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RACINE — The Golden Rule Peace Boat, a 30-foot sailboat with a storied history, is coming to Racine on Sept. 5 and 6.

The two-masted wooden ketch, a project of Veterans for Peace, is on a 15-month voyage to educate the public about the dangers of nuclear weapons proliferation. The boat’s Milwaukee stop is set for Aug. 30 to Sept. 4. 

“It’s quite an honor to have the Golden Rule and its crew coming here,” said Sonali Knotek, co-president of Racine Coalition for Peace and Justice, one of the boat’s local appearance co-sponsors. “We were so pleased to have such an accessible location. Reefpoint Marina has been very cooperative.”

The Golden Rule is scheduled to arrive at Reefpoint Marina, 2 Christopher Columbus Causeway, on Tuesday, Sept. 5. A welcoming ceremony is planned for 3:30 p.m. with the Native American Color Guard and Skip Twardosz, elder of the Potawatomi tribe. There will also be a proclamation by Racine Mayor Cory Mason and an introduction by Helen Jaccard, manager of the Golden Rule Project.

Following the ceremony, the public is invited to visit the boat and meet its eight-member crew from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Activities planned for Wednesday, Sept. 6 include another open boat session from 1 to 5 p.m. for the public to visit the Golden Rule. Milwaukee musician David HB Drake will perform a selection of sea shanties, songs of the Seven Seas and the Great Lakes from 1 to 1:45 p.m. at Reefpoint Marina. Drake is also set to perform from 2:45 to 3:15 p.m. at Ground Zero Veterans Outreach, 1101 Main St., Union Grove. A presentation about the Golden Rule Project follows at 3:15 p.m.

The public is invited to join the Golden Rule crew and event co-sponsors for dinner at Infusino’s Banquet Hall, 3225 Rapids Drive, starting at 5:15 p.m. Please RSVP by Friday, Sept. 1 to:

Another public presentation about the Golden Rule starts at 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 716 College Ave.

The Golden Rule and its history

The Golden Rule was sailed by a crew of Quakers in 1958 to stop nuclear weapons tests in the Pacific Ocean’s Marshall Islands. That voyage, which inspired other peace ships and peacemakers, helped lead to the 1963 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty that prohibits nuclear weapons to be tested in the atmosphere, in outer space and underwater. For more history, visit the Peace & Justice Association online.

The boat made other appearances around the world into the early 1970s before it was sunk. It was recovered and rebuilt between 2010 and 2015 by the Veterans for Peace organization.

The Golden Rule has since sailed up and down the West Coast and to Hawaii and back to advance Veterans for Peace’s opposition to nuclear weapons, “and do so in a dramatic fashion,” according to the organization’s website.

“The Golden Rule crew spreads the word about the continuing dangers of nuclear power, and the poisoning of the air, water and soil from the entire nuclear cycle, from uranium mining to the disposal of nuclear waste,” Veterans for Peace stated.

To learn more, watch the following video about the Golden Rule:

The boat is currently nearing the end of a Great Loop tour that started in Minneapolis. From there, it traveled down the Mississippi River, around Florida, up the East Coast and into the Great Lakes. Prior to its arrival in Milwaukee and Racine, the Golden Rule made stops in Canada, New York, Ohio and Michigan. To follow the Golden Rule’s progress (with updates every 10 minutes), follow along with their Garmin updates.

Support welcomed

“We’ve been quite busy with this for the past two months. It’s been a big, big project with lots of moving parts,” said Knotek of the Racine Coalition for Peace and Justice. “Additional support from the public is welcomed.”

The Golden Rule Peace Boat’s Racine appearance events are co-sponsored by the Racine Coalition for Peace and Justice, Ground Zero Veterans Outreach, Kenosha/Racine Quakers, Social Justice Committee of the Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church, Coming Together Racine, the Racine Dominicans, Michael Kelley, First Presbyterian Church of Racine, Racine Interfaith Coalition and the Racine Yacht Club. Music donated by Flagship Wisconsin.

Contributions to the Golden Rule Peace Boat’s visit may be directed to Veterans for Peace or to the Racine Coalition for Peace and Justice.


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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...

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