Global peace run brings message through Bay

Children at Peterhead School in Flaxmere watching a presentation by the Peace Run team last week.
Megan Hunt

Children at Peterhead School in Flaxmere watching a presentation by the Peace Run team last week.

A torch, which has visited 155 countries over 30 years, arrived in Hawke's Bay this month.

The Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run is a global relay, which carries a flaming torch around the world with the aim of inspiring people to create a more peaceful world.

Every two years the flame is lit in New York outside the United Nations building before it begins an international tour, first around North and South America, then Europe before further afield destinations like New Zealand.

On May 9 runners carrying the torch arrived at Flaxmere Primary School then ran on to Peterhead Primary, both in Flaxmere.

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The torch carriers were accompanied by students from each school for sections of the effort, along with Hastings District Council mayor Lawrence Yule and deputy Sandra Hazlehurst. 

The relay began in 1987 when founder Sri Chinmoy saw the Olympic flame relay and thought the hand-to-hand torch event could be used to pass on a message of peace.

The event is completely staffed by volunteers, with a group presenting a programme of songs, videos, speeches and skits to each school.

This main message was how children could bring peace into their own lives and the difference every individual could make.

"Peace begins with me," was one of the mottos.  

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Hazlehurst said it was  a "great privilege and a great honour" for Hastings to host the event.

Everyone was personally responsible for peace and could always do something to support peace in their own lives.

Yule said part of Peterhead School's motto, which read "I care" was what peace was about, and how much better the world would be if everyone took this on board.

He said it was nice to see the run return as former Hastings mayor Jeremy Dwyer had signed onto the movement years ago and felt strongly about its peaceful message.

The torch arrived from Australia at the start of May, and then headed to  Masterton, Hutt Valley and Wellington, before flying back to Auckland.

 - Stuff

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