Friday, April 17, 2015

Charity Tree Photo Auction

One of my mates organized the first charity auction held at IBM in Brno last week to support the Tree of the Year competition.  Each year in Czechland a tree is picked as tree of the year.  Money goes in to protecting historic trees across the country. 

Photographer Petr Francán donated 22 framed pictures which had been exhibited in galleries across the country since 2004.  I was "volunteered" by my mate Martin to help out as the auctioneer.  I've been to a number of charity auctions in the past so I just tried to remember how things went.  As it was for charity I didn't want to screw it up.  It turned out to be fun and 19 of the 22 pictures were sold and we raised 29.900 Kč (~$1,235) which will be donated to the 2016 Tree of the Year.

Some of the IBM managers bought pictures and have hung them up at work for their teams to enjoy.  I had a couple of proxy bidders in the audience who purchased two for my local team.

The first picture was of a 200 year old tree in Josefov, South Moravia.  In the late 1970s the local farm land was being collectivized by the communist government and 700 trees were cut down.  One of the local farmers managed to obtain a certificate stating that this tree was protected so that it wouldn't be cut down.  The workers assigned to cut down the trees didn't know that this one was exempt and tried to pull down the tree with a tractor.  Fortunately the tree had strong roots because it beat the tractor.  The rope traces are still visible on the trunk.  Pretty cool...tree beats collectivization.

The second photo my team picked out was that of a 75 year old pear tree from Central Bohemia.  The tree was planted in 1940 in Lidice.  It is special because it is the only tree to survive the Nazi annihilation of the village on 10 June 1942.  On this day German troops leveled the village to the ground even pulling out all of the trees so that no one would know where Lidice once was. While blowing up the church rubble fell on the pear tree.  The German soldiers assumed that the tree buried in the rubble was destroyed and they let it be.  Fortunately the tree was saved and replanted it near by.

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