Peace ceremony set in stone
Organisers of the Remembering and Healing Old Wounds event held on Anzac Day this year have had a stone carving and brass plaque made that will be placed in Lismore’s Peace Park to mark it as the event’s permanent home.
The event is designed to encourage peace between former enemies of war and for people to make a public commitment of vigilance to prevent history repeating.
The inaugural event was attended by around 150 people, who also planted a tree in the name of peace.
The stone for the permanent fixture was donated by Lismore City Council while local artist Roland Schicht Sunshine designed a logo featuring two peace doves for the group and Jiggi stonemason Graham Knowles donated his time to carve the logo into the stone.
Both men said they identified with the concept of the event and plan to attend in 2010.
“I personally believe at the same time as honouring the memory of the soldiers, we need to honour the citizens and the pain that war creates,” Graham said. “I deeply respect the stoicism of that generation and I think you can do both – you can be respectful to those who fought and wish for peace.”
One of the organisers, Larisa Barnes, said the ceremony had been very moving with an address by a Japanese priest amongst the proceedings.
“We didn’t ask him to but he gave an apology for how the Japanese treated POWs during the war – it was unexpected and very powerful,” Larisa said. “Sometimes governments are a bit slow – change has to come from the grass roots.”