Rotary Peace Pole Ceremony

As part of the national Rotary Club’s ‘100downunder’ project, students at Dominic College recently held a peace vigil and ceremony to commemorate the installation of a Peace Pole on the school grounds. A gift from the Rotary Club of Glenorchy, the Pole is an active reminder to think and act in the spirit of peace to all.It is marked with the words ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth,’ written in English, palawa kani, Japanese and Hindi.

Representatives from the Rotary Club of Glenorchy, Ms Rosie Marine and Ms Cheryl Oborne, attended the ceremony and spoke to students of the importance of remembering our past and being ambassadors for peace in the future.

Dominic College is the first school in Tasmania to install a Peace Pole and theirs is one of one hundred poles to be placed in schools across Australia. More than 200,000 Peace Poles stand in 200 countries around the globe, symbolizing the common wish for a world at peace.

The Rotary Club of Canberra invited Rotary Clubs across Australia to consider gifting a Peace Pole to their local school, if the school visited Canberra’s Peace Bell. Dominic College Year 6 students visited and rang the Bell during their recent visit to Canberra.

“The Year 6 Canberra trip is a much anticipated and diverse learning experience for our students, said Dominic Principal, Ms Beth Gilligan. “The additional opportunity to visit Nara Park and the Peace Bell was a memorable and moving experience for them. They were invited to consider the consequences of war and the importance of peace now and into the future.”

The World Peace Bell Association is a Japanese organization which aims to raise awareness of the World Peace movement by casting and installing Japanese temple bells in locations around the world.

The Association had its beginnings with the casting of the fist Peace Bell in 1954, following the Second World War, to remind all of the importance of Peace to the development of humanity.

The Peace Bell that was cast and given to the United Nations in New York is rung twice a year. The first time is on the opening day of the United Nations General assembly each year and the other time is to mark World Peace Day on 21st September. There are now over twenty Peace Bells located around the World.

Peace Bells stand as a symbol where people unite in hopes and prayers for peace and to remind all of the cruelty of war and the preciousness of peace for the generations to come.

The bells are now mostly made from melted down coins donated through the United Nations.

The idea of Peace Poles was first thought about in 1955 in Japan. The Peace Bells are so big and costly, that it was decided to look for a way that more communities could have a Peace symbol.

Peace Poles have been placed in such notable locations as the North Pole, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and the Egyptian Pyramids in Giza.

Now that the Peace Pole is installed, Dominic students will participate in an annual Peace Ceremony.