28. Red Hill Primary School
the Rotary Club of Canberra Sunrise
The Rotary Club donating
the Peace Pole.
The twenty-eighth of our Peace Poles.
Pole 28 of 100 Peace Poles to be planted in Schools around Australia.
Speech by teacher Tony Kennedy.
Good morning Mr David Elder (President of the Rotary Club of Canberra Sunrise), Mrs Owens (Principal of Red Hill Primary School), Mr Andrew Browne (Rotary Club of Canberra
Burley Griffin), and students, In term 4, 2019, I organised an excursion to three churches and the Nara Peace Park.
During this time, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Michael Rabey (President of the Rotary Club of Canberra Burley Griffin) and contact for the Canberra Rotary Peace Bell.
It was through organising this excursion that we were privileged to be gifted this magnificent Peace Pole.
The idea of the Peace Pole originated in 1955 when the founder of the World Peace Prayer Society, Masahisa Goi, a Japanese philosopher, advocated for a neutral, nonsectarian movement for world peace that transcends religion, politics, and ethnicity.
For human society to continue to prosper and advance, it is vital that those of us living today turn our thoughts toward love, harmony, and peace.
Now more than ever, we human beings need to go beyond notions of opposition and confrontation and adopt a global consciousness. As citizens of the earth, each and every
one of us needs to recognize that we are all part of the universe, the earth, and the world of nature and that we must live in harmony with each other and with all living things.
Red Hill Primary School is most fortunate to have been gifted a Peace Pole by the Rotary Club of Canberra Sunrise. Thank you, Mr David Elder.
What is the significance of this? A Peace Pole is a monument that bears the universal message and prayer ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth’. The one we have received has this message in four languages, Japanese, French, Ngunnawal, and English. Peace Poles have been planted in every region of the world and are now recognised as one of the most prominent international symbols dedicated to peace. Planting a Peace Pole is a way of bringing people together to inspire, awaken and uplift the human consciousness. Peace Poles have been dedicated in public parks, libraries, theatres, community halls, and other public spaces, as well as places of worship and private homes. To date, it is estimated that more than 200,000 Peace Poles have been planted in locations around the world.
In 1999, I had the honour of meeting the Japanese Air Force pilot who flew a badly damaged plane from Hiroshima to Tokyo to tell Emperor Hirohito of the devastation caused by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. At that time, the pilot was in his late 70s
and asked my friend and I to continue to spread the word that we must all work towards worldwide peace.
The Japanese script on our Peace Pole is “せかい じんるい が へいわ で あります ように”. (sekai jin―rui ga heiwa de arimasu youni), which translates to “May the world’s human-beings be peaceful”.
I would like to pass on the wish of the pilot, who I met in Yamaguchi prefecture, and ask that everyone here does their best to live in peace and harmony. Two ways that Red Hill Primary School can do this is to hold a ceremony at least once a year to remember the significance of this Peace Pole and the second, since I am a member of the Lions Club of Belconnen, is to participate in the Lions Peace Poster contest.
Once again, thank you to the Rotary Clubs of Canberra for this magnificent gift.
Like a Peace Pole at your school?
Take a tour of the Canberra Rotary Peace Bell during your next School excursion to Canberra and Rotary will arrange a Peace Pole for your School.
Like to book a tour?
Let Peace Prevail on Earth.