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In Remembrance of Tsunami Victims

The Trent University community came together in remembrance on January 13. A memorial service for the victims and the survivors of the December 26 tsunami took place in Champlain College's Great Hall at 10 a.m.

The service was organized by the Chaplain's Office in cooperation with the student Religious Affairs Committee and the Trent International Program (TIP) Office. President Bonnie Patterson addressed those in attendance, as did Trent Centre Student Association President Chris Glover, TIP Director Mike Allcott and international students Dilini Heart and Thushani Sasinayagam. Spiritual Affairs Co-ordinator David French led the service.

"On behalf of the Trent community, I offer our deepest sympathies to those who have lost friends and family members, and those who continue to search for the missing. You are in our thoughts, and we wish you hope in what may feel like a time of helplessness," said President Patterson. "The waves were half a world away, but Trent is an international community, and little more than geography separated us from this disaster."

Multifaith student prayers and candle lighting was also part of the service.

"On behalf of the Trent International Program I'd like to thank everyone in the university community who is working either individually or as a part of a student or professional group to substantively demonstrate the university's commitment to internationalism at this hour and continuously in our learning lives and educational endeavours," said Prof. Allcott, also honorary associate professor in the Department of English.

Prof. Allcott recited the following as part of the service:

They say the earth shook upon its axis
And immediately more people than we count in our university community
Lost their lives

They say the earth shook upon its axis
And within minutes more people than we count in the city of Peterborough
Had lost their lives

They say the earth shook upon its axis
And within hours an uncounted number of children became orphans.

They say the earth shook upon its axis
And within a day, we knew that more people than we count in the metropolis of Toronto
Had lost their homes.

They say the earth shook upon its axis
Spreading fear, grief, pain
And waves of a common sense of vulnerability,
of humanity to all corners of the world.

Let it be said that the day the earth shook upon its axis
Was the day the world became aware
That it is possible to reach across the gulf
Of cultural divide

That it is possible to recognize the common need
In another's coloured eyes

To take the outstretched hand
And feel the strength not merely of aid in time of need,
but the meaning of common bond over time.

As we take this moment to feel the still unaccounted loss of people: students, parents, brothers, sisters, children, friends . . .
Let us also find might in feeling that we are one world,
And just as we live and learn together at Trent,
So the world might live and learn together
In a common sense of peace. 

Posted January 13, 2005

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