The Colour of Peace

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, from Fantasia, near to the Cloth Hall, Ypres (Ieper). (P. Ferguson image, Australia 2018)

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, from Fantasia, near to the Cloth Hall, Ypres (Ieper).
(P. Ferguson image, August 2018)

Thread Eight

Despite those of us who have been drawn to Ypres because of the Great War there are other colours to this town. It is alive and filled with the voices of today and hopes for the future. Ypres – Ieper is filled with community – its own community – its own people. There is colour here – a kaleidoscope of vibrancy with fine shops and dining on the square and the in-between places to discover just around each corner.

Some are surprised to see that the Menin Gate Memorial is within the city, a short walk from the square where traffic is stopped for every evening’s Last Post by the buglers of the Fire Brigade. Since the 2018 Great Pilgrimage has returned home, a fair, midway, carnival has occupied the square offering all the rides and games that children and families enjoy. Guns crack at targets whilst bumper cars bounce into each other as glees of laughter rise up from the occupants. Plush toys are gathered by children as the sounds of music and bistros mix together.

And then there is myself finding joy in the happiness of families. I smile gently with this peace…but as always am on the watch for one more reminder of whence this peace came. It is then that I find myself with the Sorcerer’s Apprentice near to the Cloth Hall…we can only imagine what this town has endured…once the black and white world of conflict…now filled with the colour of peace.


About The Author

Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and in Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was further amazed by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Film captivated Paul and with time he became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was entranced when he learned Weir had visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. The film "Gallipoli" alone led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii and Gallipoli. It was, however, when Paul watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", that Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests would be a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, he believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.


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