In peace and friendship
Clarke’s Beach group celebrates special occasion
The International Friendship League in Clarke’s Beach celebrated International World Peace Day and International World Friendship Day on Sept. 27.
The United Nations General Assembly declared World Peace Day as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace within and among all nations and peoples. Peace and Democracy was the theme for the day, which marked its 30th anniversary this year.
International World Friendship day was observed the day before (Sept. 26).
Joyce Roberts, president of the Clarke’s Beach group, described the day as “a day when we should all make a special effort to make new friends, but keep the old — one is silver, the other gold.”
Two special guests, Thaddeus Dreher, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Multicultural Council and his wife Suree Dreher, were in Clarke’s Beach to speak to the local group.
Born in Poland in 1918, Thaddeus Dreher immigrated to Canada in 1956. Suree Dreher is from Thailand.
Clarke’s Beach Mayor Betty Moore welcomed the visiting guest speakers and the approximately 30 people who turned out for the event.
Attired in traditional Polish dress, Thaddeus Dreher sang the Polish national anthem in his native tongue.
He talked about growing up in Poland after the First World War.
He spoke about some of the hardships his people endured during the occupation of his country by Prussia, Russia and Germany.
At 26, Thaddeus was taken as a prisoner of war and lived for many years in concentration camps. He also worked with underground Polish groups to help preserve the Polish language, customs and education.
After Poland was liberated, he moved to different countries, where he worked as an engineer before immigrating to Canada in 1956.
During his talk, he stressed the importance of “building a new global society where there is unity in diversity.”
Wearing her hand-made traditional dress from Northeast Thailand, Suree Dreher explained what it symbolized. She also showed pictures illustrating entertainment, sports, food, travel and the serene countryside of her native homeland.
Pointing out that great emphasis is placed on craftsmanship in Thailand, she noted centuries old skills are still practiced in cottage and larger handcraft industries there. Craftsmanship is also illustrated in the country’s famous buildings and temples.
She said Thai means free and Thailand means land of the free. Until 1939, the Southeast Asian kingdom was known as Siam.
Attired in his traditional Polish dress, Thaddeus Dreher (standing left) is seen here with Joyce Roberts, president International Friendship League, Clarke’s Beach and Joyce Neil, group member. Seated, from left: Mayor Betty Moore and Suree Dreher of Thailand.