92nd anniversary for King Michael and his oak tree

King Michael I of Romania celebrated his birthday and his name day on Friday, November 8, and the event was marked at the Elisabeta Palace, where all those who wanted to congratulate him were received. 
Even if his actual birthday was on October 25, he chose to celebrate it on the same day with his name day, on the Orthodox holiday Saint Mihail & Gavriil Archangels.
In Pecica, in Arad County in Western Romania, the king’s name hold an even greater significance. In 1921, Lajta János, the director of the local Hungarian school was so excited about the birth of the future King Michael that he planted an oak tree in the center square, between the school and the Roman Catholic church, as a sign of “tribute and respect”. After taking over the country, the Communist Party officials didn’t like the idea of having a reminder of monarchy in Pecica and they wanted to cut all the threes from that square. Dr. Vasile Chifor, president of the local “Friends of King Michael” Association says people were outraged and the authorities couldn’t convince them. They guarded the place in shifts for several days to protect the “King’s oak” and had succeed – as the elders told him.
Recognizing its historical significance for the community, in 2008 the Town Hall mounted a commemorative plaque in front of three and ornamental lighting around it.
The imposing, more than 20 meters high tree was ranked 8th out of 87 other trees in the 2010 edition of “The Tree of the Year” national contest, which was part of the of “European Tree of the Year” competition. Later in 2012, the local council decided to name the square King Michael I.
Last October, Prince Radu, King Michael’s son-in-law, and Prince Nicolae, his grandson, visited Pecica to see the square and the tree.“Probably it’s an unequaled story in Romania. The oak represents Romania more than any other symbol. And the fact that both the oak and the king are still with us proves that we have faith. We thank the entire community of Pecica that kept it for the future generations” said Prince Radu when visiting Pecica.
King Michael the Ist, the son of Carol II of Romania and Princess Elena of Greece, came to the throne upon Ferdinand’s death in July 1927, but was forced to abdicate by the government controlled by the Communist Party of Romania on 30 December 1947.