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Posted: June 19, 2022

Peace Pole dedicated at Idlewild Park

May peace prevail on Earth.

About 150 people turned out to help dedicate Idlewild Park’s latest upgrade June 17 – one that gives one pause with hope for humankind.

The Mount Baker Secondary School Interact Leadership students were joined by students from other Cranbrook area schools, dignitaries and elected officials to dedicate the newly installed Peace Pole, an ornate metalwork sculpture that bears the words “May peace prevail on Earth” in 13 languages representing different cultures in our region.

The dedication ceremony featured an introduction from Interact Leadership students and a performance by the ?aqam Drummers.

Peace pole artist Paul Reimer outlined how he followed the students’ directions and design ideas. “I just enacted their design,” he said.

Ktunaxa Nation elder and hereditary Chief Sophie Pierre told the gathering she was honoured to be invited to speak at the event. “Being led by our youth is the most beautiful expression,” she noted.

Kootenay Orchards Elementary School Grade 1 students sang ‘Light a candle for peace,” melting even the hardest of hearts with sweet innocence.

Rotary Club of Cranbrook president Leanne Jenson praised the students for their leadership in the community.

School District No. 5 School Board Trustee Chris Johns spoke on behalf of the school district.

Mount Baker Secondary School’s Lu Hadford and Chenia Weng performed ‘Peace” and ‘Spring Sky’ on flutes.

Rotary Club of Cranbrook Sunrise president David Savage touched on the current significance of such a symbolic structure, pointing at the ongoing war in Ukraine.

City of Cranbrook Councillor and Acting Mayor Norma Blissett praised the students and all involved in the creation of the peace pole.

Following the dedication ceremony at the Idlewild Park bandshell, participants were invited to walk around the lake to the site of the Peace Pole, where students planted 13 rose bushes, one for each school in the Cranbrook area, with older students teaming up with younger ones.

A time capsule is expected to be buried near the site at a later date this summer.

Lead image: Mount Baker Secondary School Interact Leadership students stand in front of the Peace Pole in Idlewild Park. Carrie Schafer/e-KNOW photo

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka, left, and City of Cranbrook Coun. Ron Popoff give the students thumbs up for the addition of the Peace Pole to the city.
Mount Baker Secondary School Interact Leadership Class instructor Kaley Wasylowich, centre with paper, directs students during the dedication ceremony.
The pole is at the northeast end of Idlewild Lake where the Rotary Ridge Trail and the Lake Loop Trail meet, which symbolizes bringing together cultures from around the world.

Photos by Ian Cobb and Carrie Schafer


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