At the St Arnaud Anglican Church Hall, Sunday 31st March we held a Harmony Day lunch. Harmony day is celebrated around 21st March in Australia, coinciding with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Each year, it is marked by people coming together and participating in local activities. The continuing message of Harmony Day is 'Everyone Belongs'. It is about community participation, inclusiveness, celebrating diversity, respect and belonging.
We shared meals with an international flavour such as fried rice, pizza, curry, pappadams, pita bread, salsa and chilli con carne. Some of us wore colourful costumes from different cultures.
It was an opportune time to remember the Christchurch Mosque tragedy, so before our meal we asked Mr Allan Mommers, from a few doors down the road to talk. He is a Māori man from the Ngāi Tahu tribe around the Christchurch area of New Zealand. Allan spoke about how this violence saddened all of New Zealand, and it deeply saddened and hurt his people that this happened on their tribal land.
After prayer and a minutes silence we lit candles to remember
Jan Harper (Vanuatu), Pat Jesse (India), Peter Vermolen (Karen, Burma), Joan Harmon (Philippines), Bev Vermolen (China)