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Harmony Day celebrations in the Lower Clarence

Geoff Helisma

Two Harmony Day events are taking place in the Lower Clarence on Saturday March 21.

The Harwood Island community, in conjunction with the Yaegl Elders is holding an event at the Harwood Hotel from 10am to late.

Meanwhile, LOETUS (Language other than English together with us) is holding its event at the Maclean Services Club from 4pm.

Kathleen Werry, public officer for the Biirrinda and Harwood Island Community Committee Inc, said 2020 is the 20th anniversary of Harmony Day worldwide, and coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The day will be much like several held at the hotel over past years and will include “workshops and food and art from many of the nationalities represented in the valley”.

Entertainment will include various musical performances, bush poetry, Scottish piping and dancing, dancers from the Philippines, African drumming and a performance of the Irish national anthem.

Rev Lenore Parker and Ferlin Laurie will conduct the welcome to country.

Entry is free.

The LOETUS event is more formal and features several speakers, including presentations by LOETUS chair Rathi Ramanathan and Lismore MP Janelle Saffin.

Tim Watts, author of The Golden Country: Australia’s Changing Identity, is the keynote speaker.

Singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Leanne Flynn will perform her modern original Celtic folk music and other styles. Her vocals are reminiscent of the likes of Joni Mitchell, Eva Cassidy, Stevie Nicks and Mary Black.

There is limited seating for this event; tickets are available through Eventbrite and at the door; $10 per entry entitles you to go in the lucky door prize draw and refreshments.

All proceeds to go towards supporting LOETUS work program.

Harmony Week/Day is a time to celebrate Australian multiculturalism, and the successful integration of migrants into our community … it’s about inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all Australians, regardless of cultural or linguistic background, united by a set of core Australian values.