Australian Sculpture in Nagasaki Peace Park
April 20, 2016 Leave a comment
This week the City of Fremantle was proud to be involved, as part of the global Mayors for Peace initiative, in the gifting of a sculpture to the Nagasaki Peace Park. While the ceremony was going on in Japan a few of us in Fremantle also held a small ceremony.
Deputy Mayor Josh Wilson’s speech below is well worth a read. A big thinks to all involved in pulling this together. If you are ever in Nagasaki please visit the sculpture.
Gifting Ceremony, Australian Sculpture in Nagasaki Peace Park by Deputy Mayor, Cr Josh Wilson
I acknowledge the Mayor of Nagasaki and other distinguished attendees here today, including my fellow visitors from Australia – especially the delegation from Yalata.
It is my honour to represent the Mayor and the Council of the City of Fremantle on this important occasion. Fremantle is a community with a long interest in promoting peace, fostering international friendship and cooperation, and working towards a nuclear free future.
The City of Fremantle is proud to be part of the Mayors for Peace initiative, and I would like to acknowledge Adrian and Elizabeth Glamorgan for their work in supporting our participation.
It is appropriate that the Australian sculpture we contribute to this sacred place should be an expression of our Indigenous culture, which lies at the heart of Australian life and is the strongest thread in our abiding love and respect for country. I come from Noongar country and the name of Fremantle is Walyalup in the language of the traditional owners, the Whadjuk-Noongar people.
I am grateful to the Anangu artists and to the Yalata community for their work in creating this powerful symbol of life and renewal. It is clearly a gift that comes from the heart – there is pain in it, as well as hope – and it is a gift from one atomic survivor community to another.
The British atomic tests at Maralinga in South Australia and at the Montebello Islands in Western Australia were undertaken without respect for country and without care or concern for Aboriginal Australians in particular. I acknowledge also the affected service personnel, and civilians also.Those tests and the harm they caused are a matter of profound sadness and regret.
Our attendance here shows the commitment we share with millions of people and many nations to remembering the terrible waste and harm of war, and to building a stronger framework of peace.
We are very grateful to the City and people of Nagasaki for their hospitality and friendship.
On behalf of my community, I express our sorrow and pay our respect to all those who lost their lives and who suffered and continue to suffer as a result of the atomic bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
We know that peace is not merely the absence of violence or war. We know that peace is a positive quality that we all must bring to life through compassion, understanding, forbearance, and an active interest in the wellbeing of our fellow men and women, wherever they live on this earth.