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Marriage and Family

New Zealand Ambassadors for Peace Meet at St. John's College

Meadowbank, New Zealand - Ambassadors for Peace and friends met at St. John’s Theological College in Meadowbank on April 27, 2014. It was hosted by Rev. Dr. Frank Smith, the Pacific Island dean at the college and an Ambassador for Peace who participated in the 2013 World Summit in Korea. The meeting was preceded by a varied potluck dinner that was set up by UPF staff and volunteers. The dinner was also a perfect opportunity for everyone to catch up with each other.

The MC at this meeting was Rev. Rob McKay. The meeting started with an opening prayer by Rev. Bill Tangariki. Mr. Geoffrey Fyers, secretary general of UPF-New Zealand, followed it with opening remarks, explaining the history and purpose of the Ambassadors for Peace movement.

The two panel speakers were then called up to talk about the topic: “Family, the School of Love.” The two main speakers, Rev. Smith and Mr. Geoffrey Prentice, shared about their experiences and insights on the central and crucial role of the family, giving everybody a lot of food for thought. Questions and answers gave the audience an opportunity to voice their concerns, some of the main ones being how to improve family life and the need for a Ministry of Family Affairs.

The panel presentation was followed by a song by Nobuhide Tsukuda, who sang with passion. The program was followed by introducing and appointing eight new Ambassadors for Peace: Father Robert Steele, Niamh Wingate, James Martin, James Deane, Treacy Deane, Mahendra Singh, Mavis Singh and Diwakar Prasad. They were then called to share their thoughts about the appointment and the meeting in general. A bouquet of flowers was then presented to Rev. Smith by UPF-New Zealand director Rev. Julius Gicole and his wife Jasmin Gicole.

Finally, the night was concluded with closing remarks from Rev. Gicole, in which he reemphasized the importance of strengthening the family as the starting point where an individual learns the fundamental human values of love, peace and harmony. He also announced the upcoming UN International Day of Families and encouraged everyone to promote the ideals of marriage and family.

Report by: Robert Goijarts and Julius Gicole

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