Posted by: sabrina | October 2, 2009

Peace march starts colourful on grey Wellington day

„Happy Birthday Gandhi!”

Happy Birthday, Gandhi! (pic: own)

Happy Birthday, Gandhi! (pic: own)

I SAW the same statue in India a few years ago. So we meet here again, Mahatma.“


That was just one of the birthday greetings this morning when the first-ever World March for Peace and Non-violence started.


The opening event began at 9.30am with a speech by Rafael de la Rubia, president of World Without Wars -who initiated the march- and spokesperson for the march, at the Gandhi statue Wellington railway station.

Today is not only day zero of the march, but also the 140th anniversary of Gandhi’s birthday and the International Day of Non-violence.

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Youngest marcher Oscar Wakefield with his granny Dr Kate Dewes (pic: own)

The opening speech was followed by music, other speekers and the appearance of the youngest participant in the march, little Oscar Wakefield (not the boxerpictured right).

One very special performance was made by singer Graeme Allwright, who sang a self-composed peace song for “all the children of the world today”.

Graeme was born in Lyall Bay, but moved to London when he was 21 to go to theater school, and later to France, where he still lives.


“For years I have asked myself how the French can continue singing their national anthem, this war song.”, he says.

Based on the same melody as La Marsaillaise, his “international hymn for peace” calls for peace and freedom instead of telling about war, bloodshed and violence like the original French text does.


At 9.30pm the march officially started, together with the Wellington Peace Heritage Walk.


– read here what NewsWire wrote earlier this week

– and read here the NewsWire story about the opening today

view my blog post from 22/09/09

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Beginning of the first-ever World March for Peace and Non-violence (pic: own)

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On the way to Parliament: the marchers (pic: own)

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