggested that a most appropriate way of symbolizing the Rotary idea would be the planting of trees.

I started this observance in the National Botanical Gardens at Cape Town, and since then I have planted more than 30 trees, while 22 others have been set out by Mrs Pascall, our daughter, and mayors and Rotary leaders. Let us hope that our active pursuit of friendship among the nations may be symbolized by these trees. We recall the saying; ‘and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.’ May it be so.”