Excitement building in Pugwash

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Historic conference set to begin this week

PUGWASH Pugwash will be ready when the first participants arrive for this week's Pugwash Conference.

PUGWASH Pugwash will be ready when the first participants arrive for this week's Pugwash Conference.

Delegates are expected to arrive in this tiny seaside village in the next day or so in preparation for the three-day conference that's expected to revitalize the nuclear disarmament movements and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Pugwash Conference at Thinker's Lodge in 1957.

"We're all pretty excited to think the conference is just about here," Pugwash Peace Exchange communications chair Krista Chiasson said Tuesday. "There's still a lot of work to do before the start of the conference and a lot of details to look after, but everyone's working hard at getting ready."

A half century after some of the world's greatest minds came to Pugwash to talk about peace and disarmament, Pugwash will again be in the global spotlight beginning Thursday when some of today's brightest minds come to the village to talk about the ongoing threat of nuclear weapons.

Chiasson said the excitement level is growing in Pugwash with this being the biggest event the community has hosted since the initial conference, held from July 6 to 10, 1957 and attended by 22 eminent scientists from around the world including Canada, the United States, the Soviet Union, Japan and the United Kingdom.

"People seem to be really keen and excited about it," she said. "Whenever we're out running errands around the community people are asking about the conference and what events are open."

Preparations have also been aided by a group of volunteers who've been working tirelessly in advance of the conference and will put in yeoman service during the event.

While the workshops themselves are closed to the public, Chiasson said there will be numerous public events. Highlights include:

From Cyrus Eaton to Joseph Rotblat: Creating the Path to a Nuclear-Free World, at Pugwash District High School on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

What Pugwsh Means to the World on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Pugwash Masonic Lodge, featuring Sandra Butcher, director of the Pugwash History Project.

At 5 p.m. on Saturday, the Nobel Peace Medal, presented in 1995 to Dr. Rotblat, will be presented to the Pugwash Peace Exchange. Also on hand will be Senators Roche and Dallaire, Premier Rodney MacDonald and Paolo Cotta Ramusino, secretary-general of the Pugwash Conferences.

Peace Dinner on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. featuring a keynote address by Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay and Tadatoshi Akiba, the mayor of Hiroshima, Japan and president of Mayors for Peace.

Communicating the Urgency of Staged Universal Nuclear Disarmament: A New Call from Canadians at Pugwash, from 9:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pugwash High.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Senators Roche and Dallaire, Premier Rodney MacDonald and Paolo Cotta Ramusino

Geographic location: Pugwash District, Japan, Canada United States Soviet Union United Kingdom Hiroshima

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