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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Colchester North welcomes Peace Pole

Colchester North Public School students Joyce Veres and Miranda Reaume are pictured with members of the Windsor-Roseland Rotary Club. They surround the Peace Pole that was installed at the school through a program the Windsor-Roseland Rotary Club hosts. The two students applied to the program.

by Sylene Argent

On Tuesday morning, staff members and students at Colchester North Public School gathered with several Rotarians to welcome a Peace Pole to the school grounds.

Grade eight students, Joyce Veres and Miranda Reaume, applied to the program, the Windsor-Roseland Rotary Club manages locally, after they were selected to attend a social justice forum at the University of Windsor earlier this school-year. The duo was excited to kick-start the Peace Pole project at their school because it represented the message they learned at the social justice forum. They thought the monument would be a great addition to the school.

  The students said they hope the monument will symbolize peace and will encourage other schools to get a Peace Pole as well.

The Peace Pole, now situated in the school’s garden, is emblazoned with the phrase, “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in four different languages. It is hoped the monument reminds youth to be kind.

Rotarian Ray Baker said the Windsor-Roseland Rotary Club has managed the Peace Pole program locally for the past 13-years. To date, over thirty Peace Poles have been added at local elementary and high schools.

Baker said the application Veres and Reaume submitted into the program was well done.

“Many things stood out,” Baker said of their application, including that students were leading this program at the school.

  Veres and Reaume added that another key feature of their application is that it highlighted the school’s anti-bullying program and the bench buddy program currently being created.

  Past President of the Windsor-Roseland Rotary Club, Dr. Charles Frank, presented the Peace Pole to the students during the unveiling ceremony.

  He told the students the Rotary Club, which has the motto of “Service Above Self,” promotes peace and understanding throughout the world and at home, too.

  “It starts with you and your classmates,” he said of peace.

“Your Peace Pole represents peace. Having four different sides and four different languages is representative of the cultural diversity within your school. [It is] placed where you can see it each day, and be proud that we can live in harmony with one another,” Frank said.   

  “We are happy we are a peace school,” Veres and Reaume said, adding having the pole installed at the school was a great legacy for them to leave behind before they graduate.

  Each year, the students at Colchester North Public School will be able to renew their Peace Pole status. The renewal includes building on the program already in place.

  As part of the program, the school received $300 and also received another $200 for character education through the Greater Essex County District School Board. Those funds will be put towards the bench buddy program currently being designed.

  As part of this program, the duo noted that they asked students at Essex District High School to make a special bench for the school where those who need a friend can sit and other students can reach out to connect or provide comfort if need be.

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