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Barbados receives 1st Peace Pole from Rotary!
“A Peace Pole is an internationally recognized symbol of the hopes and dreams of the entire human family standing vigil in silent prayer for peace on earth.” With these words Master of Ceremonies Stephen Broome set the tone for the ceremony. The message of peace “May Peace Prevail on Earth” is engraved in 4 languages of choice, one on each of the 4 sides of the pole. Approximately 250,000 peace poles have been planted worldwide to date, this is the 1st for Barbados.
A project by the Rotary Club of Barbados South (RCBS) and initiative of the Queen’s Club Interact Club (QCIC), to plant 60 Peace Poles across Barbados was kick-started at Quaw’s Quest, The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill on 4th January 2022.
The significance of the university and Quaw’s Quest as the chosen location for the 1st Peace Pole in Barbados, has not gone unnoticed. RCBS President George Connolly described the university as “the crucible for idealism, the crucible for change… where youth come to transform, to become something great.” Quaw, was ‘one of the 295 enslaved people who at emancipation occupied the lands on which the university is currently situated.’ His quest for self-advancement was through education and freedom. Freedom from bondage, of self-expression and to have discourse in a peaceful manner were outlined by Professor Clive Landis, Principal of the UWI Cave Hill Campus, as preconditions for peace; as “there can be no peace without freedom.”
The Peace Pole was unveiled by Chief Justice Sir Patterson Cheltenham, K.A. (Honorary Rotarian of the RCBS), and Kenya Franklyn, QCIC President. In the background the words ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth’ were recited in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, as engraved on the pole.
The stillness was palpable as guests were consumed by a powerful rendition of “Let there be peace on earth” sung by Wintley Phipps. The spoken word presentation by Interactor Jonathan Broome that followed caused further reflection.
“We look at the world and speak the word aloud.
Peace.  We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.
Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.” (Extract from ‘Amazing Peace’ by Maya Angelou)
“Our youth are at a crossroad, ……so is our society”. Rotary District 7030 Governor Sonya Alleyne tasked those present to give the gift of peace to our youth.
This was a touching ceremony, a ceremony for history, a ceremony for reflection, and a ceremony of hope. “May Peace Prevail on Earth.” (TH)