Canada: True Parents’ Birthday Celebration & Ambassador for Peace Award Banquet
Prepared by FFWPU Canada
On the evening of January 18, 2020, in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Canada the Founders’ Birthday Celebration and Ambassadors for Peace Service Awards was held at the Payal Hall in Mississauga.
January’s weather in Canada is unpredictable and our plans can always be affected and interrupted. Mother Nature cooperated and blessed us with 10 inches of snow (20 cm) in the hours just before the event!
Surprisingly, most of the 500 confirmed guests attended including three current members of Federal and Provincial parliament, other dignitaries religious and civic leaders, heads of NGOs and community organizations from the vast ethnic and multi-cultural community that makes up Canada. Some fifty ethnic communities were represented.
Since 2014, the Canadian Unification Family has been regularly celebrating the birthday of our Founders, the Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, affectionately referred to as True Parents. Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, current Chairperson of FFWPU and UPF, North America, who attended this year’s event, has been a strong supporter of this effort since he previously served in Canada during 2012 and 2013 prior to his Continental appointment.
Federal Member of Parliament, Honourable Iqra Khalid presented several of the leaders of FFWPU, UPF and WFWP with Certificates of Appreciation for contributions to the Canadian community and for creating unity, promoting peace and upholding kind moral values. Provincial members of parliament, Hon. Kaleed Rasheed and Hon. Sheref Sabawy also encouraged the large gathering to continue this important work for peace inspired by our Founders.
The MCs Angela Fontaine and David Stewart guided the evening which included a number of musical and cultural performances by Nicolas Manlapaz, the Tre Viet Performing Arts Group and the Shilopoli Shethra Dance Academy. This was followed by Dr. Moonshik Kim, Chair of FFWPU and UPF Canada, who offered his welcoming remarks. After an introductory video, Rev. Franco Famularo, president of FFWPU and UPF Canada, then provided an introduction to the core collaborative principles of UPF and what it means to be an Ambassador for Peace.
Over thirty members of Youth Service for Peace then guided the audience in a rendition of “Let there be Peace on Earth”.
Dr. Ki Hoon Kim then provided the audience with a very informative and inspiring message on the past year’s activities of True Parents globally. He recognized the audience for their contributions toward the ideals of global peace and especially complemented them for attending in spite of the challenging weather.
The gathering culminated with the Awarding of the Annual Ambassador for Peace Service Awards to five distinguished members of the GTA who were presented with a plaque that honors their service and commends them for exemplifying the motto of Universal Peace Federation “Living for the Sake of Others”.
Finally, Robert Duffy, Secretary General of UPF, Canada oversaw the appointment of 12 new Ambassadors for Peace and explained that the AFP designation is not an award but a commission encouraging each of newly appointed to greater service for the well being of humanity.
More performances followed the cake cutting in honor of the Founders’ 100th and 77thbirthdays. Performers included the Nepalese community, a Japanese Dance Team and also Filipino Dance.
Truly a remarkable event in honor of the Founders effort to bring peace among people of so many diverse religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The weather cooperated and everyone returned safely to their homes on a clear and cold night covered with fresh snow.