Thanks, in part, to a dedicated Rotarian, Keizer's first Peace Poles are going up soon.
The installation of Peace Poles in four Keizer parks got eager approvals from the Keizer Public Arts Commission and Keizer City Council in recent weeks.
The arts commission gave its blessing at a meeting Jan. 19. The council gave the project a final stamp of approval Feb. 1.
“I am genuinely excited about this, and I’m glad I get a chance to vote on this,” said Councilor Ross Day. The project was approved in a 6-0 vote. Councilor Elizabeth Smith was absent.
Pat Fisher, longtime volunteer for the city, proposed the idea of placing peace poles around the city in June 2020.
“The [Peace Poles] are meant to represent a symbol of the unity and harmony within the community and hope for a greater culture of peace worldwide,” Fisher told the Keizer Parks Advisory Board in June.
There are approximately 250,000 Peace Poles around the world and several in the Willamette Valley. Poles destined for Keizer Rapids, Wallace House, Country Glen, and PFC. (Private first class)Ryan J. Hill parks will be the first in Keizer. Fisher is working on behalf of the Rotary E-Club of One World that meets exclusively online, but the Rotary Club of Keizer is sponsoring the first four poles.
The only question regarding the poles from the council earlier this week was from Dan Kohler, who asked what would happen if the poles were to be vandalized.
City Attorney Shannon Johnson said the city would consult with the Rotary Club of Keizer to either remove the vandalism or remove the poles.
Fisher said she consulted with the officials from Newberg who have installed about 10 poles throughout the city.
“They’ve had no vandalism or needed any maintenance,” Fisher said.
The poles, which resemble free standing fence posts, come in different shapes and sizes, but each one contains the message: May Peace Prevail On Earth. Depending on how large the pole is, the same phrase is written in four or eight languages. The ones placed in Keizer will be white vinyl.
All four poles in Keizer will have eight languages and will have English and Spanish language variations on the phrase. Other languages include: German, Italian, Russian French, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Swahili, Thai, Norwegian, Korean, Hindi, Vietnamese, Chinuk Wawa and Filipino Tagalog. The languages appearing on the poles were, in part, determined by the demographic data of city residents that live around each park.
A member of the Grande Ronde tribe provided the Chinuk Wawa translation that will appear on some of the poles.
Eventually, Fisher would like to have 10 peace poles placed around the city. Businesses can also provide space for a pole on their property. There will be public ceremonies, either once they are complete or when it is safer to gather, for the placement of the poles.