[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
The "Sword of Peace"
The "Sword of Peace" was presented by Malcolm Sinclair, the
Earl of Caithness, to Benjamin
Sylliboy, the Grand Chief of the Mi'kmaq Nation in recognition of the
welcome which they gave
to Henry Sinclair when he landed on their shores in 1398 (although we now
believe that it may
have been 1396 and again in 1398) and to the welcome which they
have extended to succeeding
generations of Scots who now call the country Nova Scotia.
The ceremony was a deeply moving occasion which had (and has) great
at a time when there is a great need for a rapprochement between
immigrants and the indigenous
people who have not always been treated with the desired courtesy and
The presentation redressed this omission.
The "Sword of Peace" had the work 'peace' inscribed on its
blade in 206 different languages
including Mi'kmaqi and Inuit (Eskimo). It also had the Mi'kmaq
symbolism which the three
Mi'kmaq elders, who had attended the Sinclair Symposium in Orkney in
1997, had identified
on the Kirkwall Scroll. This scroll, which is believed to be the
oldest Masonic document in
existence and which hangs in the Masonic Lodge in Kirkwall, has been
carbon dated to the 14th
Century and tends to give further proof of the cultural diffusion which
has been taking place
between the Old World and the New World for many centuries - indeed for
The "Sword of Peace" also had the Sinclair engrailed cross on
its blade and has now pride of
place in the Mi'kmaq museum as a tangible reminder of the long
association which they have
had with Scotland, in general, and with the Sinclairs, in
particular. There is clear evidence of
genetic infusion as well as cultural diffusion.
The "Sword of Peace" was specially crafted and designed by
Wilkinson Sword of London.
I am hopeful the contacts, which I have sent by separate e-mail, will be
able to provide you with
suitable film for a news slot.
A separate but equally newsworthy story is the voyage which Laura Zolo
has made from Venice
via Orkney to the New World in the wake of the Zeno Brothers and Prince
Henry Sinclair. This
intrepid Italian woman has given 'physical expression' to that which we
have been talking about
for years and, in so doing, has gained more real publicity for the 1398
voyage than anything
which our own somewhat pedestrian efforts have achieved.
Laura has faced the papal winds of the Mediterranean; the perils of
the Bay of Biscay, the Atlantic
Gales, as she followed the Viking route via Orkney, Shetland, the Faroes,
Labrador, Newfoundland and, finally, to the protected inner harbour of
Guyborough in Nova Scotia
where Prince Henry Sinclair had found a similar escape from the storms
over 600 years ago.
Times have changed but the relentless sea remains the same. Laura's
little yacht, the "7 Roses"
would fit into most people's kitchens. I, for one, wouldn't have
ventured across a mill-pond in her.
Laura has spent 9 months replicating an historic voyage which deserves to
have its rightful place
in the history of Venice, Scotland and the New World.
It is a sad indictment of our failure to give credit to our own heroes
that it has been left to the tiny
figure of a young and beautiful Italian woman to set us an example of
courage, determination and
seamanship of the very highest order.
Laura is newsworthy. Laura is enchanting. Laura is humble as
only those who have had to face
danger (day in and day out) invariably are. She is a genuine
heroine. She deserves her own page