Students and faculty at the Abbotsford School of the Integrated Arts North Poplar elementary campus pose with some of the peace poles installed at the school, just off Clearbrook Road, Wednesday afternoon. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

Abbotsford arts school puts up poles for peace

ASIA elementary put up 21 peace poles to show off the school’s arts side, timed with Remembrance Day

If you’re driving down Clearbrook Road, you may catch a glimpse of some artistic posts at the North Poplar elementary campus of the Abbotsford School of the Integrated Arts.

The school put up 21 peace poles Wednesday afternoon as part of a school-wide arts project, and timed for Remembrance Day and the anniversary of the death of Const. John Davidson of the Abbotsford Police Department.

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Peace poles were first devised by Masahisa Goi in 1955 in Japan, and they’re now promoted by the World Peace Prayer Society among other groups. The first poles outside Japan were constructed in 1983, and more than 100,000 have since been placed around the world.

“This is also a school that does teach about peace and the importance of peace and sort of our place in the community with the rest of the world,” said principal AnnaLisa Osterby-Batryn.

“So each division got a post, and so did support staff and so did office staff, and those are the 21 posts that are in the ground.”

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The poles are also intended to replace a mural that previously faced Clearbrook Road on one of the school’s walls – but was recently taken down – to show off the arts aspect of the school.

“We were thinking of something that the school could do collaboratively, but reasonably. … A lumber company said that we can have these posts, and so we researched posts and art, and we came up with peace posts and something called a peace post project,” Osterby-Batryn said.

“We thought ‘perfect,’ because that way everybody in the school – they love to collaborate here – could work on an art piece that would be installed, and also demonstrate to the greater community that we are an art school.”

The school will also be getting some wood to add to the portables and “teaching the students to do graffiti” as another way to show off the arts side of the school, Osterby-Batryn said.

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Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

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Dozens of students pose for a photo in front of their newly planted peace poles just off Clearbrook Road at the Abbotsford School of the Integrated Arts North Poplar elementary campus. The installation was timed to coincide with Remembrance Day and the anniversary of Abbotsford Police Department Const. John Davidson’s death. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

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