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Celebrating International Day of Peace

NEWS 24 Sept 2021

Tuesday, 21 September was the International Day of Peace. The International Day of Peace was 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 cease-fire. The 2021 theme: Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world, was accompanied this week by a powerful message from the SecretaryGeneral of the UN, Mr Antonio Guterres:

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.

Unveiling the Rotary Peace Pole

How appropriate then that on International Peace Day this week, the School was fortunate to receive the generous gift of a Peace Pole from Rotary Darwin South. To mark 2021 as the year of the Centenary 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. The Peace Pole program began after the Second World War in 1955 and was developed by the World Peace Prayer Society Founder, Japanese philosopher Masahisa Goi. After witnessing the devastation caused by World War II and the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Masahisa Goi's life reportedly took on new meaning and purpose. He dedicated himself in service to humanity and the attainment of global peace and harmony. Through deep meditation, he gained much insight into the spiritual nature of humankind and received the message; May Peace Prevail on Earth in a moment of great inspiration. He believed that this message could bring people of various cultures, faiths, and traditions together in the spirit of universal love and oneness by unifying the global heart and mind. 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, by representing the important message in Larrakia, Indonesian, Mandarin, and English languages on the pole. Our Junior, Middle and Senior School Captains and our Social Justice Leaders represented the School beautifully at the ceremony, also attended by members of Rotary, to install the Peace Pole at the entrance to the School. Here, it will act as a symbolic reminder of Haileybury Rendall School's strong commitment to the values and ideals of peace.

So, as you move into what I hope will be a safe and restful holiday period, perhaps consider taking Masahisa Goi's wise words into the break: "World peace comes about when each individual lives in a peaceful setting. Like-wise, when each individual lives in a peaceful setting, it means that world peace has been realised."