Support our Nation today - please donate here
Culture

Urdd celebrates centenary of Welsh Women’s Peace Petition to America

19 Feb 2024 3 minute read
Peace and Goodwill Message Contributors

Wales’ largest youth organisation, Urdd Gobaith Cymru has announced that this year’s Peace and Goodwill Message will celebrate the centenary of Welsh women’s remarkable Peace Petition, and continue the call for peace a hundred years later.

Exactly 100 years ago today, on 19 February 1924, an oak chest containing a petition signed by 390,296 Welsh women was presented to the women of America at the Biltmore Hotel, New York by a peace delegation from Wales.

Campaign

The petition was a campaign for co-operation and world peace and has inspired the Urdd to encourage a group of young women to come together to help write this year’s Peace and Goodwill Message, which will be shared with the world in May.

The Creative Director of this year’s Message is poet and singer Casi Wyn. Casi will write the words following workshops with young female ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) students from Cardiff and Vale College along with some of the Urdd’s staff, apprentices, and volunteers.

Siân Lewis, Chief Executive of the Urdd, said: “The Urdd is keen to pay tribute to the generation of Welsh women who arranged a truly remarkable Wales-wide, door-to-door campaign in their effort for peace and equality. Unfortunately, the reality is that a century later, we’re still asking for peace.”

Mererid Hopwood, on behalf of the ‘Hawlio Heddwch’ (transl. Pursuit of Peace) Committee added: “The original peace petition was an act of hope, one that had a firm view of the future, and one that acknowledged opportunity and responsibility to create a world without war.

“Academi Heddwch Cymru and its ‘Hawlio Heddwch’ project, which celebrates the centenary of the Appeal and its extraordinary petition, is therefore particularly pleased to see that the 1923-24 Petition has inspired Urdd members in 2024 and motivated them to consider its message and accept its challenge.”

Casi Wyn workshop

Casi Wyn added: “It was a pleasure to accept the Urdd’s invitation to direct this year’s Peace and Goodwill Message.

“Being able to bridge the historic petition written back in 1924 with the vision of today’s Welsh women during a series of workshops was inspiring.

“n due course Efa Blosse Mason, my artistic partner for years, will be bringing the words to life in her own unique way.”

International Women’s Day

The Urdd will publish the words of this year’s Peace and Goodwill Message on International Women’s Day (8 March), before releasing the Message in short film form on Friday, 17 May.

The Urdd’s Peace and Goodwill Message is unique to Wales.

For over a century, every May the young people of Wales have thrown a spotlight on themes that are important to them whilst sharing a message of peace to the world.

Last year’s anti-racism Peace Message was seen in 50 countries, shared in over 50 languages, and supported by celebrities and hundreds of schools across Wales and beyond.

Since last year, the oak chest and the 1924 Welsh Women’s Peace Petition are back in Wales and reside at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth where specialist staff have been involved in the conservation and digitisation of seven miles’ worth of Petition content to enable public access.


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
1 month ago

The Welsh women’s original and magnificent message of peace and goodwill around the world is needed now as much as it was a century ago

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.