Australia 17 May: Adelaide, SA

Adelaide welcomes the Peace Run

Today was Adelaide's day.

The morning was spent in preparations for today's Official Welcome to Adelaide and the State of South Australia in Hindmarsh Square in the centre of the city, at 12:30 pm.

Our international running team met with students from Christian Brothers College to run the final leg into the Square ...

Some ominous clouds loomed, then hovered and threatened, but never delivered on their threat as the whole ceremony unfolded in a welcoming spirit of friendship, oneness, bright hope and happiness.

Local indigenous representative Lewis O'Brien delivered the "Welcome to Country" on behalf of the Kaurna People.

Lewis is an old friend of the Peace Run, having offered the Welcome to Country in Adelaide every time the Peace Run has visited here since 1993. The stage on which he is speaking, is decorated with artwork received yesterday from Hahndorf Primary School.

After a moment's silence, International Executive Director of the Peace Run, Salil Wilson, spoke about the Run, its founder Sri Chinmoy and its goals, after which the running team sang Sri Chinmoy's "Peace Run" song.

Students from Christian Brothers College then offered their own insights on Peace ...

... followed by several students from Seaview High School who read aphorisms on peace first in English, and then in their language of origin.

A Year 6 choir from St George's College presented another of Sri Chinmoy "Peace Run" songs, accompanied by their music teacher, Rosemary on flute; while another teacher, Adam, held aloft the Peace Torch.

South Australia's Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism, Leon Bignell MP – who is the South Australian State Patron of the Peace Run – spoke with deep feeling and conviction.

He then presented letters on behalf of the Premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill and himself, addressed to the Chief Minister of the ACT and National Patron of the Peace Run, Katy Gallagher.

Two Peace Run Torch-Bearer Awards were presented by Minister Bignell – the first to Graeme Goodings AM, which was accepted on his behalf by his wife, Eve (on left); the second to Marie Little OAM.

20 Peace Doves were released by participants in the ceremony ...

... before the students and Peace Run team departed to continue their inspirational journey.

... including National Kick-Boxing Champion, Adelaide's own Kim Johnson.

After the ceremony, everyone had the chance to hold the Peace Torch ...

This afternoon we paid a visit to youth Central in Woodville where we will be running tomorrow. The staff and youth were very welcoming and we discussed the spirit of the run and answered questions about the run.

Everyone was eager to get their running shoes on a carry the torch 5 km tomorrow.

We were also delighted to meet Charles Sturt Mayor KIrsten Alexander whose infectious enthusiasm lifted everyone's spirits.

In the afternoon some of the girls team went to visit the Playford Girl Guides in Elizabeth, 30km north of Adelaide.

We were thrilled to learn that the ideals of the Girl Guides are in perfect harmony with our philosophy.

The Girl Guides all recited their motto for us, and also entertained us by singing some uplifting and heartfelt songs.

We were all very happy to head outside for a group photo and a team run around the block.

All the girls and volunteer leaders were eager to hold the torch and share their own hopes and dreams for Peace.

The mission of the Girl Guides ...

After the programme was finished we all headed back inside for a delicious afternoon tea.

This young girl, Angel, was excited to show us the potato chip she pulled out of the packet shaped like a heart!

Thank you to all the Girl Guides and their leaders for a sweet and joy-filled end to a wonderful day of light and inspiration in Adelaide!