Another honour and world recognition was bestowed on Robben Island when a Peace Pole was planted as a symbol of international peace by the Parliament of World’s Religion’s Sunrise Peace Pilgrimage yestereday. Inscribed on the hand-crafted wooden obelisk is a message in Xhosa, Zulu, English and Afrikaans: “May Peace Prevail on Earth.”
The pole, which was blessed by the Rev Boudewijn Goudrlaan, vicar-general of the Liberal Catholic Church in South Africa and by John Morton, the director of the Institute for Individual and World Peace in California, was planted on the Island because it symbolised the triumph of the human spirit.
“It represented the struggle of people everywhere to overcome tyranny and win democracy and freedom for all. It is also in recognition of South Africa’s contribution to a new millennium of dignity and respect for all people,” said Gordon Oliver, former mayor of Cape Town.
Organisers said the pole was a symbol of peace and healing in a place where many South Africans were held captive during the liberation struggle.
The project was started in Japan in 1955. There are more than 100,000 peace poles in 160 countries.