Ceremonial Tree Planting at Mayors Grove

On August 1, 2012, Mayor Dean Fortin and visiting Twin City Mayor Barbara Arnott of the City of Napier, New Zealand, planted a ceremonial tree (Big leaf maple) at the Mayors Grove in Beacon Hill Park to mark Victoria's 150th anniversary.

The two mayors were joined by members of their respective City Councils. Participants arrived by at the park by horse drawn carriage. After the ceremonial tree planting, City Parks staff provided delegates with a tour of Beacon Hill Park. 

This was Mayor Arnott's first visit to Victoria. The City of Napier has been twinned with the City of Victoria since 1973 and is Victoria's longest standing Twin City. Victoria City Council has established a Twin City relationship with Napier, New Zealand; Suzhou, China; Morioka, Japan; and Khabarovsk, Russia.

The purpose of the Twin City relationship is to foster and promote global cooperation, cultural understanding and economic development. The Mayors Grove was established in 1927 in Heywood Meadow during a convention of western mayors.

The grove is now home to more than 30 trees, all planted in celebration of visiting dignitaries from around the world. Some of these dignitaries include Winston Churchill who planted a Hawthorn in 1929, the King of Siam who planted an Oak in 1931, and Lord Baden-Powell who planted an Oak in 1935.