For the first time in the Town of Port Hawkesbury’s history, the pride flag was raised in celebration of Pride Month. During a flag raising ceremony on June 7, at the Civic Centre, Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton said they’re realizing more than ever how important it is to be an inclusive community.

PORT HAWKESBURY: To celebrate pride month, the Town of Port Hawkesbury raised the pride flag for the very first time in its history.

The striped rainbow flag, which is the latest flag to be dancing in the wind at its location at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre, underlies the community’s efforts to becoming as inclusive and safe as possible for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Port Hawkesbury Mayor, Brenda Chisholm-Beaton, said raising the pride flag is an opportunity to celebrate the town’s diversity.

“This is one small step towards inclusivity, towards respect and towards understanding,” Chisholm-Beaton said following a flag raising ceremony last Friday morning. “Never doubt the power of one person, one group, one town, one province, one country to make change, we support the LGBTQ+ community and together we make our community stronger and more vibrant like the colours displayed on the flag.”

Randy Delorey, Antigonish MLA and Minister of Health and Wellness, was at the ceremony and said he was somewhat taken aback to find out this was the first time the pride flag was being raised.

“For many of us, unless we’ve lived through the challenges of being perceived to being something different in our society, something less – that is what the month of June and pride events and initiatives are really all about, is raising the awareness of those struggles and challenges.”

Port Hawkesbury joins neighbouring municipalities and towns across the province in celebrating acceptance by embarking on historical milestones to raise pride flags.

Last year the town purchased a third flag pole, something that was an impediment in them not being able to raise the pride flag earlier.

In addition to flying the pride flag, the town has also committed to installing and maintaining three rainbow crosswalks year-round, one located near SAREC, the other on the campus of NSCC and the final one will be located in close proximity to the community park.

“We’re realizing more than ever how important it is to be an inclusive community,” Chisholm-Beaton said. “And being an inclusive community means we all are welcome and that we shall all feel that we belong.”