Words by Matt Taylor
THERE are no plans to replace two Peace Poles in local parks which were destroyed beyond repair by vandals.
The pole in High Crompton Park was damaged last November then the other pole in Dunwood Park was smashed in January 2018.
Cllr Barbara Brownridge, Oldham Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Co-operatives, said:
“Unfortunately vandals have smashed two of the Peace Poles that were purchased as part of the then Mayor’s pledge to peace.
“The actions of a few have deprived the borough of two pieces of art which were installed to represent peace. There are no plans to replace them at present.
“If anyone does have any information then they are urged to contact the police on 101.”
Peace Poles are an internationally recognized symbol of peace and are inscribed with the words ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth’ in different languages.
The poles represent community and a joining of various religions and cultures under the sign of peace.
The two poles were installed in the community by former Mayor of Oldham Cllr Derek Heffernan, with the support of the Oldham Pledge to Peace Forum.
Cllr Louie Hamblett, a Shaw and Crompton Parish Councillor, said: “I do think that it’s a great shame that some heartless individuals or group of people wish to destroy our peace poles from our parks.
“The poles were a fixture in our parks and show our community sentiments for peace and good will as that is what parks and open space are about.
“I would urge either the Friends of Dunwood Park group or Oldham Peace movement to apply for a Parish Council Grant and hope that may help towards their replacement.”
Other locations of Peace Poles in the borough include Alexandra Park, St. Chads Park in Uppermill, Tandle Hill Country Park and the Peace Garden at the bottom of George Street Oldham.