The first of our centenary activities comes ahead of the year of the centenary itself. We have had calendars printed for 2013, using posters from different parts of NFPB’s long history. With one calendar for each month, this is just a small selection of the several hundred stored in our archives. It was difficult to choose which would be most appropriate. Some of the posters – including those not in the calendar – feature in the special Quaker Week issue of The Friend. The text of the accompanying article is given below.
Other activities being planned to mark the year included celebratory events and meetings, a walk, workshops, booklets on the history of NFPB and a range of other saleable items. Follow this link for information and an order form for the calendar.
Article published in The Friend, 27 September 2012
Posters for peace
by Philip Austin
Philip Austin dips into the Northern Friends Peace Board’s poster archive
The Northern Friends Peace Board is dipping into a rich archival pool to mark its centenary next year.
A calendar for 2013, which draws on a selection of several hundred posters from the Board’s collection, is the first in a number of centenary initiatives. Posters were one of the main tools for promoting peace ideas that the Northern Friends Peace Board (NFPB) used from its outset. The Board was set up at a peace conference of Friends from Northern Quarterly Meetings on 5 January 1913.
The Board minuted that ‘its special duty is to advise and encourage Friends in the North, and through them their fellow Christians and citizens generally in the active promotion of peace in all its height and breadth, that, as the service of the Committee opens out before it, should any Friends with a concern offer to assist in this glorious cause, the Board be empowered to make such arrangements as seem right for a period of years.’
Robert Long agreed to be organising secretary in 1913 and served in this role until retiring in 1942. In a passionately worded leaflet printed at the outbreak of the first world war, Long writes: ‘May it never be said that our peace principles are an excuse for shirking duty. England needs her Quaker sons and daughters at the present hour. [Friends in Scotland and North Wales joined the Board a short while later.] Men and women are wanted who will serve in the humdrum services of life no less bravely than the soldiers on the battlefield.’
The war was not the short affair that Friends hoped it would be, and peace work has proved to be a long term commitment that Friends in the North have continued to support with service and funds since that founding conference. We look forward to sharing the inspiration from the paths our predecessors have gone along and to exploring with Friends visions for our peace witness in the future.
Northern Friends Peace Board coordinator
Calendars are available for £6.50 (including postage and packaging). For further information: http://nfpb.org.uk