This morning the UNE Council formally recognised the passing of Nelson Mandela with deep regret.
The Honourable John Watkins, Chancellor of UNE, made the following comments:
For 28 years Nelson Mandela’s life was confined to the limits of a prison cell, but in reality his life, for all his 91 years, knew no limits or restrictions.
A man’s dreams know no jail walls, and Nelson Mandela dreamed of a free South Africa: a rainbow nation which he would lead to freedom.
The world has lost a great, humble, courageous and altogether extraordinary man, and all the people of the world will mourn together.
In saying goodbye to Madiba, I’ll borrow some words from the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley.
These are words Mandela recited to his fellow inmates, to give them strength during the long dark night.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
UNE Professor of Peace Studies, Professor Helen Ware, who met Mr Mandela on two occasions, paid a personal tribute to the great man. You can listen to her tribute here: http://www.une.edu.au/__data/assets/mp3_file/0019/54424/Mandela.MP3