Honouring the UN International Day of Peace

Tuesday, 21 September was the International Day of Peace, a day established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. Two decades later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the day as one devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace through observing 24 hours of non-violence and ceasefire.

The theme for this year’s International Day of Peace was: Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world. It was accompanied by a powerful message from UN Secretary-General Mr Antonio Guterres who said:

“We must choose peace. By working in solidarity for a lasting, sustainable peace every day, we can tackle the issues facing us. We need peace to deliver lifesaving vaccines and treatment for COVID-19 urgently. We need peace to recover from the pandemic and rebuild shattered systems and shattered lives. We need peace to level the playing field and reduce inequalities. We need peace to renew trust in one another—and faith in facts and science. And we need to make peace with nature—to heal our planet, build a green economy and achieve our net-zero targets. Peace is not a naïve dream. It's light in the darkness. Guiding us to the only pathways to a better future for humanity. Let's walk the path of peace as if our lives depended on it. Because they do.”

How appropriate then that on International Peace Day, Haileybury Rendall School was fortunate to receive the generous gift of a Peace Pole from Rotary Darwin South. To mark 2021 as the Centenary Year of Rotary in Australia, the Rotary Club of Canberra Burley Griffin set a goal to see 100 Peace Poles donated to 100 schools to recognise 100 years of Rotary service in Australia.

Now, more than 250,000 Peace Poles stand in approximately 200 countries around the globe, symbolising the shared wish for a world at peace.

Peace Poles are marked with the message ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth’ in at least four languages and stand in silent vigil for peace, acting as a reminder for all to think and work in the spirit of peace.

Haileybury Rendall School affirms our commitment to peace locally and globally, especially in our relationship with each other and our community. The important message is written in Larrakia, Indonesian, Mandarin and English languages on the Peace Pole.

Our Junior, Middle and Senior School Captains and our Social Justice Leaders represented the School at the ceremony, with members of Rotary, to install the Peace Pole at the entrance to the School.

It will act as a symbolic reminder of Haileybury Rendall School's strong commitment to the values and ideals of peace.

Andrew McGregor

Principal, Haileybury Rendall School