Monday, September 17, 2012

Peace and Respect.. the Australian Way...

The "Peace" Rose (photo LP)

This morning, when I returned home after a weekend away, enjoying the spring blossoming native wildflowers during  my walks, I was delighted to see that the first of the spring roses had bloomed.  This rose is called "Peace" and comes from a 50 year old bush which was given to me by friends who were demolishing an old house;  the rosebush would not fit with their new garden.

Geraldton Wax, a native bush which parades it's beautiful flowers only in Spring (photo LP)

Some details about the "Peace" rose from Wikipedia: 
It was developed by French horticulturist Francis Meilland in the years 1935 to 1939. When Meilland foresaw the German invasion of France he sent cuttings to friends in Italy, Turkey, Germany, and the United States to protect the new rose. It is said, that it was sent to the US on the last plane available
As Meilland sent his cuttings just before the war, communication between the cultivators was not possible, which is why the rose received different names. In France it was called 'Madame A. Meilland', in honour of the breeder's mother. This is the formal cultivar name; all other names are selling names. In Italy it was called Gioia (It. for joy), in Germany Gloria Dei(lat. for glory to god) and in the USA Peace.
The rose became known as Peace in the following way. In early 1945 Meilland wrote to Field Marshal Alan Brooke (later Viscount Alanbrooke), the principal author of the master strategy that won the Second World War, to thank him for his key part in the liberation of France and to ask if Brooke would give his name to the rose. Brooke declined saying that, though he was honored to be asked, his name would soon be forgotten and a much better and more enduring name would be "Peace".
The adoption of the trade name "Peace" was publicly announced in the United States on 29 April 1945 by the introducers, Messrs Conard Pyle Co.. This was the very day that Berlin fell, officially considered the end of the Second World War in Europe. Later that year Peace roses were given to each of the delegations at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco, each with a note which read:
"We hope the 'Peace' rose will influence men’s thoughts for everlasting world peace".
Peter Beales, English rose grower and expert, said in his book Roses:

 I have loved and nurtured the bush now for over 10 years, and every spring it provides the first of the roses in my garden.

It seems particularly relevant today to post the picture of the "Peace"rose after the terrible violence in Sydney here in Australia, and indeed around the world between Muslim groups and others, over a disrespectful video produced by someone who has gone "underground" in the United States.

Native Wattle (foreground) and Grass Trees or "blackboys" (photo LP)

The Australian newspaper headlines shouted " Not the Aussie Way" (The West Australian) and included quotes from Prime Minister Julia Gillard that "This kind of conduct has no place on our streets", and the Islamic Council spokesman Ali Chaudhry "Don't judge us on the actions of a few".  It has divided opinion on talk back radio.

Having spent time in Malaysia with my daughter last year learning about and respecting the customs and culture of Islam in that country, I felt disheartened by the diverse opinions I listened to on the radio, both condemning and applauding the Muslim extremist elements which rioted in Sydney.

The author outside a mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, September 2011
And it seems such a shame that in a freedom loving country like Australia, these violent demonstrations can take place...where is the element of respect for the differences in our society?  We are an ebullient democracy, and a country with a spirit which not only applauds free speech, but has an historical psyche built on the requirement for free speech; free speech with respect for the opinion of others.

Our land is full of open spaces. My dogs with unexpected friends enjoying Guilderton, WA, September 2011 (photo LP)

After enjoying the native, natural wildflowers of the countryside last weekend, it was a joy to see the "newly" introduced species of the rose in my city garden flourishing on my return. My next gardening task is to plant a native bush next to a rose bush to see how well they blend in the garden...

Native Watsonia...flowering beautifully in Spring (photo LP)

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