Welcoming our Oriental sisters.
It is already 5 years since the Watford Bridge of Peace was initiated bringing together in a sisterhood ceremony women from the Christian and Muslim community. Last year we celebrated our anniversary by welcoming our sisters from the Afro Caribbean community in an attempt to heal the hurts of the past on the occasion of the commemoration of the abolition of the slave trade. This year for our fifth anniversary, we decided to welcome women from all communities in Watford but mostly women from the Orient. For this reason, we invited the “Sakura Club” a Japanese choir which our sister Chikako is part of. From the start, the grace of the Japanese sisters wearing their colourful kimono created an atmosphere of peace and beauty and their songs moved the hearts of those present. Around 50 ladies came from the various communities, all colours of the human family: white, black, yellow and brown. Louise Rawlence, our MC for the afternoon introduced the various speakers. Françoise Murphy gave a PowerPoint presentation on the history of the Watford Bridge of Peace and an annual report for 2007 - 2008. Every month, the ladies of the Bridge of Peace were involved in an event: fundraising for various charities, Eid and Christmas fairs, forums on various topics, a festival of cultures and faiths, a visit to the Mosque and to St Albans Cathedral and more. This year, through the Watford Borough Council and on the advice of the Watford Mayor, we received a grant from the Home Office for 6 months to develop our organisation.
Following the PowerPoint presentation, three of our Peace sisters gave their testimonies on how their experiences with the Bridge of Peace had enriched their life. Our main guest speaker Mrs Mitty Tohma, president from the WFWP for the UK spoke on the topic: ”Women as Ambassadors for Peace in the Family and in the Community”. Mitty explained that the family is the school of love where we learn to develop our character based on the principle of “living for the sake of others”. On that foundation of character, peace begins in the family and extends to the community.
Afterwards, Louise sang the theme of the Bridge of Peace “Love can build a Bridge” and everyone joined in. The ladies were then invited to cross the Bridge of Peace. One side those who attended the Bridge of Peace ceremony before and on the other side those who were new to it. It was beautiful to see the bright smiley faces of the women crossing the bridge, 13 couples all together a combination of various ethnic backgrounds. Mayor Dorothy Thornhill congratulated the ladies and cut the anniversary cake. She told us that basically we are all mothers trying to do our best for our family. We want to be “Good enough mothers”. Family is important, Mums and Dads together are best, and we have to encourage the Dads to play their role in the family! It isn’t easy to balance public and family life. We concluded the afternoon with another beautiful song from the Sakura Club and with some final remarks and announcements. Many stayed on talking with each other and enjoying the refreshments. We would like to thank the Sakura Club for their contribution, all the sisters from Milton Keynes and from North London and everyone who supported the anniversary of the Watford Bridge of Peace including Christophe Murphy our technical advisor.
To go to "Women Ambassadors for Peace in the Family and the Community Watford Bridge of Peace" Page: Click here.
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