Rainbows have signified this Peace Run. An auspicious sign of progress and positivity, they have appeared regularly along the way, as though watching over and approving the proceedings.
This morning's media survey included this surprising piece in the North Coast Times from Western Australia – not on this year's route. In this article, Mrs Wildish, the Principal of Two Rocks Primary School, listed the visit of the Peace Run in 2013 as one of the highlights of the school's 10-year existence.
Schools which have been visited on this year's itinerary have also reported on their experiences: this from Ballan Primary School in Victoria; and this article in the Coastal Leader on the team's recent visits to schools in Kingston SE.
Today the 2017 Australian Peace Run, which retraced the 3,500km journey of the inaugural Peace Run in 1987, came to a close at a ceremony under the gaze of the statue of the Peace Run’s Founder, Sri Chinmoy at Freshwater Lake, West Lakes, Adelaide.
Councillor Stuart Ghent from the City of Charles Sturt, former Mayor Kirsten Alexander and students from local schools Ocean View College and Hendon Primary were all present for the celebration.
Kahlea, a student from Ocean View College, gave the ‘welcome to country’ on behalf of the Kaurna Aboriginal Tribe, the first Australians, who are the custodians of lands including the Adelaide Plains region.
Former Mayor Kirsten Alexander, who has been such an incredible supporter of the Peace Run travelled 400 km from Wentworth in southern NSW for the occasion. Amazing.
MC for the occasion was one of the most famous members of our Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, Sipra Lloyd.
Sipra not only organised but also ran in the original 1987 Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run relay from Adelaide to Brisbane. With the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, she also organised the first-ever public triathlon in Australia in 1981, held in Largs Bay, very close by to today's ceremony.
The Peace Runners sang the Peace Run song for the final time on this journey.
Councillor Stuart Ghent who has been a councillor for an incredible 25 years, gave a wonderful speech. He detailed how he and Sipra Lloyd from the Peace Run worked together in 2014 first to find a suitable location, and then to obtain Council approval for the World-Peace-Dreamer Statue of Peace Run founder Sri Chinmoy which was unveiled in the course of the 2014 Peace Run. Today’s ceremony was by the Statue.
Peace Run team members read out some beautiful and moving words on Peace collected from some of the schools we have visited along the journey.
Kirsten Alexander, who was participating in her third Peace Run since 2013, welcomed the Peace Run with her ever-radiant kindness and oneness.
Everyone present had their own moment with the Peace Torch.
Peace Runners and audience members joined together in singing the World Harmony Run song as the Torch was passed to everyone.
Everyone joined in a lap of the lake with the Peace Torch.
The students from class 3A from Hendon Primary made some beautiful peace banners for the day. Also many of the students from Ocean View College who gave us such a wonderful welcome at their school on Monday came to the ceremony.
Kevin and Riley received the Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of their school, Hendon Park.
Melissa and Anna accepted the Certificate for Hendon Primary School.
Kirsten Alexander has invited the Peace Run to visit her new home in the Mildura/Wentworth region, which will most likely feature in a regional Peace Run through the Riverland in 2018.
Congratulations to Sipra Lloyd and all the members of the Peace Run team in Adelaide for all the wonderful ceremonies in South Australia over the last few days. Your hospitality is always unforgettable.
All gratitude to Sri Chinmoy for his vision of a world flooded with peace. Being on the road with the Peace Run is a blessing unimaginable.
See you next year.
Some of the team are driving the two vans back to Melbourne and Canberra, from where each van was hired. The Canberra crew is spending the night tonight in Balranald. Billy Barker has generously donated a room at the Balranald Colony Inn to allow the team to break their journey with a restful sleep.
The remainder of the team are staying courtesy of Lisa at the Balranald Motor Inn. Esra, the establishment chef, was happy to hold the Peace Torch for the occasion. We hope the Peace Run will come through Balranald in the near future so we can reciprocate some of this town’s warm hospitality.
30 years after Sri Chinmoy first sent the Peace Torch out into the world, it burns brighter than ever in the hearts of all who have been touched by his flaming inspiration.