The Elected Mayor of North Tyneside, Norma Redfearn, delivered a significant message on the importance of tolerance and respect at a memorial event organised by Queen Alexandra Sixth Form students, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Motivated by a recent history trip to the most notorious of concentration camps, Queen Alex students organised a memorial event, paying tribute to the individuals who lost their lives and ensuring that the memory of Auschwitz is never forgotten. A plaque marking the liberation was unveiled in the Sixth Form’s memorial garden, as a lasting respect to those who suffered in the Holocaust.

Opening the memorial event, Bill Midgley OBE, Chair of Governors, TyneMet College, said: “It’s our duty as members of society to recognise and remember what happened, it’s also important to be aware of what is happening in the world today and not accept hatred. I’m proud that our students have come together to instill a long-lasting message of unification and peace.”

The students, Kyran Brady, Connor Burgess, Keldyne Field and Harry Smith; who all came from local schools in the area to Queen Alex Sixth Form College; have formed a unique bond following the trip whilst working together to preserve the message of the Holocaust. The 70th anniversary is a stark reminder of the suffering of so many individuals as well as the determination by the Nazis to eradicate Jewish people permanently. A Level student, Keldyne Field said: “Going to Auschwitz is an experience I will never forget, it really hits home what went on there – the idea of the plaque came to us on the way home from Auschwitz, we wanted to do something that would be permanent, creating a place of remembrance for students and the wider community.”

Opening the plaque, the Elected Mayor of North Tyneside, Norma Redfearn, said: “Education plays a significant part in promoting respect and tolerance for others. I have met people who have experienced the horrors of the Holocaust – it’s very real, very upsetting and we need to ensure we never allow such things to happen again and that we learn important lessons to make the world a better place. I’m very proud to be here today, the students have done an excellent job in commemorating the 70th anniversary and taking it upon their selves to educate other young people and their community.”

The 70th anniversary  was also marked by a member of the Queen Alexandra Sixth Form team, Ali Hain, who accompanied the students on their visit and was so moved with emotion has written a song ‘The Rain’, which is available to download now at alihain.bandcamp.com . If you would like to make donation please visit www.justgiving.com/Ali-Hain with all money going to the Holocaust Education Trust.

Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College would also like to thank Henderson Memorials in North Shields who worked with the students to create the memorial plaque.