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    Family Tree

    My great great grandfather left Northern Ireland for South Africa during the 1880s. Before he left he carved his initials on an oak tree on the Wilson family property near the town of Coal Island in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Sixty years later - during World War Two - my grandfather visited the family property and was shown the tree with his grandfather’s initials on it by a great uncle who was still living there. Yet another sixty years later I went to Ireland to see if I could find the tree. These tree stumps surrounded the ruins of the house and, if anything, they are more poignant symbols than anything I might have expected to find there.

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