By Rowan Liptrot
Saddleworth Peace Group will hold its annual Peace Vigil to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on Saturday, January 28 2017.
The Major of Oldham, Councillor Derek Heffernan, will speak at the event, and it is expected that he will be joined by local MP Debbie Abrahams.
They will be joined by local teenagers who will speak about what Holocaust Memorial Day means to them today. A silent vigil will follow.
As has become traditional the event will take place outside the Methodist Church in Uppermill Square between 12noon and 12.30pm.
The event will continue in the Methodist Church coffee lounge with light refreshments. All are welcome to attend.
Holocaust Memorial Day is an international day for the victims of the genocide that resulted in the killing of six million Jews and millions of others by the Nazi regime.
The day also remembers subsequent mass killings in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur, and challenges hatred and persecution in the world today.
The day was designated by the United Nations and marks the anniversary of the day in 1945 when the largest concentration camp, Auschwitz Birkenau, was liberated.
Saddleworth Peace Group is a secular organisation that aims to promote peace at the community and global level.
A spokesperson said: “The peace vigil is an opportunity for people across Saddleworth to come together to reflect and remember. We hope that as many people as possible will join us.”
Saddleworth Peace Group also held a vigil last August to mark Hiroshima Memorial Day on the 71st anniversary of bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Please email Saddleworth Peace Group for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, Oldham will commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day with services across the borough on Friday 27 January.
The main event will take place at Newman RC College, Oldham, OL9 9QY, at 11:30am – with the commemoration taking place between 11:45am – 1:30pm.
The service will be opened by The Mayor of Oldham, Cllr Derek Heffernan, followed by a special commemorative service and presentations by pupils from the college and its feeder primary schools.
A short service will also take place at Royton Park War Memorial at 10.30am and another at Shaw War Memorial, on the High Street, at 9.30am. All residents are invited.
Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Cooperatives, said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity for us all to remember those who have been victims of some of the worst atrocities in recent history.
“To see pupils from Blessed John Henry Newman RC College heavily involved in this event is inspiring and I commend them for playing their part in such an important occasion.”
“One of the pupils has even produced a piece of artwork which is being used on the service invites.
“The day is not only about commemorating past genocides and honouring those who died, but about standing with those who survived.
“This event also gives the council the opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to opposing prejudice, discrimination and racism wherever it occurs.”
If you would like to attend the event at Newman RC College event, please contact Anthony Booth, Business Support Officer, by email: Anthony.Booth@oldham.gov.uk. Places are limited and will be allocated on first come basis.
For more information about the services visit www.oldham.gov.uk/events and click on 27 January on the calendar.