by Cathy Eaton © 2018
Thinkers Lodge, a National Historic Site in Pugwash, Nova Scotia, symbolizes the birth of the Pugwash movement for nuclear disarmament.
Joseph Rotblat (Nobel Peace Prize recipient), Cyrus Eaton (host of the early Pugwash Conferences), Anne Eaton, Ruth Adams, and 22 scientists from both sides of the Iron Curtain convened for the 1957 Pugwash Conference as peace activists seeking to build a world that would not incinerate in a nuclear holocaust. Exploring the lives of these intrepid men and women helps us understand the courage and commitment it took to spend their lives fighting for peaceful coexistence.
Today, more than ever, this book is relevant because nuclear threats bubble to the surface as power-hungry, unstable countries flaunt their nuclear arsenals. In a time that is fraught with violent uprisings, starvation, mass killings, and dangerous climate change, it is important to recognize that individuals can make their voices heard and change the destiny of the world. Each of us must remember our humanity, welcome discourse with those who have differing beliefs, and spend our energy assisting others and making our world a safer, healthier place.
Joseph Rotblat climbed out of a Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, Poland, to become a nuclear scientist, the heart of the Pugwash Conferences and a life-long peace activist. Born on a Pugwash farm in 1883, Cyrus Eaton became a wealthy industrialist, a generous philanthropist and a passionate advocate for peace between communist and capitalist countries. Anne Eaton, confined to a wheel chair from polio, advocated for equal rights for women and African Americans. The graciousness and hospitality of Cyrus and Anne Eaton captivated Pugwash Conference participants and generated attitudes of trust and honesty. Charles Eaton, a Baptist minister and New Jersey Congressman, used his pulpit to establish sanctuaries, jobs, and security for impoverished parishioners and people devastated by war.
Author Cathy Eaton, granddaughter of Pugwash born Cyrus Eaton, interviewed the people who worked at Thinkers Lodge. She recounts the stories of peace activists, of firefighters and villagers who saved the burning Lodge, of staff who served the guests, of conference drivers, of ship builders and space travelers, of architects and history teachers, of carpenters and mill owners. Their generosity of spirit, resiliency, and hard work created an ambience where visitors felt safe and able to share ideas that can lead to positive change in a world struggling with weapons of mass destruction and perilous climate change.
In her account of the history of Thinkers Lodge, the Lobster Factory, Eaton Park, the Masonic Lodge, and the Margaret King School, she unveils the lives of scientists, fishermen, ministers, philanthropists, students, construction workers, and soldiers.
Join Cathy Eaton on her journey of discovery and read her book about the scientists, thinkers, and villagers whose commitment to humanity provides hope.