Alberto Sampaio Schools join the celebration of the 650 years of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance.
The British Ambassador to Portugal and the School Community planted a tree as a symbol of the friendship between the two countries
Braga, 7 April 2022 – The Alberto Sampaio School Grouping joined the Commemorations of the 650 years of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, Portugal-UK 650, whose events last throughout the present year of 2022 and will be concluded next year, 2023.
Taking advantage of the happy coincidence of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Alberto Sampaio School, and the association of the Grouping with the Anglo-Portuguese celebrations, a tree was planted outside the school by the Grouping’s director, João Manuel Andrade, together with Chris Sainty, UK Ambassador to Portugal and Maria João Rodrigues de Araújo, president of Portugal-UK 650.
This initiative, part of the celebrations of the 650th anniversary of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, highlights the symbol of friendship that unites these two states and is designated as the oldest alliance in the world.
The Treaty of Tagilde, signed on July 10th, 1372, by King Ferdinand and the Duke of Lencastre (son of King Edward III) led to the signing of the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, and Alliance, sealed at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on June 16, 1373, by King Edward III of England and King Ferdinand and Queen Leonor of Portugal.
Chris Sainty, UK ambassador to Portugal stated that “It is a great pleasure to participate in another beautiful initiative of the vast programme of celebrations of the 650th anniversary of the ancient alliance between Portugal and the United Kingdom. I congratulate the organization Portugal-UK 650 and the Alberto Sampaio School Group for accepting the challenge of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to plant a tree under The Queen’s Green Canopy project and thus join the celebrations of Her Majesty’s Jubilee alerting to the preservation and conservation of nature. This is yet another activity that honors us and that we believe marks in the most distinct way the true essence of the bilateral relationship and friendship between the Portuguese and the British, which we wish to continue to deepen in the future.”
In turn, Maria João Rodrigues de Araújo, president of Portugal-UK 650 highlights the importance of the activities with the school community as part of the commemorations: “Portugal-UK 650 is an initiative that, celebrating the past, looks to the future and wants the values expressed in the Anglo-Portuguese treaty and the example of 650 years of friendship and peace between the two nations, to inspire the younger generations, who are the future of our society to promote a culture of peace and friendship in their communities, making a difference and contributing to a better world. At the same time, they develop various skills and learn more about their history and cultural heritage. To this end, schools have been challenged to participate and develop their projects, and, in addition, 16 educational resources have been created for students from pre-primary to high school. These resources, created in partnership with the British Council and the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtue at the University of Birmingham, cover a range of themes and are available free of charge on the Portugal-UK 650 website.”
The tree chosen for this celebration was the yew tree, as there is a historical relationship involving this tree species in the affective connection between Portugal and the United Kingdom. In fact, the wood of the yew tree was considered ideal for the construction of the bows and arrows that the famous English archers used and that provided so many important victories on the battlefield. But it was the Portuguese yew wood that provided much better-quality longbows and was therefore highly prized in England and Wales. The English longbow could reach a length greater than a man and both its span and flexibility had an influence on the length of the arrows. Yew wood is resistant, flexible and quite hard and its importance to the English was so great that it was said that every ton of certain imports originating in Portugal, including wine, had to be accompanied by ten sticks of yew.
It was to a great extent thanks to English and Welsh archers that the decisive victory at the Battle of Aljubarrota was possible and the recruitment of English troops to assist D. João I dragged on as the conflict with Castile continued.
PLANT A TREE WITH THE JUBILEE
Chris Sainty, UK Ambassador to Portugal, also had the opportunity to participate by planting this tree with the Alberto Sampaio School and Portugal-UK 650, joining The Queen’s Green Canopy project.
Under the slogan “Plant a Tree with the Jubilee”, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England launched the challenge, as part of the celebration of her Platinum Jubilee as sovereign, that each individual and/or institution plant a tree. The Alberto Sampaio school community did not want to miss this initiative and responded by planting other yew trees as a way to draw attention to the preservation and conservation of nature.
The director of the School Grouping, João Manuel Andrade, said that “it is with great pride that students and teachers look at the green areas of their school, an enclosure inserted in a dense and urbanized mesh of the city center, but where it was possible to maintain and preserve a very diverse set of plants and trees, giving details and unique environments from the point of view of the relationship of the school community with its green areas, and to which the work of the project “Growing with Trees”, in which the school is strongly involved, and which celebrates, in 2022, 25 years of existence”.
Portugal-UK 650 is the initiative responsible for the commemorations of the 650th anniversary of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance in Portugal and the United Kingdom.
It aims to celebrate the common history between both countries, to write new chapters of friendship, cooperation and trade, to develop scientific research on the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, and to promote the values of the Alliance’s founding Treaty in today’s world – peace, friendship, truth, fidelity, constancy, solidarity, sincerity and kindness – “. …there shall henceforth be a true, faithful, constant, mutual and perpetual peace and friendship, union and alliance and a league of sincere affection” (Article I, Treaty of the Alliance, London 16 June 1373) – appealing to the responsibility and commitment of each one.
In the long term, Portugal-UK 650 hopes to contribute to a safer and more fraternal society, with greater knowledge of its historical and cultural heritage, more international solidarity and a strengthened dialogue, cooperation and friendship between the citizens of both countries.
The programme for the commemorations of the 650th anniversary of the British-Portuguese Alliance can be consulted on the website https://portugal-uk650.com
Other than the celebration of the most important dates – the 650th anniversary of the Treaty of Tagilde (July 10, 2022) and the Treaty of London (June 16, 2023) ̶ it includes other initiatives, until mid 2023, in partnership with over 100 Portuguese and British institutions, in the areas of research, education, culture, trade, cooperation and social.
In the context of this programme, the Alberto Sampaio School is developing the project “6.50 Trooping the Colour”, which involves several subjects. One of the aspects of the project is the creation of banners, called “colours”, involving the image of the “tree” (present in the symbol of the School) as a reason for reflection on the relationship with nature and as a sign of the values that are also present in the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty. These banners will be exhibited together in Braga, in the Gnration space, in July of this year, on the occasion of the 650th anniversary of the Tagilde Treaty. Like Trooping the Colour (Her Majesty the Queen’s Official Birthday Parade) which takes place every year in the UK, it is a symbolic way of demonstrating a community’s allegiance to a set of values that need constant commitment for their perpetuation.
For more information regarding AESAS (School grouping) please contact:
Jorge Marques: firstname.lastname@example.org (969 090 155).
For more information regarding Portugal-UK 650, please contact
Francisco Mendia: email@example.com (919 780 360);
Maria João Quintela: firstname.lastname@example.org (92 763 89 43).