In peace and friend­ship

Clarke’s Beach group cel­e­brates spe­cial oc­ca­sion

The Compass - - P2011ORTHTE -

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.

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