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Historic visit to the Highlands by His Holiness The Dalia Lama (25/06/12)
PHOTO GALLERY OF VISIT
Thousands of people gathered in Inverness on Saturday to welcome His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Highlands.
“Be the Change” was the theme for his public talk at Eden Court Theatre where he was joined on stage by 108 Highland secondary school children. For over an hour His Holiness discussed his views on promoting personal and universal responsibility for transformational change. It was very fitting that the focus was on young people as he especially encouraged the young people sitting on the stage with him to be the change they wish to see in the world.
As well as the 1,300 ticket-holders at the theatre, hundreds more gathered outside to catch a glimpse of the spiritual leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Even the heavy rain showers could not dampen the cheerful and warm welcome he received.
On arrival he was welcomed by The Highland Council Convener, Councillor Jimmy Gray, Council Leader, Cllr Drew Hendry and the Chief Executive, Alistair Dodds before being introduced to former Nairn Academy pupil Amy McCann. Amy accompanied him onto the stage, gave an introduction and after his speech, she chaired the question and answer session.
Corrina Patience from Charleston Academy, Annie Coe from Dornoch Academy, Hannah MacFarlane-Bower from Golspie, Tanya MacDonald from Portree and Lewis MacKinnon from Wich High School all had the opportunity to ask him a question.
The event drew to a rousing finale. Local singer Peter Kelly came on stage to sing Auld Lang Syne. He was joined by piper Lewis Barclay and the young dancers and performers who had entertained the audience at the start. Amy lead His Holiness to join everyone at the front of the stage. After the scarf exchange ceremony, everyone on stage and the whole theatre stood up and joined hands to sing as the City of Inverness Youth Pipe Band marched down from the back of the stalls.
Following a private reception, His Holiness received a loud cheer from the crowds waiting outside as he took his leave, accompanied by the sounds of the bagpipes as the pipe band entertained everyone.
Speaking after escorting the Dalia Lama to his car, The Highland Council Convener, Councillor Jimmy Gray said: “This is a historic day for the Highlands and something a lot of people have been looking forward tofor a long time. I found the talk to be very inspirational and perceptive and I was particularly delighted that the young people of the Highlands played a leading role. I am sure they will always remember this wonderful opportunity to hear from one of the world’s most influential spiritual leaders.”