Australia 9 June: Canberra, ACT
Because tomorrow is the start of a Long Weekend, today was the only opportunity for the Peace Run to visit schools in Canberra. The remaining distance yet to be covered from Bungendore into Canberra will be run tomorrow. Today the Peace Run was represented by two teams. The North Canberra team started the day at 9am at St Vincent's Primary School in Aranda.
The team was warmly welcomed by the principal Lina Vigliotta and the religious education coordinator, Luke Maher, before Danny introduced the team.
We were extremely grateful for the presence of ACT Legislative Assembly member, Elizabeth Kikkert (pictured outside after the program indoors), the Shadow Minister for Families, Youth and Community Services AND Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Mrs Kikkert, who herself hails originally from Tonga, shared a lovely story on the occasion of three students' birthdays.
Stacey then went with K1 and K2 children and a torch outside into a smaller meeting area, where everyone made their wish for peace.
Several students had prepared some beautiful artwork for the occasion, which was projected onto the large screen during the proceedings.
Meanwhile, inside, Danny taught the older students the words and actions for the World Harmony Run song, composed by the founder of the Peace Run, Sri Chinmoy.
Luke Maher (far left, pictured with the other teachers involved in today's reception), a man of abundant goodness, did a superb job in organising this ceremony. His class learned the World Harmony Run Song and performed it in front of the whole school. Well done and thank you!
The South Canberra team started at St Mary MacKillop College, the largest school in Canberra, speaking to 2 classes of Year 10 students.
These students understood with more depth the importance of peace compared to our Primary school audiences.
Together we reflected on the choices a person makes to either give to the world, or to only expect from the world.
Our team is happy to be reunited with Niribili from New Zealand, who had had to take a few days rest from running with a minor injury.
Sadly, the time has come for our team member Danny (Daniel Rubin, from South Africa via New Zealand) to leave the run and return home. He was not only a great runner but also a very supportive team member and most of all made us laugh on so many occasions. We will miss his humour and presence on the team.
The children and teachers energetically welcomed us in their assembly hall where we sang the Peace Run song.
The Year 5, 6, and 7 students were very quick to guess our team's countries, and enjoyed seeing the international dimension of the run in our video.
The leadership team of Poppi, Cleo, Barton, Fergus, Elouise, Elouisa, Dillon and Zoe all held the torch together when receiving the certificate for the school.
We had some very keen offers to join our team and run with us to Adelaide but unfortunately Ben and others will have to wait a few more years!
The final visit of the day in North Canberra was to Rosary Primary in Watson. The children were listening very attentively to the team’s presentation.
Many students had learned the World Harmony Run song beforehand and sang it together with the peace runners.
The students had also prepared a great number of original artworks which were festooned about the hall ...
... all of which the Team has taken with us, to be included in an international display of Children’s Art for Peace around the Colosseum in Rome this September.