Astronaut Chris Hadfield hails peace tartan

Chris Hadfield wears the World Peace Tartan scarf after the  Vancouver ceremony. Picture: contributed
Chris Hadfield wears the World Peace Tartan scarf after the Vancouver ceremony. Picture: contributed
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HE’s the “singing spaceman” who brought followers a little closer to home with his spectacular images of the Earth from above.

And now retired Canadian astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield has been presented with the Edinburgh-designed World Peace Tartan thanks to Capital campaigner Victor Spence.

Colonel Hadfield, the 54-year-old former flight engineer, astronaut, musician and social media sensation gave a presentation in Vancouver on Friday to a packed audience entitled “Sky is Not the Limit”.

Before the event, World Peace Tartan’s founder and designer Victor Spence, along with a number of representatives from the University of the Fraser Valley and Summit Negotiations Society, presented the signature scarf of world peace and friendship to Colonel Hadfield.

Mr Spence then read the words of support from existing recipients of the scarf, among them Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.

He added: “The World Peace Tartan is a universal tartan, a tartan for all, and in its design it carries the message ‘peace is the way’.”

After the event, the Edinburgh campaigner said he was “delighted, privileged and indeed very grateful to have been invited to Vancouver to participate in the event with Col Chris Hadfield”.

He added: “This invitation also provides a platform to introduce the World Peace Tartan in the city of Vancouver.”

“The reason Col Hadfield is being given the World Peace Tartan is to recognise his outstanding contribution to building a culture of peace through his words and actions while he was on the International Space Station.

“He had a unique perspective. 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.

“Col Hadfield made a point of communicating to people that we all live together in an interconnected, interdependent diverse world and we should all live in peace.”

The World Peace Tartan Initiative was launched in June 2012. A meeting between Mr Spence and the Dalai Lama in 1999 and the swapping of scarves as a gesture of peace and friendship sparked the project.

The intention was to spread a message of peace via a symbol of the harmonies and diversities that bind the world population together.

Each colour making up the tartan represents a different organisation or human element of the transition from war and violence to peace and prosperity.

The revenues obtained through the sale of the World Peace Tartan are to be invested into educational programmes designed to breed a culture of peace and non-violence, while tackling child poverty.

Check out these recipients

Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama was the first person to be awarded the scarf, in June 2012.

Since then, Mel Young, President of the Homeless World Cup, was honoured for his services to the homeless.

Canadian singer songwriter Sierra Noble was awarded a scarf as a sign of peace and friendship.

And Archbishop Desmond Tutu was honoured for his lifelong dedication to building love and forgiveness, which are fundamental to liberating people across the world.