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Day of Peace Observed in Auckland

Auckland, New Zealand - UPF-New Zealand and the Women's Federation for World Peace organized a commemoration of the International Day of Peace on September 21 at the Maori Anglican Church meeting hall.

A diverse audience gathered to mark this important UN day. Cannon Lloyd Popata of the Maori Anglican church opened with prayer, and Paula Jakeman, a Maori church elder, offered welcoming remarks. MC Geoffrey Fyers introduced the event and spoke about the meaning of the day.

Speakers included Member of Parliament Su’a William Sio, who remarked thankfully on the peace that New Zealanders enjoy, but mentioned that we must be vigilant to maintain it and peace does not just happen by itself; it takes effort.

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Gary Russell, co-president of the UN association of New Zealand and author of books, talked about people's personal experiences in wartime; he shared anecdotes from people he has interviewed while researching material for his books.

Rangi Mclean, a Maori leader from South Auckland, spoke about his initiative to open up his Maori marae (a community meeting place) to the wider community so it can become a place where all people to gather.

Rev. Geoffrey Prentice from the Universal Peace Federation expressed respect and appreciation for New Zealand’s historical people of peace. He then read from UPF Founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s autobiography about his vision for an international highway project as a way of promoting world peace.

The audience was very receptive and attentive.

The Women's Federation for World Peace President Ngatamariki Lulia explained about the "Bridge of Peace" ceremony that offers an opportunity for people of different races, religions, and cultures to cross a symbolic bridge, greet each other warmly, and form new bonds of brotherhood or sisterhood. She invited participants to join in the ceremony.

Various performances of song, dance, and poetry were presented, showing the multicultural side of New Zealand. The atmosphere was very warm, and the event concluded with a light supper and time for networking.

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