The Canberra World Peace Bell Project – Nara Park Project
The World Peace Bell Association had its beginnings with a donation of the first Peace Bell and housing to the United Nations by Chiyoji Nakagawa in 1954, following the Second World War, as a token of Peace. The United Nations Bell is rung twice a year to mark World Peace day on the 21st September each year and on the opening day of the United Nations general assembly. There are now over twenty Peace Bells located around the World. Peace bells are respected and stand as a symbol where people unite in a prayer for peace and to remind all of the cruelty of war and the preciousness of peace for the generations to come. The bells are mostly made from melted down coins donated through the United Nations.
The location of a World Peace Bell within the Canberra Nara peace Park will provide a destination point within the park and allow an expression of good will and peace between the people of Canberra and Australia and the rest of the World.
Developed within Lennox Gardens, the Canberra Nara Peace Park symbolizes the close friendship between Canberra and its sister City Nara in Japan.
The Park is designed to create the feel of a traditional Japanese garden within the surrounds of a Canberra public park. It is also home to a number of significant sculptures and hosts a number of annual events including the Candle Festival.
From a Rotary perspective, the partnership with the World Peace Bell Association to locate a World Peace Bell within the Canberra Nara Peace Park is a natural extension of the work of Rotary International. Rotary International work includes the Rotary Peace Centers and Peace Fellowships, the work through Shelter Box Australia, the work of The Rotary Foundation and the work already undertaken by the Rotary Club of Canberra Burley Griffin through the annual Canberra Nara Candle Festival. The Festival is held each year in the Canberra Nara Peace Park and was originally an idea from a former member of the Club.
The development of a World Peace Bell may be the most ambitious project undertaken by our Club.