Saturday�s Peace Arch celebration marks 82nd anniversary

Published on Thu, Sep 4, 2003
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Saturday�s Peace Arch celebration marks 82nd anniversary

History comes alive this weekend as Peace Arch founder Sam Hill, and other dignitaries of his time, will make an appearance to celebrate the 82nd anniversary of the arch.

It�s not the real Sam Hill of course, rather a re-enactor, local gentleman John Chouloucas, who will walk through the Peace Arch with others dressed in 1920s attire.

The U.S/Canada Peace Anniversary Association (USCPAA) has organized the afternoon event reliving the history of the monument, which is now 82 years old.

�We�ll all get dressed up and a reenacter will give Sam Hill�s dedication speech,� said program organizer Christina Alexander. The event was started in 2001 in honor of the Peace Arch�s 80-year anniversary and Alexander said it was successful enough to merit doing every year.

Everyone is invited to come in 1920s garb to listen to music, poetry and speakers, have punch and cake and look through historical displays this Saturday, September 6 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the International Peace Arch.

�We�ll turn the arch into a little bit of living history,� Alexander said.

Those who wish to attend can dress in period attire, which the USCPAA has outlined for the public.

A woman of the 1920s might wear: long shirts and long jackets, long dresses that are waistless, pleated and beaded, long necklaces and silk stockings, complete with long gloves, a small handbag, parasol and medium heel boots or long pointed shoes with straps. Don�t forget the red lipstick and rouge.

A man of the 1920s might wear: a three piece suit with a white shirt and red carnation, double breasted jackets and trousers with turn-ups (cuffs), a �V� necked knitted pull over, knickers and long patterned socks, silk ties or bow ties, a straw boater hat, bowler hat, homburg hat, wool cap, cane, and leather plain toe shoes.

Young girls of the 1920s might wear: waistless or sailor dresses with dress socks, leather dress shoes, hats with flowers or ribbons in their hair. Boys might wear: knickers (roll up your trousers), long socks up to your knickers, solid color button-up shirt, sailor suits, leathers shoes (no running or sports shoes) or baseball or school caps with a short bill.

The afternoon event will start with Sam Hill�s arrival at 1:30 p.m. with the Queen of Romania in an antique automobile to greet the public.

The activities include an introduction by Master of Ceremonies, Christina Alexander of USCPAA, official greetings from U.S. and Canadian officials, presentation of flags and a re-dedication speech from Samuel Hill. Refreshments will be on hand, as well as several antique cars to look at.

In conjunction with the Peace Arch celebration, several merchants will dress in the fashions of the 1920s on Friday, September 5, including U.S. Bank, Goff�s, Sterling Bank, Horizon Bank, Blaine Boquet and Blaine city hall.

For further event information call 332-7165 or send an e-mail to

History of Peace Arch
The Peace Arch was constructed on the international boundary between Blaine, Washington and Douglas, British Columbia to commemorate the centennial (1814-1914) of the signing of the Treaty of Ghent on December 24, 1814. The Treaty of Ghent ended the war of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain and also involved Canada. International fundraising efforts started in 1914 � much of that effort from Samuel Hill, a famed Washington state lawyer, financier, road builder and humanitarian. It was Hill who would later dedicate the Peace Arch on September 6, 1921.

Internationally known architect H.W. Corbett of London, England, donated the design of the 67-foot concrete and reinforced steel arch, and construction began in 1920 in the hands of many volunteers. The monument is said to be one of the first structures built to withstand earthquakes in North America. Concrete and steel came from British Columbia and as far as New York. Garden shrubs and flowers were donated by famed ship builder Robert Moran.

The Peace Arch Park was expanded in 1931 to 40 acres with the help of Washington State and British Columbia school children who donated money. The internationally-known park is listed on the National Historic Registries of both Canada and the United States. More than 500,000 visitors tour this international historic site each year, including the various art pieces that call the Peace Arch park home for several months each summer, as part of the International Sculpture Exhibition, an annual event organized by Christina Alexander of the USCPAA.

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