If you've visited downtown Yarmouth lately, you may have noticed a striking and beautiful new bench on Main Street.
Town of Yarmouth Parks staff recently installed this important and symbolic seating right next to the clock tower at the Brown Street parking lot. Built by the skilled folks at the Kaye Nickerson Adult Service Centre, the bench features the colours of the Pan African Flag - also known as the Afro-American flag, Black Liberation flag, UNIA flag and various other names. The flag is a tri-color flag consisting of three equal horizontal bands of (from top down) red, black and green.
The idea for the bench came to life at the June regular council meeting, where council passed a motion to have staff investigate adding additional benches in the Town of Yarmouth to represent Black Lives Matter and the Pan-African Flag.
Speaking excitedly about the bench project, Mayor Pam Mood said "We are so blessed by the rich diversity in our community and this is one small gesture that shines a light on our African Nova Scotian friends and neighbours and helps us celebrate that part of our history and heritage!"
Steve Berry - Councillor for the Town of Yarmouth, NS sees the bench project as a way to recognize the importance of cultural diversity in Yarmouth.
"Its important to show respect and celebrate the many cultures in our community," said Berry. Yarmouth has a diverse make up and having visual reminders like this bench is a great way to highlight the culture here. I'm thankful council sees the importance of promoting these kind of endeavours and I am grateful to see support for the African Nova Scotian community via the towns first annual ANS celebration this year and the many other things we hope to continue to do in the future to support all cultures in our area."
At this time, another bench is being worked on with Acadia First Nation that will serve to represent the indigenous community. Be sure to keep your eye out for both of these new benches - and expect more like these in the future.
You can learn more about the Pan African Flag here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan-African_flag