Watford’s Polish Saturday school unveiled a traditional memorial in honour of their loved ones after a fundraising campaign.

Pupils and teachers at the school based in Watford UTC, Colonial Way, with the support of parents, Watford Polish Catholic Mission and the council, raised £1635.85 for the tribute to mark All Saints Day.

It was unveiled at North Watford Cemetery on Saturday.

Th annual national holiday, held on November 1, is a tradition in Poland in which people attend their family's graves and light candles and lanterns as well as offering prayers and sharing memories.

Aga Giemza, from Watford Polish Saturday School, said “We deeply value All Saints Day, a cherished tradition from our homeland. It's a day of heartfelt remembrance for our departed loved ones.

“This memorial project is our way of creating a special place in Watford, our new home, where we can come together to honour and celebrate their lives.

“It's a symbol of unity and a testament to our commitment to preserving our cultural heritage. With this memorial, we bridge the gap between our past and our future, under the embrace of Watford's warm community.”

A further £500 towards the cost is to be raised during the autumn term.

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Watford Borough Council, with Tomasz Płoński, a former Polish teacher at the Saturday School, has named the memorial “Nasi Bliscy Bliżej Nas” which translates to “Our Loved Ones Closer to Us”.

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Deputy Mayor of Watford, Aga Dychton, who is of Polish heritage, helped start the Saturday School and was part of the memorial project, said: “This memorial will be a symbol of unity and remembrance for our local Polish community, and it represents the spirit of togetherness that defines Watford.

“With the Watford Polish Saturday School, PCM Local Polish Catholic Mission, and particularly the incredible work of Tomasz Płoński, we've created a place for reflection and connection. This memorial stands as a testament to our community's strength and resilience, and I’m proud to be part of it as a member of the council.”

Watford mayor Peter Taylor added: “This collaborative effort is a testament to the unity and strength of our diverse community. It is heartwarming to see the commitment of our Polish residents in preserving their cultural traditions while embracing Watford as their new home.”