Seiwa Crest

Seiwa History

"Love your neighbour as yourself"

The bombing of Nagasaki, Japan

On the 9th of August 1945, an atomic bomb at the hands of World War 2 devastated the city of Nagasaki. The city had a high catholic population and the tragedy killed 140,000 people, which affected the religion worldwide. This devastation prompted the bishop of Nagasaki to call for help and the Good Samaritan nuns of Australia risked their lives to provide relief to those struggling. One of the inspirational acts of the Good Samaritan nuns was set up a school, North of Nagasaki, in order to provide education and structure to the lives of the children who were devastated by the atrocity. The school was opened in 1953 and was named Seiwa College. In 2014 the Good Samaritan nuns are still continuing their efforts of actively displaying peace and compassion in Japan. Canberra Catholic Girls High was opened six years after the establishment of Seiwa College, by Sister Clare Slattery of the Good Samaritan nuns. Therefore it was fitting to name a house within Merici after Seiwa to acknowledge the honourable work of the Good Samaritan nuns.

From the bombing, one girl in particular, Sadako Sasaki, is remembered for her remarkable courage after exposure to the atomic bomb left her with Leukaemia. To pass the time in the nursing home she was being treated in, she made it her goal to fold one thousand origami cranes before she died. She only made it to 644 before she became too weak to continue, so her classmate agreed to finish them for her to complete her wish. There is a statue of Sadako holding a crane in Hiroshima Peace Park to remember her, and every year on Obon day people leave cranes at the statue in memory of the peace and compassion she displayed throughout the devastating time.