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NEVER AGAIN! 64rd Anniversary of Hiroshima

NEVER AGAIN! 64rd Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings Sunday August 9, 2009

For the 34th consecutive year, people in Christchurch will hold a lantern ceremony on the Avon River in remembrance of those who died and the Hibakusha (survivors) of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Beforehand there will be a ringing of the World Peace Bell in the Botanical Gardens, and a gathering at the WEA with speakers, music, poetry and peace crane making.

A peal for peace
The World peace bell in the botanical gardens will ring out at the exact moment of the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. This is part of an international effort, known as ‘A peal for peace project’, to mark the anniversaries with bell ringing across the globe. The project aims to connect with people around the world to transform the remembrance of horror into a rededication of life. This will take place at 3:15pm, at the World Peace Bell (across the river from the Band Rotunda).

Speakers, music, poetry and afternoon tea
A gathering is planned at the WEA (59 Gloucester St) between the bell ringing and lantern ceremony. Speakers include Councillor Chrissie Williams on local peace issues and Natasha Barnes, a Canterbury University student who recently attended the Non-proliferation Treaty negotiations in New York. A variety of musicians will perform, including a Japanese choir, and afternoon tea will be available. There will also be an opportunity to learn how to make origami peace cranes, before we walk down to the river to float the lanterns.

Lantern ceremony
It is 64 years since the nuclear bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Each year the people of these cities float lanterns out to sea in memory of those who perished. By floating lanterns into a river that flows into the same ocean we affirm that we will continue to work for the removal of all nuclear weapons from the earth, and to secure a peaceful future for all.

Since 1975, Christchurch has commemorated Hiroshima and Nagasaki Days with a lantern ceremony on the Avon River. It is an opportunity for the city to share in the message ‘Hiroshima and Nagasaki – Never Again’.

The lantern floating ceremony is visually stunning, and offers an excellent and unique photographic opportunity.

This event is organized by Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (Otautahi branch) and The Quakers Religious Society of Friends with support from Christchurch City Council Peace City. For more information, contact Mia 980 4884.

3.15-3.30 Ring Peace Bell in Botanical Gardens (across the river from the Band Rotunda)
4 pm WEA 59 Gloucester St - hot soup, drinks, crane making
4.45pm Commemoration with songs and speakers at WEA
5.15 Leave WEA for lantern floating, walk to Victoria Square
5.30 Float lanterns, by Armagh Street bridge in Victoria Square


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