PRESS ARTICLE: Serenity at Seawinds

article-1-11-01“Walking the Pathways to Peace”
Serenity at Seawinds
Pictures and story by Keith Platt
Mornington Mail, Thursday, November 1, 2001

THE latest images of war torn Afghanistan shown on television screens and in newspapers seemed worlds away from the twilight sounds and views of Arthurs Seat.

But the fury of the warring sides in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington gave special impetus to the 320 or so people holding peace talks last Saturday at one of the Mornington Peninsula’s most peaceful reserves.

Speakers read out messages of hoped-for peace as families sat or stood on the lawns of Seawinds State Park.

The peace vigil was billed as “Walking the Pathways to Peace” and began at 5pm under clouds that seemed less threatening in the late afternoon light.

Organiser Sally McLean, of Mornington, spoke about living and working in London under the threat of IRA bomb attacks and the relief she felt now that a settlement seemed to have been finally reached.

American-born William Kelly, a former dean of the Victorian College of the Arts and recipient of the Australian Violence Prevention Award from the Prime Minister, spoke as he walked among the crowd.

He delivered a message of encouragement and hope from Dr Arun Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson: “Peace has never been more important than now. All of us, wherever we are in the world, need to work toward achieving peace through non violence.”

In the lead up to the peace vigil former soldiers contacted Ms McLean.

“Two of them were there listening and came up and congratulated me afterwards,” she said.

“I was so glad they didn’t see us as being critical of their actions. We just want peace for all.”