On International Day of Peace, community members and dignitaries gathered in Schumacher to celebrate peace, diversity and inclusion.
The grand opening of a new Schumacher International Peace Park was held Tuesday afternoon (Sept. 21).
It is located within the Schumacher Lions Park near Little Pearl Lake.
The peace park was created to help the Schumacher Lions Club rejuvenate the former McIntyre Park and commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Schumacher Arts Culture Heritage Association (SACHA).
The new park includes a peace garden with 20 six-foot-high peace poles installed around the flower bed.
Each pole has “May Peace Prevail on Earth” written in various traditional languages that are spoken in the Timmins area.
Represented countries and cultural groups include China, Africa (Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and South Africa), Croatia, Ecuador, Austria, Ojibwe, Cree, English, Centre Culturel La Ronde (French), Germany, India, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mongolia, the Philippines, Ukraine, Scotland and Romania. The Lions Club also had its own pole.
The park will also consist of peace benches and a monument plaque.
Over the past week, members of the local cultural groups, artists and individuals have been working to get the peace poles ready.
“It’s a fantastic project because we need more integration with multiculturalism,” said Rita Karina Loza Cifuentes, who is from Ecuador. “It has been a pleasure working with the other cultures while we were painting. We were sharing, seeing how much we have in common with each other’s cultures.”
The Peace Pole Project was first started by Masahisa Goi in Japan. The first peace poles outside of Japan were built in 1983. Since then, over 200,000 poles have been installed around the world.