September 21, 2014 brought a welcome change to Kitimat – SUNSHINE.  Yes, we were able to head outside for the Human Peace Sign photo with short sleeved shirts and no rain gear.  This was our 6th year to mark the United Nations International Day of Peace here in Kitimat and what a celebration it was.

Partnering with the Kitimat Public Library was outstanding!  Virginia Charron, Library Director, applied for and received a grant from Veterans’ Affairs Canada, allowing us the opportunity to bring two outstanding entertainers to Kitimat; Phyllis Wheaton and Tom Poole from Calgary.   Phyllis is the author of In the Mood for Peace a remarkable story of a Canadian Peacekeeper Soldier deployed to remove land mines, his death by a freak accident, and the little dolls he gave to children in war torn lands.  The story grew with the little dolls.  Today 1000s of Canadian women make Izzy Dolls which are sent to give comfort to children where they are needed.   Their performance told the story with Powerpoint pictures, songs and the simple telling of tale.

 The day showcased a Flash Mob orchestrated by young women from the Dance Kitimat involving children from this year’s Kitimat Peace School, St. Anthony’s.   Louise Barbetta said a welcoming prayer recognizing the Haisla Nation, our Mayor Joanne Monaghan spoke, we were touched by the singing of a children’s choir, Jamie Marcial’s band’s  music was savoured by all of us, youth’s from the Girl Guides of Kitimat and also Kitimat schools carried the flags of nations.  The event was also accompanied by muffins, hot chocolate, face painters and also some special door prizes.  

Many people made the day what it was.  Mayor and council for the use of Riverlodge’s gym, Susie Smeader. Hueylin Guizzo, the students from St. Anthony, Dance Kitimat, Dwight Magee for taking the peace sign photo, James Marcial the video, Leavitt Machinery, Daudet Contracting, the Library staff and many more.  Those of us in Rotary who championed the day, Linda Campbell and myself send our sincere thanks to our other ‘committee member’ Virginia for moving this salute forward.  

Eleanor Kendell, chair, 

Rotary Club of Kitimat Peace Committee