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Council to consult on restoring Ex Terra Lucem as St Helens' motto
5:46pm Wednesday 9th January 2013 in News
SENIOR councillors tonight agreed to a public consultation about the possibility of restoring Ex Terra Lucem as the town’s motto.
A campaign to change the phrase on St Helens’ coat of arms has gathered momentum since it featured in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The event’s scriptwriter, Frank Cottrell Boyce, a former St Helens schoolboy, revealed how the Latin term – which translates as Out of the Earth – Light – influenced some of the industrial scenes and the petal design of the Olympic cauldron.
In Cottrell Boyce’s words, “the DNA of St Helens was woven into the ceremony”.
A campaign to restore the motto was started by Star reader Darren Lilly and secured heavyweight backing from the likes of boxer Martin Murray, war veteran Andy Reid and this newspaper.
The phrase was chosen by Saints chairman Eamonn McManus to adorn the main entrance at Langtree Park.
Tonight councillors who make up the local authority’s cabinet voted unanimously to recommend consulting to change the motto, which is currently Prosperitas in Excelsis (Flourishing Well).
Cabinet documents stated: “A consultation process would establish whether this was a view which is more widely held by local residents generally and enable the council to decide if the motto should be changed.”
They added: “The Opening Ceremony captured the imagination of people worldwide, but has also led many people locally to question whether we should adopt Ex Terra Lucem as the motto on our Coat of Arms....It is felt that it is more appropriate to the town’s history and has more meaning for local people, representing hope for the future.
“A number of people have raised this and requested that the council consider replacing the motto.”
Ex Terra Lucem was dropped in 1974 when St Helens created a new coat of arms following the reorganisation of local government, which led to an expanded borough.
It is believed ‘Flourishing Well’ was taken from Rainford Council’s badge of office.
Council papers add that it would cost the council £70 to register Ex Terra Lucem as the new motto, although there is no reference to how much changing the coat of arms on some buildings, stationery and vehicles could cost.