Rotary rededicates Peace Pole on International Day of Peace

The Southampton Rotary Club held a rededication ceremony of the Southampton Rotary Peace Pole, a powerful symbol of hope and unity for peace.

 Embracing Peace in Ojibwa and Japanese

 Southampton Rotary at Peace Pole 2023 rededication in Perkins Park – photo submittedThe ceremony that took place this morning on International Peace Day September 21st at 9:30 a.m. in Perkins Park Southampton, was a momentous occasion, bringing together community leaders, representatives and residents.

Club President Dave Bertrand welcomed everyone and delivered the Land Acknowledgment, with Saugeen Shores Deputy Mayor Diane Huber extending greetings on behalf of the municipality.

The Peace Pole was initially dedicated on the ‘International Day of Peace,’ Wednesday, September 21, 2022, at Perkins Park. Over the past three years, Southampton Rotary Club has worked in close collaboration with the Saugeen First Nation to determine an appropriate Ojibwa translation, underscoring the significance of this symbol in its cultural context.

Lori Kewaquom from Saugeen First Nation shed light on the translation process of the Peace Pole’s message into Ojibwa … “Bekaadesewin”, an essential touch to honour the heritage of this land.

As the club is currently hosting Rotary Youth Exchange Student, Rei Kaneda, from Japan, the club’s International Service Committee also took the opportunity to add a Japanese translation on the pole, particularly, to recognize that the Peace Pole movement originated in Japan following the Second World War, as a symbol of hope and reconciliation.

Originally conceived to mark the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations in 2020, the Southampton installation was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, this pole joins over 250,000 similar monuments worldwide, each carrying the universal message, ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth,’ inscribed in six languages of the United Nations (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish), as well as in Ojibwa and Japanese.

Past-President, Jenny Amy gave a short address on the meaning of peace to conclude the ceremony and formally invited all present to reflect and rededicate the pole by saying the words ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth’.

A Peace Pole is not merely a monument; it’s an embodiment of the collective aspirations for peace that resonate across humanity. Standing as a universal icon, it serves as a reminder to nurture peace within ourselves and our communities.