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East London council celebrates 150th Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi

Peace Tree plantingTags Adults , Children , Council , Family , Residents

On Wednesday 2 October, Barking and Dagenham Council celebrated the values and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi on the 150th Anniversary of his birth and planted a peace tree on the grounds of St Margaret’s Church in Barking.

Being the only London Council to have such an event, this was led by his Worshipful, The Mayor of Barking and Dagenham, Cllr Peter Chand and accompanied by the Council Leader, Cllr Darren Rodwell, Cabinet Member for Equalities and Diversity, Cllr Lynda Rice and Bishop Musonda Trevor Selwyn Mwamba. This was an event to remember and commemorate the great work Gandhi did to promote peace.

Starting off outside the Town Hall, speeches were giving by the Mayor and Councillors, including Dr Mohamed Keshavjee, who received the Gandhi King Ikeda Peace Award in 2016 and is a close friend of the Gandhi family. He said in his speech: “He (Gandhi) was able to talk truth to power but did so with dignity, respect and an uncompromising commitment to truth, ethics and morality.”

A procession then took place to St. Margaret’s Church in Barking, where the Bishop Musonda Trevor Selwyn Mwamba, led a prayer in remembrance followed by the planting of a ‘Peace Tree’ in the grounds of the church.

Gandhi’s lessons are relevant today as they were back then such as respecting the rights of women and children, and of civil liberties of small and disadvantaged groups, including the health and wealth of the whole community. These lessons are very relevant today.

Mahatma Gandhi visited Dagenham in 1931, during that time he visited Kingsley Hall in the area. During his stay in East London, he was visited by many public figures including Charlie Chaplin and George Bernard Shaw.

Cllr Lynda Rice, Cabinet Member for Equalities and Diversity, said: “It’s wonderful we can celebrate the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi in this way. Commemorating his promotion of peace and his continuous work with social justice.”

His Worshipful, The Mayor of Barking and Dagenham, Cllr Peter Chand said: “Planting this ‘Peace Tree’ in St. Margaret’s Church, is a fitting tribute to a man who committed his life to making a change. Gandhi’s lessons are relevant today as they were back then such as respecting the rights of women and children, and of civil liberties of small and disadvantaged groups, including the health and wealth of the whole community. These lessons are very relevant today.”

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