Minister of Derry First Presbyterian Church, Rev David Latimer’s ‘Pupils’ Pledge Peace’ initiative, in partnership with the Western Education and Library Board (WELB), to set a new Guinness World Record (GWR) for Peace under the category ‘Most Signatures on a Scroll’, re-commenced its journey at the newly amalgamated Ardnashee School and College, Derry. With 7,000 pupil signatures to date, the scroll is on track to break the 10,000 signature record.
Delighted with the response from schools and pupils so far, Rev Latimer, said: “Peace is not some enchanted garden perched high on a distant plateau. Peace is the continuous action we all must take and each generation must do its part to create a fairer and more just society. Through their participation in the Pathway to Peace Initiative, both primary and post primary school pupils across the WELB region can be way-showers and light-bearers inspiring the rest of us to do all we can to move our country forward.”
The initiative was launched in May 2014 by Rev Latimer, who was one of the first to sign the scroll, alongside Nobel Peace Laureate John Hume, US Civil Rights Veteran John Lewis and WELB Head of Children and Young People’s Services Philomena McDermott.
The journey across the City began at St Patrick’s Primary School, Pennyburn, on Monday 2 June 2014, where 800 pupils personally pledged peace by signing their name on a fabric scroll mounted onto a customised stand generously donated by Hunter Apparel Solutions, Springtown. The machine is trimmed in a branded skirt especially designed and produced for the initiative by Cunningham Covers, Maghera. Desmond Motors, Strand Road, kindly sponsored a vehicle to transport the fabric rolling machine to each primary school in the Derry City Council area and to 10 primary schools in County Donegal.
Adding his support, WELB Chief Executive, Barry Mulholland, said: “I am extremely proud of all our children and young people from schools throughout the Derry City Council area who have embraced the ‘Pupils’ Peace Pledge’ initiative. I would like to commend Rev Latimer for his vision of Peace, highlighting the importance of youth participation in peace building and the positive effects received by the wider community and beyond; and to both WELB and School staff who have generously assisted with the transportation and coordination of such a sizable and important initiative.”