Pressenza met Gerald Tremblay and asked him whether Montreal will be receiving the Hiroshima Flame carried out by the World March for peace and non-violence international team representatives at the time of its arrival in North America next November. According to mayor Tremblay «Montreal is a city of peace in North America. We are ready to receive the Hiroshima Flame and we will support the city of Hiroshima for the abolition of nuclear weapons».
Alongside the Montreal mayor and Mr Hiroaki Isobe, several representatives of peace groups took part in the ceremony. The violonist Alexandre Da costa from «les Artistes de la Paix» opened the cerenomy with the splendid Schindler’s List soundtrack. The speech of the Hiroshima mayor, Tadatoshi Akiba, was read in English by the Mcgill University PHD Dr Chibata and in French by a University of Montreal student, Guillaume Sauve. For the occasion, children from several schools and from the Botanical garden day camp made 5,000 cranes for peace from origami paper. Shirlane Day from the «Institut Pacifique» explained the training work of young mediators carried out by the Institute in several schools throughout Canada. In his speech, the Montreal mayor launched a call to the hundred of participants: «tell the people you know that you took part in a rather exceptional ceremony which recalls us who we are (…) The respect of human dignity is sacred, we are citizens of the world and we must realize that we are humanity citizens»
The Peace Bell installed in the Japanese Garden of the Montreal Botanical Garden rang in «silence» for one minute. It was given to the city of Montreal by the city of Hiroshima in 1998 as a symbol of eternal friendship and peace. It is inscribed with a message of hope for the future by Mayor Hiraoka, peace doves, the Great Bear (Ursus Major) and Southern Cross constellations representing the northern and southern hemispheres.
Up to this date, only five other cities around the world have received peace bells as a token of friendship from the city of Hiroshima: Volgograd, Russia (1985); Hanover, Germany (1985); Honolulu, United States (1985); Chongqing, People’s Republic of China (1986) and Taegu, South Korea (1997).