The Words of the Ledesma Family
Sydney, Australia -- On August 28, UPF-Australia held a Legacy of Peace program continuing the series of programs that began in the US and Korea in earlier months. About 70 people attended the event including some special guests Lady Carla Davis, widow and personal assistant of the late former Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, and Mrs. Babette Francis, long-time pro-family advocate.
Both their husbands, Sir Thomas Davis (former Prime Minister of the Cook Islands) and Charles Francis, renowned lawyer and statesman and protector of the family, were two of the honorees. We were also happy to have Suzi Evans come from Melbourne, as her father, Chil Miodek, who worked for Christian-Jewish dialogue and reconciliation, was one of the honorees.
The main hall of the Oceania Peace Embassy was carefully decorated with framed photos and lit candles of the 11 honorees (four international and seven Australian), special flower arrangements, and a lovely banner made by Alan and Lea Smith. Lady Carla Davis, who is a spiritually attuned person, said "The second I walked in the room, I could sense a holy and reverent atmosphere and I couldn't stop my tears from falling. But they were joyful tears as I felt comforted." She told me that anything inspired or touched by Father and Mother Moon is radiant and blessed by God. She gave a powerful testimony to the inspiration to honor those who came before us and paved a way of living for the family of humankind.
The invocation was delivered by Rev. Mary Elizabeth Jacobs, retired pastor of the Unity Church in Sydney. Her call to meditation and reflection created a space and focus where our minds centered on the significance of what we were participating in.
Rev. Soon Teck Lim gave an insightful and understandable explanation on the Meaning of the Ascension Ceremony, and Rev. Greg Stone presented an energetic and informative PowerPoint report about Legacy of Peace programs in Korea and the US, illustrating the genesis of the ceremony.
Following this was a PowerPoint with photos and short bios of the four international honorees, Pres. Abdurrahman Wahid (Indonesia), Gen. Alexander Haig (Former US General and NATO commander), Hedi Annabi (the UN head of mission to Haiti who died in the earthquake along with 100 other UN personnel and volunteers), and Pres. Kim Dae Jung (former President of Korea and architect of the "Sunshine Policy" with North Korea).
Mr. Jon Somerjano, President of the Indonesian Association of New South Wales, received a bouquet of flowers in memory of former President Wahid. Following that I read short bios and accomplishments of the seven Australian honorees:
Sir Thomas Davis, former Prime Minister of the Cook Islands
Charles Francis, a well-known and respected lawyer, pro-family advocate, and lobbyist from Melbourne
Chil Miodek, who after surviving the Holocaust came to Australia and worked to heal the enmity between Christians and Jews
Rev. Dr. Christopher Das, born in India and served as missionary and professor of Comparative Religions in Fiji and Australia
Rev. Dr. Lambert Carter, a colorful and distinguished ecclesiastic figure in Sydney
Former Prime Minister John Gorton, a progressive and controversial leader and also a war hero
Jim Cameron, former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and founder of the Christian Democratic Party
Flowers were offered on behalf of each honoree. Lady Carla Davis and Mrs. Babette Francis received bouquets in memory of their late husbands and Suzi Evans for her father, Chil Miodek. All were visibly moved, and there was an unmistakable high spirit of heavenly love surrounding the entire event.
Reflections by Ambassadors for Peace were offered by Lady Davis and Mrs. Francis. Lady Davis spoke fondly of her experiences at UPF conferences and said, "If Father Moon ever needs me to go to North Korea to promote peace, please let me know and I will do it!"
Mrs. Francis spoke of her husband's dedication and faithfulness to the mission they felt called to fulfill, which was to protect the family and the sanctity of marriage. She was very moved by the entire ceremony and the care people showed her. She shared how Mother Teresa, who lived in her home country of India, inspired her to live a life of service and sacrifice.
Robyn Ledesma offered a heartfelt prayer of remembrance. A beautiful musical performance of Sarah McLaughlin's haunting song "In the Arms of Angel" was offered by Daniel Treacy and Kaeyon Song. Later we watched a short excerpt of the Legacy of Peace event in Las Vegas. After Lady Davis and Mrs. Francis cut a cake, Suzi Evans and Jon Somerjano closed the program.
Afterwards, we shared a delicious meal that featured a lot of discussion in a reflective and joyful atmosphere.
Following lunch, we held a special consultation on the proposal for an interfaith council at the UN which was first proposed by Rev. Moon in 2000. We took turns reading from the historic speech where the idea was first proposed; then we looked at the structure of the UN and discussed the feasibility, obstacles, and potential scenarios for moving the idea forward.
We are grateful for this opportunity to honor the legacies of those who dedicated their lives in various ways for the betterment of mankind.
By Lady Carla Davis, wife of the late
former Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Sir Thomas Davis
August 28, 2010
Address at the Legacy of Peace Program
Sydney, Australia, August 28, 2010
It is with enormous pleasure and honor that I am here at the Oceania Peace Embassy, attending the Legacy of Peace Program in honor of those who have dedicated their lives in service of peace. My husband would have been very proud of this honor.
Throughout history it has always been soldiers of wars who have been recognized and honored. Hence, recognizing and honoring God's peacemakers is long overdue and a great joy!
Recognizing and honoring peacemakers is something I have long advocated. So, for me, this is a dream come true, and I wish to personally thank Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, Mother Moon, Rev. Enrique and Robyn Ledesma, and all the others who have made this blessed event possible.
Some of the most memorable and joyous times my husband and I shared were when we attended the numerous conferences of the Inter-religious and International Federation for World Peace and the Universal Peace Federation. Our first was the Inter-religious and International Federation for World Peace Summit in Tokyo, Japan, in June 2005, where we met so many wonderful world leaders, who were all there for the same reason. Everyone I met, from many different countries and all religions, wanted to do their part to help create a world with peace. Rev. and Mother Moon, Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak, Dr. Thomas Walsh, Tomiko Duggan, Karen Smith, and numerous others provided the resources, venue, and logistics to help make it possible.
Then, in December 2005, we attended the inauguration in Australia of the Universal Peace Federation with Father and Mother Moon in Sydney. It was great to see many of the wonderful Ambassadors for Peace we had met in Japan.
In March 2006, I received a call from Enrique asking if I could attend the Women for Peace Leadership Seminar in Seoul, Korea. It was a very hectic time for us, and there were only a few days to prepare ... but ... somehow, some way, I knew I had to make it possible. I wasn't going to miss it for anything. That seminar was an unforgettable event in my life. I met so many beautiful women of substance from all parts of the world. Each one of them had a story to tell. I often wonder how they are doing and hope that in the not too distant future there will be a follow up of that seminar with the same amazing women.
In June 2007, came an invitation to the International Leadership Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii. Having lived in Hawaii for 14 years, I was very excited to return. What a wonderful event that turned out to be! To add more joy, my daughter Monique was able to join me there from California and attend the conference. The memory of that wonderful experience will forever be implanted in our hearts. We met so many wonderful people and were ever so grateful for Rev. Moon and Mother Moon and all those at UPF who gave us such a blessed opportunity to unite with other Ambassadors for Peace. An abundance of meaningful discussions and events transpired in the true Hawaiian spirit.
Only when tyranny ceases and there is respect for liberty and different cultures can we all have peace, productivity, and prosperity!
I highly commend Rev. and Mother Moon during this year of Rev. Moon's 90th birthday for all their outstanding achievements. I look forward to reading Rev. Moon's autobiography. He is a true inspiration to all of us. His efforts and dedication to world peace will no doubt leave a divine legacy, along with the spirit of all the Ambassadors for Peace who are being honored today.
May there soon be a time when our children will share a world of unified PEACE! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, and God bless all of you!