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Give us our motto back! Campaign to restore Ex Terra Lucem gathers force
11:14am Thursday 30th August 2012 in News
A CAMPAIGN calling on town hall chiefs to restore Ex Terra Lucem as St Helens’ motto is gathering force.
An online petition and social media campaign have both been launched by people inspired by the Latin term, ‘Out of the earth came light’, being a key influence on the Olympic Games’ Opening Ceremony.
A poll at sthelenstar.co.uk in which 93 per cent of readers have voted for Ex Terra Lucem to replace the current motto, Prosperitas In Excelsis (meaning Flourishing Well) offers further evidence of the public’s strength of feeling for change.
Campaigners have written to St Helens Council, setting out their hopes.
Darren Lilly, a 42-year-old market trader who is originally from Parr, started it with a Twitter campaign.
He said: “The feeling is that the current motto doesn’t really reflect where the town is at the moment. The old motto is a more hopeful one, celebrates our heritage and of course got the exposure at the Olympics. From a conversation on Twitter it has gathered momentum. Judging by the comments, people are really passionate about it. And it’s not just those living in St Helens. There’s ex-pat Sintelliners supporting us as far away as Singapore and Hong Kong.
“It also features on Langtree Park, which symbolises what the motto is about – in the sense an industrial land was created into something new.”
Darren echoed the calls of Gary Conley, who last week explained how the motto inspired the creation of the giant Dream sculpture at the former pit at Sutton Manor.
Ex Terra Lucem’s influence on London 2012’s Opening Ceremony was revealed by the show’s screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce from Rainhill, pictured top.
The former West Park secondary school pupil said the motto was woven into the games’ DNA after the creative team placed on a noticed board of ideas.
Sculptor Thomas Heatherwick, who designed the cauldron of petals where the Olympic flame burned, took inspiration from the Latin phrase, according to the celebrated children’s author.
The town’s motto was changed in 1974 following borough boundary alterations.
Asked whether it would consider restoring the traditional phrase, St Helens Council spokesman said: “We are looking into it”.