An iconic ‘peace tree’ is to be unveiled in Derry at the end of the month, the ‘Journal’ can reveal.
The sculpture, which will be located in the grounds of the former Ebrington Barracks site in the city’s Waterside, is scheduled to be revealed on November 29.
Designed by acclaimed sculptor, Maurice Harron, the tree and its peace pledge inscribed leaves is the brainchild of local Presbyterian minister, Dr David Latimer.
The First Derry Presbyterian Church cleric is founder and director of ‘Amazing the Space,’ a unique peace building initiative spearheaded by pupils who attend controlled, maintained, integrated, Irish medium and special schools right across the nine counties of Ulster.
A major component of this bespoke peace initiative has been the creation of 25 word peace pledges.
Initially introduced to schools in Derry during 2012/13, this initiative has now extended to more than 400 schools across NI and the border counties of Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan.
Each school’s peace pledge, says Rev. Latimer, is an “inspirational expression of what young people consider we all must do to live better together.”
Rev. Latimer has described the design of the peace tree as “truly impressive” and its location at Ebrington as “undoubtedly the icing on the cake”.
“It will powerfully serve to equip the young to shine a light on the path to help us all find our way to peacefully co-exist in a divided society,” he added.
The installation of innovative lighting, says Rev. Latimer, will contribute to the peace tree becoming a “stunning piece of public art and a powerful source of hope - 24/7.”
The tree’s designer, Maurice Harron, is the man behind the ‘Hands Across the Divide’ sculpture at Craigavon Bridge and the ‘Let the Dance Begin’ statues at Lifford Bridge.
Harron’s work, which is located at different locations across Ireland, has been hailed as “inspirational”.