For Inner Wheel Clubs in Beds, Herts & Bucks

The United Nations' (UN) International Day of Peace is celebrated on September 21 each year to recognize the efforts of those who have worked hard to end conflict and promote peace. The International Day of Peace is also a day of cease fire – personal or political.

And Brenda Lowe, member of Stevenage Club was instrumental in getting IW to mark World Peace Day throughout the UK

The Inner Wheel Club of Letchworth Garden City celebrated Peace Day in the Village of Willian in Hertfordshire.

Five members gathered by the Peace rose, planted last year by the gate to the Church.  

Poems and selected suitable readings were read to reflect the occasion and our thoughts turned to the Peace of the world and our responsibility and care we have towards Peace.

Five members of Ware club met in a local garden centre to commemorate International Peace Day. They paused at mid-day for a minutes silence.

Tracey from Luton Chiltern club went to Ampthill Memorial to leave her poem and a few flowers, while other members presented a Peace Lily to the Keech Hospice

The District Chairman Brenda Lowe organised a video conference meeting. attended by 32 members including representatives from Rotary 1260.

The guest speaker’s were the CEO of Peace Direct, Dylan Matthews, while the second speaker was from Mediation Hertfordshire.  Peace poems were also read by members from Chiltern Club.

Members of Luton North met with the University of Bedfordshire Luton campus Chaplain, Rev Andrew Goodman for the Annual Peace Rose Planting Ceremony.

President Meryl spoke passionately about Peace Day and Rev. Goodman explained that he was developing an area outside the Treehouse Chaplaincy as a Peace Garden (shown left). He had generous funding from Near Neighbours with the support of Luton Council of Faiths to “plant” nine poles representing the nine major world faiths which currently were being painted by Artist Abi Spendlove.  

As well as phrases to encourage peace, the nine faiths will have their symbol and word for Peace inscribed in different languages, and Rev. Goodman was delighted to accept the rose from IW to be an integral part of the garden. He then retold three thought provoking anecdotes, the first about Nelson Mandela and stories about Mahatma Gandhi.

Members offered personal reflections on peace in Hinduism with a recording of a prayer featuring the Mantra Shanti, and to conclude, ringing a Buddhist bowl and recital of the mantra Om mani padmi hum.

Members of Luton North Inner Wheel welcomed Dr Nazia Khanum OBE DL, Chair of the United Nations Association in Luton to their September, to speak on the topic of Peace. 

She reminded everyone that the 21st September was designated by the General Assembly as the United Nations Day of Peace in 1981.  The United Nations itself came into being in 1945 in order to maintain international peace although it can only advise and promote human rights and raise awareness - it can only go in to a country if the country allows.

Dr Khanum spoke movingly of her own experience as a survivor of genocide in 1971 during the war for independence from Pakistan when 4 million people had lost their lives.  She had been living in Dhaka at that time and a machine gun was set up directly opposite her house.

Clearly there had been many other devastating wars since then such as the Ugandan war in 1994 and the Bosnian war in 1995 which had also brought migrants, particularly women and children to Luton.  She recalled that at the time the schools had not wanted to accept the children because of their lack of English.  She said that it was crucial that everyone worked together to ensure peace and that the role of women is central to that.  In war women and children are always affected the most.