In the wake of two mass shootings in the U.S. in one weekend alone, the Gordy Dodd 10th annual Walk for Peace proved to just how relevant and necessary community gatherings can be.
“This is the antidote,” said Victoria Coun. Laurel Collins, acting as mayor at the yearly event. “It feels like, especially today, given the events south of the border, it such an important thing for us to come together as a community, prioritize peace and celebrate the diversity of our communities, and make sure that we are working to build inclusion and solidarity in our communities.”
Gordy Dodd, a well known Victoria philanthropist, community leader and owner of Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress said in the last decade the event has raised over $50,000 for the Victoria Hospice. The walk is inspired by Siri Guru Nana Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism, who walked over 30,000 kilometres by foot to preach to people of all backgrounds, ethnicities and walks of life.
It’s Guru Nanak’s acceptance of all that pushed Dodd to start the event.
“You see the violence going on all over the world, it just happened in Texas…” he said. “A few people came to this world throughout history – Guru Nanak is one of them, he was born in Punjab in India, and he travelled 30,000 kilometres on his feet. And what he teaches about equality, about justice about multi-culturalism, multi-faith – is to understand each other…so that we can live together, we can work together, we don’t need violence.”
A number of other speakers shared messages with the crowd including Saanich Coun. Ned Taylor and Victoria Police Chief Del Manak.
The walk went through Beacon Hill Park and ended with a free lunch for participants.
Donations can still be made online at victoriahospice.org.