The Rotary Club of Wilton wants to bring a little more peace to Wilton.

The Rotarians are proposing a project to install Peace Poles at key locations around Wilton, including the public schools, the Wilton Y and the Wilton Library, among other spots in Wilton Center. The specific site of the pole itself at each location will be determined by the appropriate authorities for that location.

According to a proposal that Rotary Club members Carole Johnson and Susan Goldman presented at last night’s Wilton Board of Education meeting, these 8-ft. tall, “eight-sided poles will convey the uniform message of peace—”World Peace Through Understanding”—displayed in eight different world languages, one on each of the pole’s sides.

“We believe that this will help our community to remember that all important initiatives are successful because they begin with the recognition that we need to be the change that we want to see in the world,” Johnson said.

This project is something that the Club members say will be something that has the potential to impact everyone in town. Advancing “World Peace Through Understanding” is one of Rotary’s tenets that the Wilton Rotary Club is seeking to promote throughout the community.

“We think this project is very inclusive for our town. It will promote our civic pride and our sense of community, and it will be a reminder to all of us to ‘let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me,’” Johnson stated, adding that this is a new initiative happening around the world.

The initiative is something that superintendent Dr. Kevin Smith supports. “I’m thrilled and I endorse this. What I’m envisioning if the Board approves this is we would coordinate ceremonies at each of the schools and ritualize this celebration.”

As for the languages that will be used on each of the poles, Johnson said that Rotary wants to be as inclusive as possible, and so will incorporate many languages. She added that they will choose the languages in consultation with Smith.

The Rotary Club will cover the cost of the poles as well as of installation, so there will be no cost to the schools. Smith said he hopes that having students responsible for maintenance–planting flowers and the like–would be part of the program created at each school.

To celebrate the installation of the Peace Poles, the Rotary Club will hold a dedication ceremony at the Wilton Library in September 2016, to coincide with the observance of the International Day of Peace, a global celebration held in September.

The Rotary Club of Wilton is a member of Rotary International, which was founded in 1905; there are 1.2 million members in 34,000 clubs, in 200 countries, worldwide. As a service organization, Rotarians across the globe focus their efforts in six areas:

  • Promoting Peace
  • Preventing Disease
  • Providing Access to Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Enhancing Maternal and Child Health Care
  • Improving Basic Education and Literacy
  • Helping Communities Develop