Peace poles are a natural addition to any garden and volunteers with the Quesnel downtown community garden and the Westside community garden agreed.
“When I saw peace poles in a Chicago garden it also seemed appropriate for our gardens in Quesnel,” volunteer gardener Ellen Boutotte said.
Peace Poles were first erected in Japan in 1955 based on the philosophy of Master Masahisa Goi – universal peace must transcend all differences and relay the message May People Prevail on Earth.
Since that time more than 200,000 peace poles have been planted in 180 countries around the world. Some of the most outstanding examples are at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and the Aiki Shrine in Japan, at the United Nations Peace Park and in the Vatican City.
Peace Poles have been presented by the World Peace Society to the Dali Lama, Mother Teresa and many others.
Peace Poles have also been erected in response to acts of hatred such as in Wisconsin where a 52ft peace pole was planted at the sight of a large Klu Klux Klan rally.
In Ohio, one of the largest poles in the world weighing many tons and made of granite was erected in response to hate literature left on the driveways of Cincinnati’s Jewish residents.
Peace Poles serve as a constant reminder for all of us to pray for world peace and a symbol of the importance of world peace for future generations. After Boutotte suggested peace poles for Quesnel’s community garden, the group approached the Quesnel Rotary Club and to their surprise and delight, the club was looking for a project specially addressing the issue of peace. They were interested in the peace pole project.
“Our Rotary Club is proud of this project, we provided people and funding,” Rotary president Rebecca Beuschel said.
“It’s fantastic to live in a community that values food security and the importance of knowing where your food comes from.”
With funding in place, they set to work researching other peace poles, determining what would be on Quesnel’s peace poles and finding an artist to execute their vision.
One of the gardener’s granddaughter, Jackie Hofmeier-Clark, took on the project and together with some of her own ideas about incorporating images reflecting Quensel’s community garden, she set to work.
“It was wonderful to work on this unique and worldly project,” Hofmeier-Clark said.
“And amazing to have my work on display in the community.”
With the artwork underway, the gardeners determined they would have four languages represented on the poles, English, Carrier, Tagalog (a Philipino dialect) and Punjabi. The phrase May Peace Prevail on Earth in the four languages was ordered from the Peace Pole Project (a way of supporting that organization) which has thousands of language banners and thanks to Mark Josephy and Maureen Trotter for the poles, three peace poles were created for the downtown community garden. There is also a Peace Pole in the westside community garden.
The gardeners would also like to specially thank Sally Hofmeier, Victor Johnson and Charles McGee for all their help.