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From the Principal (Issue 5 2018)

Written on the 5 April 2018

Dear members of the Sacred Heart College community

I trust that a fine Easter break and celebration was had by all families across the Sacred Heart Community?

Yesterday was a significant day as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King's assassination. To mark the occassion, all Homerooms were provided with the following reflection based on Nicholas Hutchinson's book Praying Each Day of the Year.

Martin Luther King Jr was a Baptist minister and Civil Rights Leader from the 1950's and 1960's. He became involved in trying to get people to change their attitude of hatred and prejudice. He always preached non-violence despite the threats, bombings, stabbings and other violence that was done to him. On this day in 1968, Martin Luther King was shot dead.

He said "Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend."

In the United States of the 1960's, people were still segregated (separated) according to their colour. Those of other colour were kept at a distance from whites. Only whites could sit at the front of buses. In restaurants and cafes, people were kept apart according to colour. There were white-only schools. Most blacks were not allowed to vote. 

One of his best-known speeches was delivered at the largest rally ever held in the United States - when a quarter of a million people gathered in Washington in a Civil Rights demonstration.

He said "I have a dream, that one day on the red hills of Georgia, sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners, will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream, that my four little children will one day live in a nation, where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today."

Click here for some of the actual footage of this momentous day.

The following is part of a sermon preached by Martin Luther King, two months before he was assassinated on 4 April 1968. A tape recording of him preaching that sermon was played at his own funeral. These were his words, played back for everyone to hear:

"Every now and then I think about my own death and I think about my own funeral. If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don't want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. Every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize - that isn't important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards - that's not important.

I'd like somebody to mention that day, that Martin Luther King tried to give his life serving others. I'd like for somebody to say that day, that 'Martin Luther King tried to love somebody.' I want you to say that day, that I 'did try to feed the hungry; that I did try, in my life, to visit those who were in prison.' I want you to say that I 'tried to love and serve humanity.' I won't have any money to leave behind. I won't have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind."

Perhaps President Obama sums it up when he states "His words belong to the ages, possessing a power and prophecy unmatched in our time!"


Steve Byrne


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