Astronaut Chris Hadfield was awarded the World Peace Tartan for the message he delivered from the International Space Station.
Col. Hadfield was awarded the World Peace Tartan in recognition of his powerful message of peace for the people of the earth, given January 13, 2013, from the International Space Station.
Victor Spence, founder of the World Peace Tartan Initiative and the tartan designer flew from Edinburgh, Scotland to make the award along with dignitaries from the University of the Fraser Valley and Summit Negotiations Society.
Victor Spence, Founder of the World Peace Tartan Initiative said: ‘It was a personal honour to meet Chris and also spend some private one to one time with him. Out of all the amazing people I have had to I can’t say I have ever met someone like him. He is an amazingly grounded, generous, calm and a highly trained professional and sincere good guy.
He was really interested in how the World Peace Tartan came about and my life. We also talked about his Scottish ancestry and that he’s trying to discover more.
We joked on stage in my presentation that I actually owned the domain name realastronauts.com and would he like to make we an offer!? This had the audience laughing loudly. He said we can talk about that!
This presentation provided a platform to introduce the World Peace Tartan in the City of Vancouver. It also give the opportunity of our first formal presentation in Canada on the same weekend as ‘Tartan Day’.
The World Peace Tartan was created to make a contribution to building a culture of peace and as we recognise Chris Hadfield for his extraordinary contribution to this same end we are indeed furthering this cause. The World Peace Tartan is a universal tartan, a tartan for all, and in its design it carries the message ‘peace is the way’.
Victor Spence further added: ‘Chris Hadfield called for peace from the unique perspective of the International Space Station. He not only deeply experienced this perspective of what he could see from space of our earthly habitat but he chose to share this with millions around the world. He shared the reality of what that view brought to mind which was that we are all on this amazing planet together. As a scientist and a human being Chris Hadfield deeply understood the nature of our interconnected, interdependent and interrelated nature. We have created false separateness and Chris Hadfield took the opportunity to remind us and uniquely and meaningfully made an extraordinary contribution to building a culture of peace on earth.
Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and International Ambassador for the World Peace Tartan sent this message that was read out to Chris Hadfield:
‘Greetings from Atlanta where I am today. I am aware of your gathering this evening in the City of Vancouver to honor Chris Hadfield. I send best wishes, support and thanks to the sponsors and organisers for their roles and intentions in this event.
A significant intention in today’s event is to contribute to building a culture of peace. To take this a step a further my message is to warmly encourage you to consider and act upon the words of my grandfather and commit yourselves to ‘Being the change you wish to see in the world’.
Chris Hadfield has indeed made a significant contribution to building a culture of peace and as an International Ambassador of the World Peace Tartan and a recipient of this honour myself along with 8 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and many others, I send my congratulations to Chris.
Background and history of World Peace Tartan
Astronaut Chris Hadfield will join the ranks of other notable individuals around the world who have been presented with World Peace Tartan, these include His Holiness The Dalai Lama of Tibet, Archbishop Desmond Tutu along with six other Nobel Peace Prize Laureates from the Nobel Women’s Initiative as well as Arun Gandhi , the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, and the Lord Provosts of the Cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, Mel Young the Founder of the Homeless World Cup, Magnus McFarlane-Barrow the Founder of Mary’s Meals, May El Khalil Founder of the Beirut Marathon and many others.
In the beginning:
Victor Spence added: The World Peace Tartan has a history going back to when I had my first meeting with His Holiness The Dalai Lama in Cape Town, South Africa in 1999. I was delivering letters of invitation for him to come to Scotland . He gave me a white silk scarf which is part of Tibetan culture and I had a thought that the next time I met him I would give him a tartan scarf which I did a couple of years later.
When he did eventually come to Scotland in 2004 and again in 2005 he received a number of Tartan scarves. I kept the new tradition going by giving many people tartan scarves in a gesture of peace and friendship from Scotland .
It wasn’t until 2008 when I first met Arun Gandhi , the Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, and presented him with ‘ Edinburgh ’ tartan that the idea of a World Peace Tartan came to mind’.
The World Peace Tartan was eventually created for the 2012 visit to Scotland by His Holiness The Dalai Lama and I was deeply honoured to present him with the world’s first World Peace Tartan scarf.’
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–Photo: Victor Spence (left) with Chris Hadfield (right) / Jason Brown