A statue aimed at inspiring peace in Ipswich - a gift from former and current Olympians in association with the World Harmony Run - has been unveiled in Chantry Park, Ipswich, by the Mayor of Ipswich Cllr Hamil Clarke MBE.
Entitled 'World Peace Dreamer', the 2 metre tall bronze statue of spiritual master, Sri Chinmoy, carries the Olympic Torch of peace. Sri Chinmoy dedicated his life to world peace and visited Ipswich on two occasions. The statue is a reminder of Ipswich's status as a designated Sri Chinmoy peace town and a link to cities across the world from Oslo and Prague to Mazatlan in Mexico who also cherish bronze statues of the spiritual teacher.
Over the past weeks, Framlingham-based building contractor, Robert Norman Construction, has brought extra peace of mind to the equation, by ensuring that the 160kg bronze which was designed in London and cast in Prague found its feet firmly in Ipswich after its travels.
"It's been a delicate operation all round," comments Bob Page, the company's Construction Director. "The sheer size and weight of the sculpture brought its own challenges to our work - siting and positioning such a heavy and important piece can be quite an art in itself. "
The statue now looks perfectly at peace in its new Chantry Park home, a symbol of humanity's hope that one day the dream of world peace will become a reality.
Martin Spettigue, who founded the Sri Chinmoy Meditation Centre in Soane Street, Ipswich in the 1970s said: "We wanted to offer something which will inspire people to think more and more about peace and to understand how important peace is to an individual. It is a beautiful park for the statue with lots of variation and has given us the opportunity to enhance what the park already has."
The unveiling of the statue in Chantry Park was a joyful celebration with music. The event was witnessed by sculptor, Kaivalya Torpy, the Rev. Cliff Reed, Minister of the Ipswich Unitarian Meeting House for 36 years and winner of a Torch Bearer Award for work on inter-faith peace activities, and 15 Peace Runners who had run a relay from Cardiff to Ipswich with the Peace Torch for this inauguration.