Pugwash high school students hold peace march and sit-in on May 22

Big plans to recommit to peace

Darrell Cole webcomments@ngnews.ca
Published on May 17, 2014
Students from PDHS are hosting a march and sit-in at Eaton Park on Thursday, May 22. Visual arts students are shown visiting Thinker's Lodge with teacher Louise Cloutier and members of Communities in Bloom.
Noreen Smiley photo

Students from PDHS are hosting a march and sit-in at Eaton Park on Thursday, May 22.

PUGWASH – Visual arts students at Pugwash District High School have big plans to recommit to the idea of peace and non-violence in their community by staging a Peace March and Sit-in at Eaton Park next Thursday at 1:15pm.

The PeaceGround in Eaton Park is  a collaboration between Pugwash District High School visual arts students and Pugwash Communities in Bloom with the support of the Village Commission.

It continues the legacy of over 50 years of promoting peace in the village of Pugwash. Students from grades 8 and 10 designed four benches with peace motifs. Through this three-month process, the students researched and painted the bench boards while engaging in classroom discussions about anti-violence, anti-bullying, anti-vandalism, peace, the contributions of Cyrus Eaton to the Pugwash community and the 22 scientists who assembled at Eaton Lodge in July of 1957.

The tradition of gifting a chair as a symbol of co-operation and collaboration began in 1960 with presidents of universities donating to the Cyrus Eaton Lodge chairs imprinted with their insignias. The intent of the PeaceGround project is to continue the symbolic gesture of an educational institution offering seats where one can sit to contemplate peace. 

To mark the installation of these benches, the high school population, including teachers and grades 4 to 6 students from Cyrus Eaton Elementary, will march from the high school to the park for the sit-in and special ribbon-cutting ceremony that will hnour the same number of scientists who participated in the 1957 Pugwash Conference.

Pugwash area citizens are warmly invited to take part.

The PeaceGround in Eaton Park will undergo a third phase of development within the next year. Communities in Bloom, in collaboration with the Pugwash Village Commission, will oversee landscaping of the site. The benches will be encircled by low-lying shrubs and a pathway in the form of the iconic peace sign.

This project was made possible with grants from the Sheonoroil Foundation of the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union and the Pugwash and Area Community Health Board as well as the Pugwash Village Commission and the Pugwash Communities in Bloom.