Oldham Council, it's former and current Mayor along with Peace Talks Oldham and a rapidly growing list of other groups are demonstrating their hearty commitment to peaceful values with an impressive string of events starting on International Peace Day 21st September 2016 and culminating with a special Mayors for Peace event on the 26th September.
Oldham's Peace Week kicked off this morning at the town's civic centre with the raising of their Peace and Respect flag.
Councillor Derek Heffernan and his wife Di Heffernan, who are the incumbent Mayor and Lady Mayor respectively, hosted the ceremony and invited guests afterwards to see some of the souvenirs brought back from Italy in 2015\16, where Oldham councils policy officer Richard Outram and his partner Maria Ellis (founder of Peace Talks Oldham) were invited by the Secretariat to the Pledge To Peace shortly after Oldham became the first council to sign the pledge.
Among the enthusiastic guests in attendance were:-
Richard Outram and Maria Ellis representing Peace Talks Oldham
Nicola Malone a primary school teacher from Burnley Brow Community School which was the first of four local primary schools to sign the Pledge To Peace. (6 more such schools are also expected to sign in the near future!).
Phillidia Shipp from Saddleworth Peace Group - the group is the most recent signee having signed the Pledge To Peace a month ago.
In the afternoon Maria Ellis went to Lyndhurst Primary School to help run a workshop with 14 children to decorate doves and hearts - these will be hung in Oldham's Gallery/Library on Friday afternoon in good time for a string of Peace week events being held there on Saturday.
There was another afternoon event at Knowlsey Junior School involving 90 children split into three workshops - there the children were introduced to Roamer the Robot by founder Dave Caitlin and volunteers from Valiant Technology. The Mayor and Lady Mayor attended as the Mayor is also chairman of the board of governors. Richard Outram and Maria Ellis were also there to witness the School sign the Pledge To Peace as well as to advise and help them formulate some new Peace Pledge initiatives.
Then Dave Caitlin suggested a special Pledge be devised and together with Richard Outram and Maria Ellis they came up with a specific pledge which will be inscribed inside a Dove - the pledge they came up with reads:
"I pledge to try to feel peace in my heart every day and live peacefully with my family, friends and everyone in Oldham".
At the Gallery/Library events on Saturday the Dove will be displayed and children will be invited to sign their name underneath on an A4 sheet of paper with help from a Roamer Robot.
Tomorrow is another day and I can't wait. In the interim if you would like more details about peace events in Oldham this week you can visit the council webpage which lists details of the planned activities. Finally local newspaper The Oldham Chronicle published a very positive article today about Oldham's Peace Week entitled "Give peace a chance to spread global unity"