Creating the World Bonsai Forest of Peace
Francois Jekker from France
Ryan Neil from the USA
Special guest demonstrator Hiroshi Takeyama
CREATION OF THE WORLD BONSAI FRIENDSHIP FOREST - STELLENBOSCH 22-23 OCTOBER 2015.
The concept of this forest was started in July / August 2014 with the 4th African Bonsai Association Steering Committee. The vision was that the World Bonsai Friendship Forest (WBFF), directors would be requested to build a Friendship forest at the 4th African Bonsai Convention, which would be an icon of the future, a lasting representation of WBFF visiting Africa and a symbol of Peace through Bonsai. A lot of discussion was put into as to how this would be practically be done, who would build the forest, who should lead the forest, what pot to use and what species to use. There would be many bonsai experts available.
Initially, the usual species were obvious, maples, elms, celtis, but something indigenous was sought and thought to be more appropriate and symbolic. We settled on the African Olive - Olea europea sub. africana. The reasons were.
1.It is African.
2.It is indigenous and endemic to most of Southern Africa. The curatorship of it would not be difficult.
3.It is a symbol of Victory and Peace.
4.It lives beyond 1000 years and even up to 6000 years and beyond.
5.It makes a good bonsai.
A large 1.2m clay pot was sourced and over 30 individual trees of differing size, height and age. The leaf often varies, so emphasis was made on sourcing the same leaf in colour, shape and size.
Eventually 23 trees were selected from the Magaliesberg area near Pretoria and transported to Stellenbosch.
On Friday 23 October 2015, the Mayor of Stellenbosch, Conrad Sidego, placed the first tree in the Forest. This honour was bestowed on the Mayor, as an acknowledgement and thank you to the citizens of Stellenbosch for hosting ABC4 and the Mayor being the 1st Citizen of Stellenbosch. We know he would also have a vested interest in the future and health of the Forest.
On Saturday 24 October 2015, the rest of the trees were placed and planted. The following placed and planted trees.
1.Jiro Fukuda, Chairman World Bonsai Friendship Federation.
2.On behalf of the European region, Chairman World Bonsai Friendship Federation.
3.On behalf of the Asia Pacific region, Chairman World Bonsai Friendship Federation.
4.On behalf of the Australian New Zealand region, Chairman World Bonsai Friendship Federation.
5.On behalf of the Chinese region, Chairman World Bonsai Friendship Federation.
6.Naemi Iwasaki, vice Chairman World Bonsai Friendship Federation
7.Solita Rosade, Chairman Emeritus and director or North American and Canadian region.
8.On behalf of the South American region, Solita Rosade, Chairman Emeritus and director or North American and Canadian region.
9.Willem Pretorius, Chairman of South African Bonsai Association and current responsible person for looking after the forest.
10.Nikunj Parekh, director of the Indian Region and 2nd vice President of Bonsai Clubs International.
11.Jyoti Parekh, international consultant World Bonsai Friendship Federation.
12.Tony Tickle, Headliner from the United Kingdom.
13.Francois Jeker, Headliner from France
14.Hiroshi Takeyama, director Japanese region and guest demonstrator.
15.Ryan Niel, headliner from the United States of America.
16.Rudi Adams, author and the Father of bonsai in South Africa from the Western Cape.
17.Charles Ceronio author and the Father of bonsai in South Africa from Gauteng.
18.Shaundre Croukamp, winner of the National New Talent award at only 15 years old.
19.Xavier De Lapeyre, African Bonsai Association Consultant from Mauritius and World Bonsai Friendship Federation International Consultant
20.Neli Stoyanova African Bonsai Association Consultant from Zambia and World Bonsai Friendship Federation International Consultant
21.Gayle Theron, Mother of bonsai in South Africa from the Western Cape.
22.Yukihiko Konishi, international consultant World Bonsai Friendship Federation.
23.Jonathan Cain President African Bonsai Association, director African region World Bonsai Friendship Federation.
And the start of a Forest was created and will continue, under curatorship of the Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens. The top was covered with the diamond gravel from the South African mines.