A ‘peace’ of nonsense

opening ceremony of Kirkcaldy's Peace Garden in Beveridge Park
opening ceremony of Kirkcaldy's Peace Garden in Beveridge Park

A SYMBOL of peace in a Kirkcaldy park has been targeted by vandals – for the second time in less than a week.

Plants were ripped out, trees broken and a stone pole at the centre of the garden scored with a rude drawing in the second attack on the Peace Garden within Beveridge Park in under a week.

Vandals first struck in the middle of last week, ripping up benches set around the garden, a project set up by the Fife Interfaith Group to promote racial tolerance and awareness.

And, in spite of an appeal by members of the interfaith organisation for the community to respect the true meaning of the garden, which was officially opened in a ceremony on Saturday, it was vandalised again over the weekend.

“We don’t understand why this has happened again,” said Dr Junaid Syed, chairman of the Fife Interfaith Group.

Respect

“It is a symbol of global peace, love and respect for all. This message is above the boundaries of all faiths, origin, colour and countries.

“The opening ceremony clearly indicates that people of Fife love the message of ‘May Peace prevail on Earth’ since people from different political parties, faiths and origin prayed for the peace of every country of the world, during the opening ceremony.

“Surely the creation of a garden and propagating the message of love and respect for all is a positive act and indicates positive energies, whereas, destruction and damaging the trees and garden represent a negative act and demonstrate negative energies.

“The garden has been created with positive thoughts – now it is up to all of us to look after it and show our positive energies.”

The opening ceremony on Saturday was preceded by a reception for religious leaders of all faiths at the Dean Park Hotel.

The ceremony was attended by people from all over Scotland, including representatives from St Andrews University. Everyone was welcomed by Dr Syed who explained the thinking behind the garden.

Kirkcaldy councillor, Judy Hamilton talked about the significance of the project, and Councillor David Ross, depute leader of Fife Council’s administration unveiled the Peace Pole.

This was followed by the reading of the peace message in English, Polish, Urdu and Arabic, and the singing of a peace song. Guests also then took part in a colourful parade of the flags of the countries of the world.