Canada 7 August: Halifax, NS - Saint Stephen, NB

Honours in Halifax

The team ran into a special reception held today in our honour in Grand Parade Square in Halifax

The Square is a prominent, central public space and we were pleased to see so many people coming out to hear about the Oneness Home Peace Run.

We were thrilled that the Deputy Mayor, Waye Mason, (not pictured), welcomed our team to Halifax on behalf of the City!

We had our standard Peace Run presentation with the added extra bonus of a magnificent stage decked out with local and United Nations flags.

We also had an extra song to perform today. Sri Chinmoy wrote a special song in honour of trees and this was the choice. He Bitapi, O Tree at your feet we place our gratitude.

We had two very special awards to offer to citizens of Halifax who have contributed to the community in extra-ordinary ways. The Sri Chinmoy Oneness Home Peace Run Torch Bearer Award is given to persons selected by their own communities in recognition of their exemplary service to the community.

We are also very grateful to have the opportunity to share our message to a much wider audience through the media. Here Harita is pictured being interviewed by APTN(Aboriginal Peoples Television Network).

Richard Taylor from the Mi'Kmaq people offers the traditonal Honour Song to our first Torch Bearer recipient, Daniel M Paul.

Daniel, now in his eighties, has a youthful vigour and a humble demeanour.
A worthy recipient of this prestigious award for his work in documenting the history of the Mi'Kmaq, Daniel has written a book called "We Were Not The Savages" that can be used to teach Mi"Kmaq culture and history for future generations.

The second award today is given to Robert Rodell Downey, a young man with a gigantic vision and hope to change the lives of underprivileged children. Daniels organisation helps by providing educational tools and books for children and youth who would otherwise not have access to them.

Children from summer camps enjoy hearing about the Peace Run

We were so grateful to our dear friend Kimberley Johnston, pictured holding the torch, for helping coordinate the event. Thank you Kimberley! She is pictured here with her husband, Greg.

Gospel singer Dyrekia Provo sang beautifully for the assembled crowd.

Julio Santos, holding the torch, not only provided the sound system and most of the event equipment for the day but also, along with his friends Bebel Ribeiro (flute) and Andre Pretzel (violin) performed two pieces for us, "Imagine" and "Asa Branca (White Wing). Thank you very much from the Peace Run team.

Mohammed Sahrei and Daniel MacNeil from the World Music Museum, had kindly offered to perform on their Middle Eastern instruments today. We were sorry that our program needed to be shortened a little and very grateful to them both for coming to share the day with us.

Then we were off!

The team ran across town to two more special stops on our itinerary.

Chloe happened to see us running in the street and she also happened to work at the City Library so she escorted us through town.

Locals hold the torch as we cross town.

The first stop was at the Halifax North Memorial Public Library where we were met with enthusiasm by Elinor Crosby. Elinor was proud of her community space which is quite understandable as it provides a welcome and peaceful space to all members of the community. The grounds include a community food garden and programs for teaching children and others about food and cooking. This large art installation commemorates and replaces the original artwork made from debris from the 1918 explosion in the Halifax Harbour.

Thank you for sharing the good news about your library space with us today.

Similarly, the Central Halifax Library provides a comfortable, welcoming and educational space for all citizens of the city.

Sharon Mancini, Branch Manager of Halifax Central Library, gave a special message for us that she had written out but was able to speak without hesitation, directly from her heart and did not need to look at her notes at all!

It is wonderful to be able to share mutual values and hopes for a peaceful world with those who value and contribute so much themselves to these ideals.