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THE TRIBUNE, FEBRUARY 1, 2012
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Meal marks start of faith harmony week
World Interfaith Harmony Week
starts today and a Palmerston
North group is celebrating with a
The week was adopted by the
United Nations General Assembly
in 2010, after a proposal from King
Abdullah of Jordan.
The unanimously-passed motion
recognised the imperative need for
dialogue among different faiths and
religions to enhance mutual under-
standing, harmony and co-operation
The UN encourages all states to
support the spread of the message of
interfaith harmony and goodwill in
the world's churches, mosques,
synagogues, temples and all places
of worship during the first week of
The word harmony'' was chosen
to reflect that the week is about
more than promoting tolerance,
acceptance or peace; it is about har-
mony -- free from dissent or ill-
The Palmerston North Interfaith
Group is observing Harmony Week
by hosting a meal tonight followed
by a chance for people to share their
views and experiences.
Formed last year, the group grew
out of the Talkback on the Terrace
series on different faiths. Led by
Mary Eastham, it is one of about 12
interfaith groups nationwide.
The Palmerston North group has
about 30 members -- Muslims,
Hindus, Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists and
Christians from various denom-
Four of its members will attend a
national meeting in Hamilton this
month at the Mormon temple.
Member Peter MacGillivray said
interfaith groups are not about get-
ting others to take on your faith, but
getting people to try to understand
each other. It is not about tolerance
or acceptance as that indicates you
do not think much of what the other
person is saying, and it is not about
peace as that is just an absence of
war, he said.
Biking the best fun a woman can have
By JUDITH LACY
Strictly social: The Velo Girls group is a great place to make friends.
Co-ordinator Christine Christie is fourth from left. Photo: ROBERT KITCHIN
Velo is French for bike and Velo
Girls is Palmy for a social cycling
group for women.
Velo Girls riders range in age
from 25 to 65 and occupations range
from theatre nurses and doctors to
farmers, lecturers and students.
It's all about participation. We
are just trying to encourage women
to join us,'' co-ordinator Christine
Velo Girls started in September
2006 with Mrs Christie joining in
She took up cycling 10 years ago
after doing women's triathlons and
enjoying the biking legs. Then
before you know it you have got the
good bike and all the gear.''
The 51-year-old said cycling had
made her injured knees stronger.
I'm not a fast rider, I never will
be, but I don't get left behind
When she did her first triathlon
she walked instead of running, but
can now run.
Velo Girls has a database of about
400 names, with up to 30 women on
the Tuesday rides.
Depending on numbers and abil-
ities they will split into groups for
longer, faster and slower, shorter
The women cycle at the pace of
the slowest riders, who are tucked
into the middle of the bunch and
We include them so they want to
come back. We don't want to put
them off -- so it's all about them, it's
not about us.''
While there are competitive
riders in the group they will do their
hard training on another ride.
Mrs Christie said some people are
fearful of the road, but the Velo
Girls stick to back roads, or if they
are on main roads, ones with wide
She has discovered roads she had
no idea existed.
All the riders ask for, said Mrs
Christie, is a little tincy bit of
patience'' from drivers.
As part of the 33 Days of Cycling, all
women are invited to Velo Girls cafe
ride on Tuesday, leaving from Pedal
Pushers at 9.10am. They will cycle 40
Bike event for femmes
You have had a go at a women's
triathlon and want to do a longer
The La Femme Fun Ride on
February 25 is the answer.
Christine Christie, who is help-
ing Bike Manawatu organise the
ride, said the 20 kilometre option
is for women who want to make a
start with road cycling with per-
haps the old plonker bike'' in the
shed, with ordinary pedals.
[La Femme] is for those people
who just want to take that extra
step to see if they can do some-
thing that is just for them.''
They don't need to see it as a
race, it's just about participation,
getting your bum on your bike
and seeing if you can do it.''
The La Femme women-only
ride starts at The Square and
finishes Memorial Park:
50km course -- start at 11.05am
just after the NZCT Women's
Tour stage 4
20km course -- 11.30am
Enter at bikemanawatu.co.nz.
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