“House rocks to sound of peace” (the Evening Post, Monday, June 23, 1986)
Parliament’s legislative chamber can seldom have sounded as melodic as it did when 44 Wanganui schoolchildren sang of peace.
Sitting in the foreground are, from left, Marie Haira, 10, Sylvia Willmann, 6, and her sister Evelyn, 4.
They were part of Peace Child, a children’s rock musical which was first performed in London in June 1981 and has since been seen throughout the world, including the Soviet Union and the United States.
The children, who performed the first public New Zealand production in Wanganui last month, range in ages from three to 14.
At Parliament, they presented petitions of peace to Defence Minister Frank O’Flynn to be sent to the United Nations. Each child was dressed in a different country’s costume – Marie is representing the Caribbean, while Sylvia and Evelyn are in German garb.
The children were given standing ovations on the five times they performed in Wanganui, and it is hoped branches of Peace Child Foundation will be set up in Australasia.
Mr. O’Flynn said the musical was one of the best examples of what the International Year of Peace means.
He took the chance to reaffirm the Government’s anti-nuclear policy which he said had been adopted “at some cost” in the last two years.