Guernsey Press

Brothers switch on Tree of Joy in memory of their mum

A Stuck door almost delayed the switching on of the Tree Of Joy's lights.

The Tree of Joy lights were switched on by three brothers who recently lost their mother. Left to right, Jake Jones, 13, Joseph Hillier, 7, and Shaymus Hillier, 6. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 31507796)

The annual ceremony was almost halted last night when a stuck automatic door meant the guests of honour, brothers Jake Jones, 13, Joseph Hillier, 7, and Shaymus Hillier, age 6, who were due to press the button to turn on the lights, had to exit the offices of PwC through a car park and run around the building.

But some fast running from the boys meant the festive season truly began right on time.

Joseph said they had not expected such a dramatic ceremony.

‘Wow. It was so exciting. When it was all lit up it was like an early Christmas.’

The brothers lit the tree in memory of their mum, Chloe Hillier, who died of colon cancer earlier this year.

Chloe’s mother, Heidi Strobl, was keen to raise awareness of the importance of early diagnosis of colon cancer.

‘It has been an honour to have been asked to turn on the lights and have a precious moment to remember their mum.’

Sunflower Project bereavement worker Angie Robinson was very grateful to the Rotary club.

‘It’s wonderful to be able to put up bereaved families for this event to dedicate it to loved ones,’ she said.

The lighting ceremony took place at a reception hosted by sponsors Butterfield, PwC and Guernsey Energy.

The lights on the mast serve as a focal point for the Rotary Club’s Tree of Joy present-giving campaign.

The campaign asks members of the public to provide items on the Christmas lists of children who may not be receiving presents this year.

The names of deserving children are written on a tag, along with a requested present and the tags are then distributed to ‘Trees of Joy’ around the island for members of the public to select.

Brian Acton, the president of the Rotary Club of Guernsey, said: ‘Christmas is a very special time for children, and we are delighted to be able to bring some extra joy into their lives.’

People are asked to return their wrapped present by 10 December.