SHV in 2020
In 1896, 125 years ago, our forefathers planted a seed. The longevity of a tree relies very much on the quality of their roots. The basis was sound and fertile.
Over time, the roots grew deep, well anchored in its surroundings.
The tree grew. Its branches reached out higher and wider in search of new opportunities.
Nourished by the trunk, new leaves grew back every spring. New twigs sprouted into life. They stretched out as if waking up, and over the years became stronger and sturdier until they, too, became branches in their own right. And from these branches, new leaves bud and new twigs appear.
As the flowers bloom and fade away, the tree endures. Winter may take the leaves. Gales may even snap a branch. But the tree stands tall and immovable, a reassuring landmark that helps people find their way. And where a tree occasionally falls down, the wood can be used to build a home. And the fallen tree can be the basis for yet another new tree. The wood also might provide heat or a cooking opportunity, again in support.
The tree watches over the environment around it. Its leaves nourish the ground. Its roots protect the soil. Its growth refreshes the atmosphere. Its presence supports the surrounding ecosystem.
The tree also offers protection. In all four seasons. Shade. Shelter. When the sun beats down… when the storm howls… the tree stands firm. Yet it doesn’t only protect us. Those branches offer us the chance to climb, to ascend higher and view the world from a new perspective.
In all those years, just imagine the stories our SHV tree could tell.
The hopes and dreams, the ambitions and achievements, the joys and successes and sadness it has silently absorbed. Each year leaves an indelible mark, just as it adds a layer of new growth, new experiences, and new life.
All this is what the legendary tree symbolises in yet another moment to SHV. What a beautiful tree. It symbolises 125 years of history, stability, sustainability, strength, and opportunity. More than this, it stands for the 125 years yet to come.
With respect and with joy we look at our SHV tree, the beauty and the challenges to keep it growing.
A.M. Fentener van Vlissingen