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Dawn Blessing for the Sculpture of Peace, Wanganui
18 September 2001
Gita Brooke

When Anthony and I became members of this community we soon came to recognise Queens Park as the heart of the City of Wanganui.

This historic hill seems to gather on and around itself not only the thoughts, memories and aspirations of its own peoples: but it also welcomes those to others from afar. Through its libraries, the Sarjeant Gallery, The Museum and the nearby Polytechnic, it is a vital centre for communication.

And each year people assemble of this hill to remember and honour those who so valiantly gave their lives for a cause greater than themselves, namely that of a better, fairer and more peaceful world for future generations.

Today, which is the final day of a week internationally dedicated to a culture of peace, specifically highlights the urgent need to create a world in which all our children, wherever they live, are enabled to develop their full potential in a nurturing and non-violent environment. May we all listen carefully and open wide to the crying needs of our little ones, and each do what we can to help.

This Dawn Blessing, invoking the emergence of a culture of peace, announces the arrival of a newcomer to Queens Park: The Wanganui Culture of Peace work of art, designed by a son of the city.

This work of art, chosen almost exactly a year ago in the Sarjeant Gallery, has gone through a time of careful, step by step preparation: thousands of handcasts have been made: countless hours of voluntary work and financial support has been given by community members to bring it to this point. And very soon the building will begin.

May this art work become a visible symbol, an anchor point among an ever increasing number of other anchor points throughout our weary and troubled world, so burdened by hatred, violence and suffering. May it symbolise our steadfast resolve to overcome evil with good and to help bring about a strong and vibrant culture of peace, rooted in the heart of the world's peoples, and on this very hill, the heart of our beautiful city of Wanganui.

So therefore let us welcome with open arms the dawn of a new culture, a new civilisation.

____________________
 
Anthony and Gita Brooke email : optubrookiana@xtra.co.nz