Home to peace and love
Stage set for peace day activities

Glen Korstrom
Northern News Services

INUVIK (Sep 11/98) - If any Inuvik residents have love beads or tie-dyed shirts, this is the time of year to wear them.

True, wearing flowers in your hair is not necessary, but when hundreds gather at noon, Sept. 15 at Jimmy Adams Peace Park, the atmosphere is sure to be accepting and full of love and good karma.

That is the goal of the United Nations' International Day of Peace.

Lead by longtime peace activist Mary Beckett, residents can come together to voice harmony and add clout to a movement aimed at creating a world where neither the Americans, the Iraqis nor any other governments world wide believe it is politically acceptable to bomb and kill others.

Since 1987, Inuvik has opened its arms to annual peace day celebrations.

This year, Beckett says teachers at both Samuel Hearne Secondary and SAM school will integrate peace day activities in with students' school work.

The ceremony at the peace park centres around a minute of silence at noon which is broken by different sounds each year.

One year a flute gracefully broke the silence. Another year the sound was from a marching band. This year the silence-breaking sound is a closely guarded secret.

Hot dogs, hot chocolate and other lunch time edibles will be available. Face-painting is also a possibility.

The past few years, Beckett says the committee has run a poster contest. This year, inspired by poetry written for the ceremony by high school students last year, the peace committee will modify its standard format to include prizes for artwork and poetry in a contest sponsored by the Northern Store and Inuvik Sports and Leisure.

"The deadline for getting artwork in is the Monday, Sept. 14. That allows us to get it all hung up and then we'll do the judging on Sept. 15, probably after lunch," Beckett says.

"The contest is open to all students in all grades but usually what ends up happening is we'll have clumps of classes. Like, we might have a Grade 3 class, a Grade 2 class, a Grade 6 class and a Grade 9 class that take part and no others. So then we'll award according to the ones who do take part. We'll wait to see what we've got."

Beckett stresses the only real rule of the contest is for the artist to put their name on the front of the poster to help the peace committee know who to award a prize to.

"Be sure to put your name on it to be eligible to win a prize," Beckett says.