The Mayor, Adolfo Canepa, received the Bethlehem Light of Peace last month on behalf of the people of Gibraltar from the Scouts’ Association (Gibraltar Branch), as is now tradition.

The Scouts collected the light from the Movimiento Scouts Catolicos, Delegacion de Sevilla before presenting it to the people of Gibraltar.

“This light has come from Bethlehem and the message is one of enlightenment of mankind and peace,” said the mayor. “Peace is something which we all need in our hearts. It is my hope and desire that we will have a peaceful Christmas.”

The Scouts then took the light on to other churches and places of public or cultural importance – indeed, to anybody that appreciates the significance of the ‘gift’.

The aim of the campaign is to include as many people as possible in the peace message.

This encourages everyone to actively create peace in their environment by being tolerant towards people of different ethnic, cultural, political or religious groups.

Now in its 29th year, the Peace Light from Bethlehem campaign was originally organised by the Austrian Broadcasting Company – ORF (Linz) – and was part of a large charitable relief mission – Light into Darkness, for children in need in Austria and abroad.

Since 1986, there has been a great deal of co-operation between Scouts and Guides in many countries which has allowed the light to travel throughout Europe.