The Padre’s Walk – Buffer Zone, Cyprus
By Margaret Sheard
We have received further information from Carol Blackwell Gibbs about the walk along the Buffer Zone by Padre Andrew Oliver and about 10 servicemen to raise funds for charities in both the North and South of Cyprus. We have also previously met the Padre and hope to be able to catch up with him and some of the other walkers when they have recovered from their fundraising walk.
Carol has provided us with the following update.
I have been privileged to have met with Padre Andrew Oliver of the Unficyp peacekeeping force at Ledra Palace in Nicosia. Padre Andrew and about 10 servicemen have been walking the buffer zone since Saturday, some 180km, starting in Yeşilirmak and finishing in Famagusta. They plan to finish the walk today, February 4th
Padre Andrew is originally from Northern Ireland and has been at Ledra Palace since October as part of his 6 month tour of duty. He wanted to do something for both sides of the line before the end of his tour of duty. Hence the idea of the walk.
Andrew is quoted as saying “I am very emotional to be helping the SOS Children’s Village in Northern Cyprus, who do a fantastic job helping underprivileged children. Equally, we are helping a very important charity in South Cyprus that is committed to the fight against the sale of children, women & men into slavery as beggars, prostitutes & forced labour. It is going to be an interesting tour as we walk through militarised and mined areas, for a good cause, and to send a message of peace through helping people.”
Donations are being invited on the Virgin Money Giving fundraising website through The Padre & His Pacemakers page shown below. Can I please ask for your support?
We have taken note Carol, and made a donation on behalf of cyprusscene.com via the link supplied. If anyone wishes to make a donation please use the link shown below. It is very easy.
Padre and his Pacemakers – Fundraising page
My page: click this link http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/andrewoliver52
“Hi, thanks for visiting our page.
We are walking the length of the United Nations Buffer Zone (180km) across the beautiful island of Cyprus.
The event is scheduled for 1st to 4th February 2014
Through Virgin Money Giving, you can sponsor us and donations will be quickly processed and passed to charities. Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid on a charity’s behalf where the donor is eligible for this. We really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations.”
The walk has now been completed and Carol and her husband James went to meet up with the group when they arrived in Famagusta. This is what the Padre had to say at the end of the walk.
The words that come to mind are – exhausting and incredibly demanding.
It was without doubt a very demanding exercise and at times it was simply a case of taking one painful step after another, but by the grace of God we covered the distance. Morale was low towards the end of day two which was a particularly demanding leg of the exercise involving walking from 0600 to 2230 to make our target. We had one casualty who, unfortunately, was unable to finish the walk as due to sheer exhaustion sprained her ankle. Most suffered very sore feet but were determined to make it to the end for such a good cause. Their efforts were immense.
Thank you so much for your overwhelming support in all of this. I can’t express just how much I appreciate it. Money continues to come in to the Virgin Money Giving site and we even received some donations from the soldiers of Sectors One and Four whose practical support in terms of guidance and encouragement was simply outstanding.
Warm good wishes for now.
At the time of publishing this article, the following is the amount raised to date:
Total raised incl. Gift Aid: £885.00
Total donors: 28
Biggest donor: Anonymous £100.00