Nelson Mandela Day in Canberra

On 18 July 2017, the United Nations Information Centre and the South African High Commission joined together to celebrate Nelson Mandela Day and devote 67 minutes of community service to the Baptist Aged Care Facility in Red Hill, Canberra.

The event was opened by UNIC Director, Mr Christopher Woodthorpe, who explained the significance of the 67 minutes – one minute for every year of Mr Mandela’s public service. This was followed by the reading of a message from the UN Secretary-General and then a film about the life of Nelson Mandela.

Mr Christopher Woodthorpe (left), High Commissioner Ms Beryl Sisulu (centre), with colleagues from the South African High Commission

The residents seemed to enjoy the film and some laughed at a part of the film where the elderly Mandela said that he is ‘retiring from retirement’.

After the film, the South African High Commissioner Ms Beryl Sisulu spoke about Mandela’s life and legacy. After which Mr Woodthorpe and the High Commissioner presented gifts to the Baptist Aged Care facility; a beautiful, glass vase and a two books entitled ‘A long walk to freedom’.

Both gifts added a personal touch as they were engraved with wonderful messages from the Director and High Commissioner.

Once the presentation had concluded, tea, coffee, cake and treats were served. It was a lovely way for the staff of UNIC and the High Commission to engage and meet the residents who openly shared stories and were pleased to have some company and entertainment.