MAY PEACE Prevail in Canada! May Peace Prevail On Earth!
The City of Greater Sudbury invited Sudburians, including school students and community groups, to participate in the International Day of Peace by planting a Peace Pole in Memorial Park on September 21, 2016.
Morning sunshine greeted the many peace doves which had been suspended from trees and fluttered in the gentle breeze. The doves, some white, others brightly coloured, and bearing wishes for peace, were created in advance by community members and local school children. What an idyllic setting for the dedication of Greater Sudbury’s Peace Pole at the apex of a triangular floral garden.
Anne Gervais, Recreation Coordinator of Leisure Services for the City of Greater Sudbury, and Lori Adams, WPPS Representative in Canada, were pleased to emcee this very special Peace Pole Dedication Ceremony.
To acknowledge the people on whose traditional territories we gathered, the Ceremony recognized the Atikameksheng and Wahnapitae Anishnawbek First Nations for their stewardship of this land throughout the ages.
A number of introductory comments, given in both English and French, framed our intentions for peace.
Everyone then joined in the singing of “O’Canada” led by Trinity Thibeault.
Following the anthem, Cindy Dent, Manager of Recreation at the City of Greater Sudbury, shared a Prayer for Peace, after which Chief Ted Roque offered greetings from Wahnapitae First Nation, and Mayor Brian Bigger addressed the gathering.
The highlight was the dedication and unveiling of the Peace Pole. An explanation of the Peace Pole Project included the following details:
Ø The Peace Pole Project, an initiative of the World Peace Prayer Society, was started in 1976 as a way to spread the message May Peace Prevail on Earth. Over 200,000 Peace Poles have been dedicated in nearly every country on Earth, and are recognized as some of the most prominent international symbols and monuments to peace.
Ø Mrs. Masami Saionji, Chairperson of the World Peace Prayer Society and the Goi Peace Foundation, inspires us with these words … “No matter where we live on this planet, we share the individual and collective responsibilities to promote and foster world peace.”
Ø The Peace Pole bears the message May Peace Prevail on Earth in five different languages – English, French, Ojibway, Braille and Sign – and links us with people all over the world who have planted Peace Poles in the same spirit of peace.
Mayor Bigger and Councillor McIntosh proudly unveiled our City of Greater Sudbury’s Peace Pole.
The Starr Fire Choir from Sudbury Secondary School sang “Let There Be Peace on Earth” reminding us all that Peace Begins with ME.
In the closing remarks, participants were invited to tour the park, enjoy the exhibit and take part in a community art project by making a collage of thumbprints on a large paper dove to further demonstrate their commitment to peace.
All were thanked for joining this circle, affirming that we are ONE, ONE committed to fostering a peaceful community, nation, and world.
May Peace Prevail on Earth
Respectfully Submitted by:
Anne Gervais, Recreation Coordinator, Leisure Services, City of Greater Sudbury
Lori Adams, WPPS Peace Representative in Canada