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Evans George

Changing our world

Does anyone still remember the words to a little song in the film, “South Pacific”? They went, “You got to have a dream. If you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?” I think we all have dreams; things we hope for and dream about for a long time. Some of them are quite ordinary, just involv- ing ourselves and our fam- ily and others are very big indeed and would change the whole world if they hap- pened. Some of them are fan- tasies, never likely to come true but others we pursue and work at until, maybe after a very long and exhausting time, our dream becomes reality.

“Think globally, act locally” is a very good motto. I’ve been wanting to “do some- thing” for World Peace and ending the crass stupidity of wars for a very long time; since I wrote a long letter to the League of Nations in 1939 just before the Last World War started and I was 16 at the time. Of course they took no notice, though there was nothing they could have done anyway.

As I write one of my dreams is beginning to come to fruition - Wellington Peace Garden. By the time this ar- ticle is printed and delivered we shall have our garden, belonging to all us ordinary people of Wellington, though this is being written the Sun- day before it opens. Will there be a good crowd there? I have several dreams about how it will be used.

10 10 George Evans.indd 1 26/03/2012 15:10

Some of these involve many people who may well have other ideas. Would some or all of the local churches like to use it to promote World Peace? I hope so. Will our local Muslims plant a Dam- ask rose to remind every- one that theirs is a peaceful religion? They have been invited to do so. What will local schools and colleges do? String peace messages from the trees? I have heard of Lions, Rotarians and other friendly organisations who said they would like to con- tribute. There is talk of some local Germans commemorat- ing those who were killed in the Last World War. Perhaps some of the local Japanese and Italians may like to do the same.

In 1917 my father was

shot as he was fighting in France. He wasn’t killed (or there would have been no me) but he suffered from his wounds for the rest of his life. He only survived because he

was dealt with by a particu- larly skilful surgeon. Doesn’t he deserve to be honoured? Also in 1917 my mother was returning from Jamaica in a “banana boat” that was sunk in mid-Atlantic by a subma- rine. She also was very nearly a war casualty. Does this mer- it commemoration?

There must be many other

Wellingtonians whose ances- tors, not on the War Memorial because they were not killed in action, but who served like the rest of us, should be remembered and who think contributing to the Peace Garden is the right way to do that. We also forget the civilians who lost their lives in war; here’s a chance to com- memorate.

When we think of war cas- ualties, why is it only our own British troops we remember? Of course we should remem- ber our own but what about the folks on the other side? Many quite innocent people have been killed in wartime of

> Councillor England. George Evans and Mayor Lesley Street.

many nationalities, often that had nothing to do with the war. I watched as Caen was shelled and bombed in 1944 by huge numbers of our guns and bombers. There were no German casualties but many French civilians were killed and wounded by our shells and bombs. We were sup- posed to be on the same side as the French people we killed.

Incidentally, there are many new phrases that an- noy me but the worst is, “Friendly fire”. Believe me, and I do know what I’m talk-

ing about, there is absolutely nothing “friendly” about be- ing attacked by your own side. What idiot thought up the expression, “Friendly Fire”? My guess is that he (surely not a woman) was a desk-bound civilian employ- ee of the Pentagon. Please don’t use the words in my hearing or I might forget I’m a pacifist. I have been bombed by the American Air Force and the RAF, fired on by the Royal Navy and the Royal Ar- tillery and seen friends killed and wounded by “our side”. Call it accident if you like or “cock-up” or incompetence or stupidity but never friendly. Sorry about that interjec-

> Barabara Farmer-Von Herf, George Evans, Cllr England Mayor Lesley Street.

tion. The thought just drifted into my little bald head and I had to let it out. Better now. Another part of the same dream is that Wellington can become an example of how to set up a Peace Garden that will be copied in many other places. There must be lots of councils who would like to do something good for their towns without spend- ing public money. It’s such a simple little idea and it seems

to work well. Local councils all own bits of land in town centres like this that can only be a bit of garden or a scruffy tip. Handing these patches of land to locals with a dream can work anywhere.

There are several other

Peace Gardens in other towns; you can find them on the web. My grandson says there’s a good one in Man- chester and I’ve seen the one in Coventry. The garden in Hiroshima looks particularly wonderful. We even have a garden in Telford, given by Japanese people. All of these are different from ours because they cost a lot of money and ours costs noth- ing but the price of the plants we will put in and the work of willing volunteers who will look after it. Besides, it will belong to all the 20,000 peo- ple of Wellington. Gosh! I hope they don’t all turn up at once!

My late father-in-law, Bill

Hurdley, had a lovely expres- sion for things that would last longer than him, “It’ll see me out.” Wellington Peace Gar- den will see me out.

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