Publication: Rotary Keokuk Peace Letters,1932 & 2022 (331 p.)
Today our world is once again in turmoil. Nationalism, authoritarian forms of government, and an emphasis on thinking in terms of spheres of influence are again on the increase. The sense of democratic renewal that prevailed at the end of the Cold War has vanished. This is why Jewett Fulton’s peace pipe notion is now more relevant than ever, and we hope to activate it anew. The timeless and fascinating responses received by the Rotary Keokuk Peace Pipe Letters from all over the world at the beginning of the 1930s and the further development of this global action until the present day - please, read also: www.PeaceConference.us
Rotary International, with its 1.2 million members worldwide, has been advocating for peace and democracy since 1905. An extraordinary example of this involvement is associated with the name Jewett Fulton. Fulton, an American Rotarian, traveled to Europe in 1931 to participate in the International Rotary Convention held that year in Vienna. He was deeply disturbed by the political, economic, and societal tensions he sensed on the European continent. Once back in his hometown of Keokuk, Iowa, he and his Rotary Club initiated a global action in an effort to counter the approaching calamity. The Keokuk Club sent a letter to each of the then-existing 504 Rotary Clubs outside the United States, offering to smoke the peace pipe symbolically with them.
Today the notion of the Peace Pipe is more relevant than ever. Nationalism, authoritarian forms of government, and an emphasis on viewing the world in terms of spheres of influence have increased to a dangerous level. The sense of democratic renewal that prevailed at the end of the Cold War has vanished. This is why we Rotarians hope to activate Jewett Fulton’s peace pipe initiative anew.
The moving responses received by the Keokuk Rotary Club from all over the world at the beginning of the 1930s and the further development of this global action up to the present day are documented at: www.KeokukPeaceLetters.com www.PeaceConference.us
Dr. Sabine (Sabee) Schwachula, RC eClub Cologne, Germany; Anthony (Tony) Conn, RC Keokuk, Iowa & Dr. Joachim (Yogi) Reppmann (www.moin-moin.us) & RC Northfield, Minnesota, USA
"We have all sorts in our Club, about ten nationalities, at least five different languages represented, and we all find in Rotary a common meeting ground in spite of differences of Race, Religion, and Tongue. We have strong Zionists - and equally strong Anti-Zionistic Arabs in the Club. Britishers, Americans, and Germans, etc. And they all meet amicably as Rotarians although acutely disagreeing on most other points. One of my warmest friends is a German Surgeon who, as a combatant officer, faced the trenches at La Bassee in which I was serving. So you will see that we are ourselves a sort of living Pipe of Peace always being smoked."
J. Orr-Ewing, President of Rotary Club of Jerusalem, December 23, 1931. English Mission Hospital, Palestine; the club was founded by RC Cairo, 1929. Today, the only English speaking Rotary Club in Israel.