• World Harmony Run

    World's Largest Torch Relay
    World Harmony Run

  • 1,000,000 Participants

    Across 6 Continents
    1,000,000 Participants

  • Dreaming of a more harmonious world

    100 countries
    Dreaming of Harmony

  • Schools And Kids

    Make a Wish for Peace
    Schools And Kids

  • Sri Chinmoy: World Harmony Run Founder

    World Harmony Run Founder
    Sri Chinmoy

  • Carl Lewis: World Harmony Run Spokesman

    World Harmony Run Spokesman
    Carl Lewis

  • New York, USA

    New York

  • London, Great Britain

    Great Britain

  • Shakhovskaya, Russia


  • Around Australia

    15,000 kms, 100 days
    Around Australia

  • Around Ireland

    14 Days, 1500km
    Around Ireland

  • Wanaka, New Zealand

    New Zealand

  • Arjang, Norway


  • Rekjavik, Iceland


  • Beijing, China


  • Prague, Czech Republic

    Czech Republic

  • Belgrade, Serbia


  • Lake Biwa, Japan

    Lake Biwa

  • Kapsait, Ethiopia


  • Pangkor Island, Malaysia

    Pangkor Island

  • Bali, Indonesia


  • The All Blacks, New Zealand

    The All Blacks
    New Zealand

New Zealand 5 October: Burnham – Christchurch

On September 8 we stood at the very top of New Zealand, where the land falls away into the green sea and the Kaumatua, the tribal guardians, lit the World Harmony Run Torch and chanted their prayers and blessed our journey. Today in Christchurch our 3,500 km, 33-day odyssey around New Zealand and our 19,000 km Australasian epic reached its grand finale.

The final marathon into Christchurch began at Burnham on the outskirts of Christchurch. Instead of a relay, many ran the full marathon of 42.2 km.

Maureen Heffernan has run many marathons

Lani Anderson from NZ Post ran the final 5 km

The final kilometre down Colombo Street to Cathedral Square with a police escort...

where a traditional Maori powhiri, led by Te Roopu Haka Te Kotahitanga, included a welcoming haka and karanga. A waiata ushered us into the central city square and a waiting crowd, following a fanfare from 'Fanfare Brass' composed for the occasion by Robert Tait.

Our generous-hearted and wonderful friend Allison Roe – a sporting legend, a winner of both Boston and New York City marathons – has flown down from Auckland to act as our Master of Ceremonies.

Alison Roe lights the big flame from the World Harmony Run Torch

Robert Tait, music teacher, cathedral chorister and program director for the Christchurch School of Music teaches the crowd our theme song for the World Harmony Run.

Bishop Victoria Matthews of the Anglican See of Christchurch now offers a beautiful prayer for peace and friendship.

Father Carl Telford, who is involved with promoting interfaith communications, also offers a prayer of Pope John Paul II.

Next the Very Reverend Peter J Beck, Dean of the Christchurch Cathedral, shares an inspirational message-prayer with the large crowd.

And now a highlight – the delightful and famous Christchurch author Margaret Mahy, an Order of New Zealand recipient, recites a long, enchanting and witty verse to tumultuous applause.

"Little Mabel blew a bubble and it caused a lot of trouble! Such a lot of bubble trouble in a bibble-bobble way. For it broke away from Mabel as it bobbed across the table, Where it bobbled over Baby, and it wafted him away..."

The women's vocal group, 'The Harmony Singers' entertain us in the first of two performances.

Prachar Stegemann, co-ordinator of the World Harmony Run in Australia and here for the entire New Zealand relay, now offers the keynote address, talking about the combined Australasian event and its purpose and history, and inviting a minute's silence meditation.

New Zealand's national director, Jogyata Dallas, now introduces a unique tribute of the World Harmony Run – the Torch-Bearer Award.

Recipients included:

Nuclear-free campaigner Larry Ross;

Popular children's author Joanna Orwin;

Foundation for Peace Studies members Robert Green

Dr Kate Dewes (absent) and Wellington Director Alyn Ware (absent);

Trees for Canterbury inspiration Steve Bush;

New Zealand's most famous children's author Margaret Mahy, acknowledged all over the world as one of theoutstanding children's writers of today, and has published over 200titles. Twice winner of the Carnegie Medal, several of her titles havebecome modern classics. In 2006 she was presented with the HansChristian Andersen medal, which is the highest internationalrecognition granted to authors and illustrators of children's books.

Two national organisations also received the award:

Yolanda Soryl accepts the award on behalf of the New Zealand Vegetarian Society;

and Hans and Nicola Kriek accept for SAFE (Save Animals from Exploitation).

Two further impromptu awards were given to:

Master of Ceremonies Allison Roe, winner of the Boston, New York and Seoul Marathons. Allison set a course record at both Boston and New York and a world record at the New York City Marathon.

and Musical Director Robert Tait.

Robert Green accepted a further award on behalf of the absent Maurice Gray, a recognised Maori orator and an authority in traditional Maori knowledge and practices.

The ten Torch-Bearer Award recipients

Icelandic singer Hera, voted Best Female Singer at the 2002 Icelandic Music Awards, performs two songs to an enchanted audience.

Naomi Ferguson, who started writing songs at the age of 14 and will record an album this year, now performs one song with her own keyboard accompaniment.

Completing the trilogy of popular Christchurch female singer/songwriters, Flip Grater – a rising star who has performed at the SXSW Festival in 2007 and shared the stage with many eminent artists – sang two songs with guitar.

Allison Roe now introduces a children's choir, formed specially for the occasion by Robert Tait, comprising representatives from several school choirs around Christchurch.

Ariana now reads a poem written specially for the occasion by the Rudolf Steiner School.

The Apollo String Quartet – Robert Tait and Candy Swart on violins, Edith Wicks on viola and Morag Macpherson on cello – now perform an arrangement of 'Spring' from Vivaldi's 'The Four Seasons', followed by Fanfare Brass, a group of 5 brass players – 2 trumpets and 3 trombones.

Kelven Scott, busker who, although he has lost his sight, performs regularly in this very square, enchanted the audience with his flute performance.

The combined World Harmony Run relay team with assorted instruments now ascend the stage to offer a powerful performance of a medley of Sri Chinmoy's World Harmony Run songs.

Allison Roe then graciously thanked the audience, performers and relay team members for their participation.

The final item was singing the national anthem.

The audience were then invited upstairs into the ante-room of The Lotus-Heart restaurant to view a collection of children's paintings and drawings on the theme of world peace, collected from around New Zealand.

"Each good heart
Champions the cause
Of world-harmony."

– Sri Chinmoy

People sometimes ask us, how does carrying a burning Torch around New Zealand and around the globe help to make a more peaceful world? It is because the World Harmony Run is a celebration of the human heart and spirit and the power of each individual to make a difference. You and I are the world, we embody the forces that shape the world. Our love is the love which unites the world, our anger is the anger that divides our world. When we change for the better, we change the world for the better. This is what the World Harmony Run tells us – that world peace begins with each one of us.

A thank you from Robert Tait

To the spirit of Sri Chinmoy and all people of the world as an encouragement for peace and harmony between nations, peoples, cultures, faiths and you and I.

The two O eight World Harmony Run
Closed in The Square with spirited fun;
Sri Chinmoy's ideal,
Was present and real,
And people there gathered were ONE.

To all the stage crew who did do,
With helpers who helped them so true,
The risers and decks
With marvellous effects,
I'm glad to say thanks to all you.

To runners who've carried the torch
In rain, hail or snow, and sun's scorch,
You've held high Sri Chinmoy's flame,
For all to acclaim;
You're due an earned rest on your porch.

A poetess Margaret Mahy,
Wrote verses when home in the Bay;
Sometimes blank or rhyme,
Her metre sublime,
Reciting them blew us away.

© Robert Tait, Christchurch, New Zealand.

– Jogyata Dallas

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