January 29, 2022
Southeast’s Rotary Club is joining a worldwide effort to plant ‘Peace Poles.’
They planted one at Lewis School.
School children of all ages these days are entering an uncertain and strife-ridden world. To survive and flourish, they will need to learn to live peaceably with others, both near and far. That is the motivation of the Southeast Portland Rotary Club in obtaining and setting “Peace Poles” at various locations around Inner Southeast Portland, in coordination with a Rotary worldwide effort. The local club’s latest was installed at Lewis Elementary School.
The eight-foot-high pole is printed vertically with “May Peace Prevail On Earth” in four languages: English, Spanish, Russian, and Chinese. The pole has the small Rotary insignia/logo “wheel” or “gear” on one side. According to Rotarian John Ellis, that logo represents “Rotary’s engagement in the community…service above self.”
One description of Rotary, which is an international organization with chapters in most countries of the world, reads: “A member-driven, action-oriented, fun-inducing club, working in service to communities and growing today’s leaders.”
The idea of Peace Poles did not originate with Rotary. The effort was begun in Japan in 1955 by Masahisa Goi, a Japanese survivor of the nuclear bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. Other Peace Poles began to be installed around the world in 1983, when Rotary joined the project. Around the world there are now an estimated 200,000 Peace Poles.
Peace lovers around the globe have been involved in dedications of Peace Poles including the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, President Jimmy Carter, Deepak Chopra, and the late John Denver, as well as mayors, clubs, and Girl Scout Troops.
Southeast Portland Rotary has so far installed Peace Poles at Atkinson Elementary, Sellwood Middle School, Fire Stations #9, #25 and #20, Moreland Presbyterian Church, Holy Family School, the SMILE Station and one is coming this spring to Sellwood Community House. There are many others throughout Oregon, especially in Sherwood and Newberg.
Lewis Principal Froehlich took the initiative to install a Peace Pole three years ago in the front of the school on the west side, as part of the landscape renewal project that she started at the school when she arrived as a new Principal, so Lewis now is one of the few structures in the United States with two Peace Poles!
For more information about the worldwide Peace Pole project, with photos and videos, go online — www.worldpeace.org/peacepoleproject
Excerpts taken from article written by, Elizabeth Ussher Groff