At 1:00 p.m. the team for this year’s Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run attended the South Perth City Council offices where they were received by Sue Doherty, the Mayor of South Perth and the honorary patron for this year’s event.
Mayor Doherty is a longtime friend and supporter of the Peace Run and she spoke in depth about the foundation of the Peace Run in 1987 and the ideals that it embodies. She referred to the many dignitaries, such as Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa, who have held the peace torch, and the impact that the Peace Run has had on the lives of countess children around the world. On a personal note, she quoted some inspiring words by Sri Chinmoy that she had read that very morning as she left her home:
It is hope
That is keeping us alive
In the muddled mess
Of the world.
Team captain Prabuddha Nicol thanked the Mayor for her genuine commitment to the Peace Run, which stretches back over many years. He also made special mention of the World-Peace-Dreamer statue that was installed in Sir James Mitchell Park, South Perth, in 2011. The Mayor attended an outdoor concert that was held at the statue in 2014 to mark its third anniversary.
As each member of the Peace Run team introduced themselves, the Mayor was surprised to find that some of the runners had come from as far away as Mongolia and Auckland. Four women runners on the team then read out aphorisms on peace by Sri Chinmoy. These included:
A moment’s peace
Can and shall save the world.
The Peace Run choir, led by Prachar Stegemann from Canberra, performed their Peace Run theme songs for the Mayor and her staff, following by several songs by Sri Chinmoy about peace.
On behalf of the team, Vidagdha Bennett presented the Mayor with the Peace Run Torch-Bearer Award and wished her every success in the forthcoming mayoral elections.
The Mayor then led the runners to a beautiful corner of the council gardens where the council workers had prepared a young sapling to be dedicated as the first Peace Tree of this year’s event.
The sapling was a Royal Poinciana (or Flame Tree). When mature, this spreading tree has brilliant red flowers. Using a special ceremonial shovel, the Mayor scooped some soil round the roots of the tree and then invited everyone to follow suit.
A Peace Tree plaque was then installed. It is the first of many Peace Trees that will be dedicated during this year’s event.
With all official duties now concluded, the Mayor invited everyone to return to the reception room for some lavish refreshments that her staff had prepared.
The runners are extremely grateful to Mayor Sue Doherty for sending them on their way with such goodwill and encouragement. The Mayor said that she is looking forward to seeing them again in two weeks, at the end of their 1,000-kilometre adventure.
Our girls team began their Peace Run journey here in Australia totally spoilt by the amazing affection and love from all the staff at the wonderful Murray Hotel, who so generously offered us two nights sponsored accommodation (and delicious breakfast!!).
Manager Kay J Fraser, pictured here with the Peace Torch, couldn't have been happier or more enthusiastic about holding the Torch and the ideals of the Peace Run. Her response has certainly fired us up about our incredible journey ahead... All our gratitude to Kay and the Murray Hotel. What wonderful ambassadors you are for the beautiful city of Perth!