United States 15 June: Port Angeles, WA - Victoria, B.C.
The view of the Olympic Mountain Range as we left Port Angeles on the Blackball Ferry Line this morning.
The view from the ship was spectacular as we made our way to Victoria, B.C., Canada, our halfway point on the North American Peace Run.
Our dear friend Sumitra, among others from Victoria, were there to great us at Confederate Garden Park this morning. She has worked for the Peace Run and many other events tirelessly for over four decades here in Western Canada. With one more decade to a century on this Earth, Sumitra is still inspiring and energizing people of many generations, cheerfully and soulfully.
We were also greeted by Penny Arbess with the Canadian Peace Initiative, who received the Peace Run Torch Bearer Award along with her husband Saul two years ago. Next to her is Chris Coleman, City Councillor who kindly took time from a very busy schedule to represent the Mayor Lisa Helps who unfortunatley could not make it to our event today. Mr. Coleman was very eloquent and heartfelt as he explained the need for peace and oneness in every culture including this city's very diverse culture. He also expressed his love for sports as he himself was an avid Rugby player and coaches young athletes himself.
Saul Arbess who has attended our events here in the past was awarded with the Peace Run Torch Bearer Award two years ago for his unending service to the community, along with his wife Penny, with their Peace Initiatives
Narmada Maryanne Trusz, who brilliantly organized our events here today, reads out some of the accomplishments of Saul and his wife Penny.
Mark, who works for this city with Citizen Engagement and Stategic Planning, offers kind and thoughtful words on peace and harmony in his beautiful city.
Councillor Coleman proudly offers his goodwill and inspiring thoughts on bringing peace to the community, incuding the First Nations lands.
Jhalmala, one of our local coordinators was very instrumental in some of our events today. She also fed us well and offered her home for everyone to get a good night's rest while in Victoria.
A tourist from Germany and his young son were thrilled to be walking by and have a chance to share the Peace Torch with us.
Bozena, one of our local Peace Runners and supporters, is happy to finally receive the Peace Torch and run with us today.
It was so nice to see our good friend Vasundhara who was able to come to offer her support and goodwill
Andrzej, who came with his wife Bozena has been involved in the Peace Run in Canada for many years. We are so grateful for their presence and support.
The Torch was passed from hand to hand in a circle as Sumitra offered a touching story to us about peace and oneness. She also tries to help support the Native First Nations in their plight for peace and happiness in this beautiful part of the Northwest.
Penny and Saul receive their new Peace Run shirts and new colorful brochure of the global Peace Run from Narmada, our dynamic local coordinator here.
One of the local Peacock's offered us a wonderful display of his feathers although we could not catch it in time for a full view on the camera.
Andrzej and Arpan enjoy the peace of one of the huge Sequoia Redwood trees transplanted here from the great California Redwood forests.
Andrzej shares the Torch with some locals who happen to be walking past and were glad to share some peace and friendship with us.
We stopped at this statue of Terry Fox, a young Canadian runner who in the early 80's who was inspired to run across Canada despite having cancer which took right leg. He ran on an artificial leg, almost making it all the way across from the West coast to the East coast. He unfortunately passed away before finishing the full run, but ran over 3,000 miles to raise money for cancer research.
We also visited a plaque in honor of a great Scottish runner, Al Howie, who lived in Canada until his passing two years ago.
Al had many incredible running achievements including the record for running across Canada. He also was the first person to complete the 1300 mile footrace under the allotted maximum time of 18 days.
Arpan was his handler in that race in 1989 and a good friend of Al. He had also raised money for diabetes research through various ultra runs in his latter years.
We then ran to the Margaret Jenkins Elementary School where the gym was filled with young children excited to see us.
The children had just watched an introductory four minute video of the global Peace Run and were ready to receive the Peace Torch.
Even some of the youngest children tend to grasp the concept of the feelings of peace, harmony and love starting within themselves and then sharing with others.
Andrzej and Bozena from Poland had the hardest country to guess. They live and work in Vancouver and were thrilled to help us carry the Peace Torch through Victoria where they used to live for many years.
Feeling peace and harmony in the heart is a very touching quiet moment which most of the children and teachers seem to take seriously and enjoy.
We would like to thank the children and teachers of the school including Principal Brett Johnson and Vice Principal Janet Langston who accepts our small gifts of appreciation and shares the Peace Torch with Nikolaus.
All of the children and staff had a chance to hold the Torch and share a moment of peace as they went back to the classrooms.
teh Peace Torch encourages friendship and oneness which we can easily see with some of the children as they get to hold the Torch together.
Some of our runs today had some very scenic views of the bay and the Olympic mountains across in the U.S.A.
This is a minor league baseball stadium where we were invited to bring the Peace Torch to the opening ceremonies.
Our video was being viewed on the large video screen while the team ran around the full outfield of the stadium.
It was a very nice way to end the day share the Torch with some of the enthusiastic locals here in one of the favorite sports.
We are grateful to Jim Swanson, a managing partner here for the local team, the Victoria Harbour Cats. He helped to arrange for us to present the Peace Run here. We even got to watch some of the game between the Harbour Cats and the Port Angeles Lefties.