Malta 14 January: Sliema

Dedicating a statue of Sri Chinmoy

Today a statue of Sri Chinmoy, founder of the Peace Run, entitled "Dreamer of World Peace", was inaugurated by Hon. Chris Agius MP, Parliamentary Secreatry for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport, in Sliema, Malta.

We were honoured to have with us numerous luminaries from Malta and UNESCO. They include, (from left to right) Hon. Michael Bonnici, former Deputy Speaker of Parliament; Hon Chris Agius, Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport; HE Davidson Hepburn, President of the 35th General Conference of UNESCO and Ambassador of the Bahamas to the United Nations; Mr. Victor Rutter, President of UNESCO Club Malta; Mr. Xandru Grech, Ambassador for the Peace Run and Maltese athlete, coach and television personality.

Ms. Rosabelle Bianchi, teacher and soprano virtuoso, who we had met during our visit to Paola Primary School, beautifully performed Malta's national anthem.

Devashishu Torpy, Director of Peace Run Europe, served as Master of Ceremonies for the afternoon. Papaha Gosline, seen in the background, served as Production Manager for the programme.

HE Davidson Hepburn, President of the 35th General Conference of UNESCO and Ambassador of the Bahamas to the United Nations, shared about Sri Chinmoy and his decades of service for world-peace at the UN and internationally.

This statue of Sri Chinmoy was the 31st public statue to be dedicated in 23 countries on 5 continents. Mr. Kaivalya Torpy of London sculpted this staute, along with numerous others.

Hon Chris Aguis, Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport, fondly reminisced about his meeting with Sri Chinmoy in 1998 at the dedication ceremony in Kalkara of Malta as the World's First Sri Chinmoy Peace-Blossom-Nation. A totally of 152 nations followed Malta's lead in this unique initiative.

Xandru Grech, stellar Maltese athlete, coach and Peace Run Ambassador, spoke with great enthusiasm about the need for each of us to live for peace and the role of the Peace Run in nurturing this ideal.

Marc Voelckner, Director of Peace Run Malta since 2001.

An international group recited a selection of Sri Chinmoy's poems for peace.
"O dreamers of peace, come.
Let us walk together.
O lovers of peace, come.
Let us run together.
O servers of peace, come.
Let us grow together."

Hridananda Ramon-Rubiano, Columbian musical director, conducts an international choir in singing "Malta, Humanity's Fondness-Nest" composed by Sri Chinmoy in 1991 in honour of Malta.

With the assistance of our guests Hon Chris Aguis offically cut the ribbon formally inaugurating the statue.

Mr. Victor Rutter, President of UNESCO Club Malta, read out a quote of his father Albert V. Rutter which is on a plaque by the statue. "Peace brings joy, happiness and unity. Let us make a difference and make dreams come true for ourselves and for others by working for peace for the good of all mankind."

Peace Run Executive Director Salil Wilson commented on the unique role Malta plays in the world and how the citizens of Malta are custodians of a beautiful nation whose commiment to peace throughout the centuries serves as an example and a beacon of hope for all.

Dr. Agraha closed by offering our sincerest thanks for all that Malta and its noble citizens have done to help bring this day into a reality.

The plaque by the statue.

Quotes on peace by Saint Mother Teresa; Albert V. Rutter, Founder of UNESCO Club Malta; the UNESCO Constitution and U Thant, United Nations Secretary-General.

A panoramic view of the statue's location in Sliema.

We were delighted to be able to offer our thanks to Hon. Chris Agius and all our dear friends.

Mr. Tony Giga happily held the Peace Torch.

Xandru and Marc -- two great friends and two great pioneers of the Peace Run in Malta.

Tirtha, Marc's sister, holds the Peace Torch with her brother.