Rotary to re-dedicate Parkes as a peace community

Parkes mayor Ken Keith will conduct a re-dedication of Parkes as a Rotary Peace Community on behalf of the Parkes Rotary Club on Wednesday, June 28.

Parkes was declared as one of Rotary’s International Peace Communities in 2012.

The concept of Rotary Peace Communities originated in Wagga in 1993 and since then 58 Peace Communities have been proclaimed in 17 countries.

However the site of the commemoration was deemed inappropriate, so the club has this year overseen the construction of a Peace Precinct that can be enjoyed by the whole community.

Parkes Rotary Club president David Hughes said the precinct is a worthwhile addition to the amenity of the Rotary Arboretum.

The new site features a dry creek bed running down the perimeter of the tree line with five timber sculptures featuring indigenous designs.

Each sculpture carries a message of peace.

“The main sculpture carries the message of respect for the life and dignity of every person, rejection of all violence, resolution of conflict, reconciliation and harmony, and freedom of expression and cultural diversity,” David said.

Rotary invites members of the general public to the ceremony next week, at 11am.

The site of the Peace Precinct is in the park on the East Street side, near the corner of Bushman Street.

The club has officially invited representatives from all parts of the community, but would welcome anyone who shares Rotary’s goal of worldwide peace and harmony.

The club will provide tea and coffee after the dedication.

“And of course it wouldn’t be a Rotary function without sausage sandwiches, provided free to school children and a gold coin donation for adults,” David said.