Australia 20 June: Melbourne, Vic

Melbourne schools, day 1

With 5 schools to visit today in Melbourne we had our task cut out for us.

Our first meeting was at Ivanhoe Primary School.

The students lined the playground and welcomed us into the hall. Lloyd and Kianne welcomed the team to the school.

Shasti Aston is our local coordinator who has organised all the schools in Melbourne over the next two days.

Kianne and Lloyd also accepted the Olive Tree and Peace-Blossom Plaque.

This tree will be placed in the school with the plaque not only commemorating the visit of the Peace Run but also offering a few poetic words from the Founder, Sri Chinmoy.

The students picked up the song very fast and many students sang Sri Chinmoy’s World Harmony Run song to us as the Peace Torch was passed outside.

East Ivanhoe Primary School was next on the agenda. This school was a little different.

The students here are involved in a Community Project related to outdoor events: they themselves received the information about the Peace Run and made all the arrangements for the visit.

Two of the students also came up to accept a Peace Tree, which they promised they will find a place to plant.

With the school bell already calling for recess, we adjourned to the school hall so everyone could hold the Torch, talk to the peace runners some more and go for a run with the Peace Torch.

Greythorn Primary School had the years 4, 5 and 6 assembled in the hall when we arrived. Veronique and Tom escorted us down to the hall and welcomed the team to Greythorn Primary School.

The students all had a moment to hold the torch, and then representatives from each class ran around the hall while the rest of the school cheered them on.

After a short break in the park with a lovely meal prepared by three of our hosts, Ankhi, Prashanta and Kishore, we made our way to our fourth school.

At St Thomas the Apostle Primary School, we were greeted by the entire school in their hall.

Here our team expanded with the addition of Ella from Bali and Vilasi from Melbourne. Ella had just arrived from her overnight flight from Denpasar.

They were fantastic at guessing the countries ... ... and even more expert at putting their hand on their heart and feeling peace.

The three school captains here this day, Tim Harman, Zoe Martin and Sarah Bulloch, came up to receive the Certificate of Appreciation and an olive tree on behalf of the school.

Tom graciously thanked the team for coming.

As we were about to go out to the playground to hold the torch, one of the teachers asked the students who among them had driven to Adelaide. A surprising number of students had. She explained that it would take about 9 hours to drive and that we would be running, and that as they go out to hold the Torch they will be sending their good wishes and their peace with us as we continue our journey.

Blackburn Lake Primary School was our 5th and final school, slotting in just before the end of the school day.

With about 500 students filling the hall, they all had great fun guessing the team members’ countries and they did a great job at joining us in singing.

Debbie McDermott and Suellen Hall came and received the Peace Tree and Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the school.

All the students held the Torch as they left the hall.

A big big thank you to Knightsbridge Apartments for hosting some of the women’s team tonight in Melbourne.