A Nobel idea

Sam McNeish
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Thinkers Lodge a showcase for village

Great things happen in small places. Just ask the people of Pugwash.

The world is vast and for a Nobel Peace prize to originate in a small working-class village bordered by sandy beaches and tourists is almost unbelievable.

Many great world leaders and scientific minds have gathered in Pugwash at the Thinkers Lodge over the past 50 years in an attempt to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

Pugwash native and world-renowned industrialist

Cyrus Eaton, along with Joseph Rotblat, founded the Thinkers Lodge that houses the Pugwash Peace Exchange to help bring information to the world of the dangers posed by nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.

Continued efforts of their successors garnered Rotblat the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize. In an attempt to further the work of these individuals and to bring additional acclaim to Pugwash, the village commission is working in conjunction with the Pugwash Peace Exchange (PPE) to operate tours of the centre.

Over the past few weeks, we have attracted bus tours from throughout the Maritimes to the centre, Randy Thompson, CAO of the Pugwash Village Commission, said.

From a visitors point of view, this is a major historical focal point with such a great story, We are hoping to build on this to attract more people to Pugwash and make this a stopping place for tourists, he added.

A bus tour originating in Saint John, N.B., last week started out as a mystery tour for its 60 passengers. Little did they know what waited for them along the way.

This is amazing. Cyrus Eaton certainly put this place on the map, Marion Tanton of Peticodiac said.

You just never think about it, that something of this magnitude could come from a place no bigger than the village of Peticodiac, she added.

Fellow traveller Evelyn Ogilvie of Peticodiac said places like the Thinkers Lodge and the message it stands for needs better communication.

If it was advertised more people everywhere would be able to look at the message, she said.

Plans are currently in the works for a $6 million refitting project at the Thinkers Lodge and once this is complete, it will open many opportunities for the world to revisit the messages of half a century ago.

Ann Jeffries of the PPE said experts would be able to come to Pugwash to learn about the need for peace and globalize that information back to the world. In addition, human rights issues, nuclear disarmament economic development, environmental protection democracy and the five pillars of the Human Security Agenda the PPE is built on.

Peace is so universal. Its like air, water and food, Krista Chiasson, manager of communications for the PPE. said.

If we learn from the lessons of men like Joseph Rotblat, world peace will not be just a pipe dream, she added.

Chiasson said the PPE is hoping to develop and interactive educational package that can be taken to schools throughout Cumberland and beyond to teach the lessons of the worlds great peace advocates.

If this is successful, perhaps the template can be taken on a national or even worldwide scale.

Organizations: Pugwash Peace Exchange, Pugwash Village Commission

Geographic location: Pugwash, Saint John, Cumberland

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