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Make peace the focus for mother's day: Powell



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MEDIA RELEASE

SENATOR JANET POWELL AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS

SENATOR FOR VICTORIA

P A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A ยท THE SENATE

8th May 1992 PR NO. 92/248

MAKE PEACE THE FOCUS FOR MOTHERS'DAY : POWELL

Victorian Democrat Senator Janet Powell today urged all Australians to make peace the focus of Mothers' Day this coming Sunday, 10th May.

"While Mothers' Day for most Australians is a day when families and friends get together to spend time celebrating with their mothers, grandmothers and children, the original thought behind Mothers' Day was to dedicate one day of the year to the issue of peace",

Senator Powell said today in Melbourne.

"In 1887 Julia Ward Howe of Boston, who wrote the words to the Battle Hymn of the Republic, was distressed by the carnage of war and appealed to all to turn their thoughts to peace. Her idea was later adopted by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914 when he signed a joint resolution of Congress recommending that Congress observe Mothers' Day. The following year he proclaimed Mothers' Day as an annual national observance.

"Increasingly each year many women are again making the link between peace and Mothers' Day, and in Australia the organisation Mothers and Others for Peace are donating sales of their 1992 Mothers' Day cards to the women of Iraq who are continuing to suffer the devastating effects of the Gulf War.

"More than 12 months after the ending of the Gulf War Iraqi children suffer from malnutrition, and infant mortality has risen dramatically. International relief workers and medical experts last year called Iraq a public health catastrophe, and the incidence of

typhoid, hepatitis, meningitis and gastroenteritis has become epidemic. Children are the hardest hit.

"I commend Mothers and Others for Peace for their compassion and practical contribution to the healing of the wounds of the Gulf War. With Mothers' Day founded on peace, what better day for all of us to spend some time in positive contemplation on our hopes for peace in our nations and in our homes", Senator Powell concluded.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

Senator Janet Powell 03-3474477 (w) 03-8487503 (h)