Peace angel at Lismore Central
MEMBERS of the Lismore peace group, Remembering and Healing will be holding an information stall at Lismore Central shopping centre, from 9am this Friday.
"Peace is very much central to the Christmas story. We invite people to take a breather in the pre-Christmas rush, and to make a wish for peace, which can be for all areas: personal, in the community or internationally," coordinator Sabina Baltruweit said.
"A peace angel (RaH committee member Margaret Loong) will be present at the stall, encouraging people to make a wish for peace and to make a donation. Raffle tickets will be sold, and the prize - a gourmet picnic basket - will be drawn in the evening.
"The angel will even have a magic wand, trying her best to let the wish come true - there are no guarantees though."
The Remembering and Healing group formed in Lismore four years ago and has been advocating for peace around Anzac Day and Remembrance Day each year since.
"Promoting non-violent ways to solve conflicts is too important to not pursue it all through the year," Ms Baltruweit said.
"(We) were initially met with quite some vocal resistance from some sections of the local community (but) his has long changed now and the group has been able to solidly establish themselves in Lismore.
"A main focus has always been a (multi-faith) peace service on the eve of Anzac Day, held at the Lismore Uniting Church, and another service on Anzac Day, half an hour after the finish of the official program.
"Among the strong supporters of RaH right from the beginning in 2010 are Father Paul Glynn and Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell."
Remembering and Healing does not see itself as a protest group, Ms Baltruweit said it was out of "great respect for all who have suffered through war that they want to bring together the remembering of past violent conflicts and the healing for a better future".
The focus of the group is on remembering the enormous suffering wars bring to all involved, military and civilians, on all sides. And at the same time she added, the services aim to move beyond conflict and foster peace and forgiveness, to help prevent such suffering in the future.
The group has previously organised the return of a Japanese sword, a Digger's war souvenir from WWII that the veteran wanted to give back as a gesture of peace.