Clarkplans peace vigil for Blaine

Published on Thu, Jul 27, 2006 by ara Nelson

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Clark plans peace vigil for Blaine

By Tara Nelson

The Blaine City Council may have cited the possibility of a peace conference as their reason to strike down the notion of a sister city relationship with Pugwash, Nova Scotia, but that hasn’t stopped a group of Blaine citizens from trying to organize one anyway.

Local author and historian Richard Clark said he has scheduled a “Vigil for Peace” conference at 7 p.m., September 21 at the Blaine performing arts center to discuss Blaine’s official theme of promoting peace, which was adopted unanimously by the city council on February 9, 1998.

“We can be doing things on a local level and, if nothing else, we would be instating our support of peace,” he said. “But we need to start at the microcosmic level.”

Clark said he hopes the meetings will spur an interest in Blaine as the center for such national and international conferences, citing the city’s resort accommodations, proximity to Canada, and scenic beauty.
“There’s a lot of psychology here,” he said. “We have a first class facility (at Semiahmoo Resort) complete with meeting rooms which would be perfect for conventions.

“We’re also situated next to the Pacific Ocean, which also means peace. What I’m feeling is there are so many people in the area that are interested in peace, we should be working to form a group in Blaine that will affiliate internationally with other cities. And we don’t need city council’s approval to do that.”

Clark’s Vigil for Peace is scheduled to coincide with the International Day of Peace Vigil that is observed in Canada and will include a presentation by Simon Fraser University’s Eleanor Stebner, who holds the J.S. Woodsworth chair in the humanities at the university.

Other speakers include Jeffrey Boutwell, an affiliate of the Washington, D.C. office of Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs. A one-hour brainstorming session will follow and audience members will be invited to participate and express ideas or recommendations on how to promote peace under Blaine’s official theme.

Clark said he has also scheduled a series of meetings prior to September 21 to discuss other suggestions for the conference.
The group’s next meeting is 9 a.m., Tuesday, August 1 at the Blackberry House Café at 321 H Street.

Admission to the conference is free. For more information, email Clark at dclark30@peoplepc.com or call 332-5175.