Northampton shines a light on Tibet
|March 5th 2018|
Tibetan Flag Flies over Northampton
In 2002, with the support of the Northampton Women’s Forum, Northampton Borough Council awarded a Tibetan Nun Honorary Citizenship of Northampton while she was languishing in a Tibetan prison. It was accepted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Representative Mrs Kelsang Takla on her behalf and one year later she was free.
During the years Caroline has also seen the flag waving proudly over Althorpe (at the invitation of Earl Spencer) and over Castle Ashby together with Lord Northampton. But it is at the Guildhall each year that Mayors and Dignitaries of all parties have shown their support of the Tibetan people who are still struggling under the dominance of China.
This year, on Monday 5th March, the snows had melted, the sun shone and Caroline Scattergood, the Mayor of Northampton Councillor Gareth Eales, the Leader of Northampton Borough Council Cllr Jonathan Nunn and the Deputy Leader Cllr Phil Larratt stood together with the Dalai Lama’s Representative Chonpel Tsering to fly the flag for this, the nineteenth year.
The Guildhall was packed with supporters, many of whom had travelled from various parts of the country to join together with Councillors, business people, friends and supporters, and many members of the original Women’s Forum. A tribute was paid to the late member Linda Brede and a very special welcome was given to Fran Wire the widow of ex-Mayor Terry Wire.
Although she wasn’t free to attend, Joanna Lumley sent a message to be read out by her chum Caroline Scattergood which contained a wonderful philosophy in these hard times “The pendulum always swings wildly at times of change and soon the world will stop being SO MAD”.
Friday 4th March 2016
|Thursday 5th March 2015
Boris Johnson and Sandie Shaw send their support for Tibet flag ceremony in Northampton
|Friday 6th March 2015
"A Conspiracy of love for the Tibetan People" by Caroline Scattergood
Northampton should be so proud… as over a hundred people gathered together – young and old – all breathing together in love and compassion.
It was on Wednesday 4th March in the beautiful Guildhall that we learnt that… to conspire means to breathe together… and so we did for Tibet.
The Dalai Lama's Representative Mr Chonpel Tsering was to this enchanted moment. He said that "Northampton was unique" and I agree.
Tears flowed as the hall rang out with the sounds of Barbra Streisand and Il Divo singing "Somewhere (There's a Place for Us)". Images of Tibetans flashed on the screen and as the music reached a crescendo and the words got to "Hold my hand and I'll take you there" an image of Prince Charles holding the Dalai Lama's hand and giggling was shown – I like to think maybe he could lead him to Tibet. His Holiness will be 80 this year; time is not on his side. We need to make it happen.
People came from as far away as Portsmouth, Leicester and Milton Keynes. They were proof that we have what we all take for granted – our home. Even if we travel hundreds of miles we can think we can go home to a place of and comfort where we BELONG. Tibetans haven't got that privilege and that is why we are… CONSPIRING IN LOVE FOR TIBET.
Our own total lifetime is just a "speck". Delaying anything makes no sense. Everyone that day was aware of this and they were united in courage alongside myself, The of the Council David Mackintosh, Councillors, ex Mayors, all faiths, all nationalities – united as one.
This makes me think we should banish the words "Hope" and "Maybe" from our vocabulary and say
"We will make it happen""We will make it better"
When we take action we can eliminate all fear!
As that great ancient hall flowed with a "Conspiracy of Love" and no one complaining the world should change – but all doing something to instigate this change.
Northampton and its citizens are Tibet's shining hope.
NORTHAMPTON BE PROUD
God bless you all!
Sunday 27th April 2014
Under the Cherry Tree there are no strangers:
Blog by Caroline Scattergood
There’s a Japanese saying… “Under the Cherry Trees there are no strangers”. On Sunday 27th April this saying glowed in all its glory as the Mayor of Milton Keynes, Cllr Brian White, raised the Tibetan flag at the Japanese Buddhist Temple at Willen in Milton Keynes.
Tuesday 4th March 2014
Good people gathered together in Northampton TO KEEP TIBET ALIVE
His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Representative Mr Thubten Samdup was the Guest of Honour at the 15th year of raising the Tibetan flag. He was greeted by the Mayor & Mayoress Cllr Les & Lisa Marriott along with many Councillors from Northampton, Corby and Milton Keynes. There was surprise visit from the Marquess of Northampton to mark the occasion.
The event began with a beautiful rendition of “Only Remembered for What They Have Done” from the musical WARHORSE. It was dedicated to the courage of the Tibetan men and women who sacrificed their own lives by setting themselves on fire to get attention for the suffering of their fellow Tibetans and also to the good people who support this just and honourable cause. Heads were bowed in prayer.
Caroline then spoke of the bravery of the Tibetan women who rose up against the Chinese army on March 12th 1959. She spoke of the Tibetan heroine Ama Adhe who spent over 20 years in a prison, tortured, humiliated and torn from the arms of her 3 year old son and 1 year old baby girl, never to see her son again. He died tragically from the grief of seeing his mother dragged away. Her baby girl was in her twenties when they met again. Ama’s story is one of unbearable suffering, but it is a testimony of great hope for humanity. Ama’s story is one of unbearable suffering, but it is a testimony of great hope for humanity.
Ama never wavered in her courage and compassion. She gave constant attention to the needs of other prisoners and refused to divulge information, even under torture. She is “The Voice That Remembers” as told in the book of the same name.
Tuesday 5th March 2013
Kind Northampton hearts gathered at the Town's Guildhall for the raising of the Tibetan Flag.
The guest of honour, Mr Thubten Samdup, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s representative, inspired the packed hall with his words of compassion and wisdom. He was greeted by the Mayor & Mayoress Roger & Jenny Conroy, the Leader of the Council David Mackintosh, Keith Davies ex-Leader of the Council and many other Councillors, including the Deputy Lieutenant of Northamptonshire Cllr Terry Wire.
The film and song “Burning in the Mountains” was shown. This had distressing scenes of young Tibetans setting themselves on fire to raise awareness for their FELLOW Tibetans. The film also showed the Dalai Lama crying at this tragic loss of life.
The singer and composer of the song, Jane Alston, was also at the event. Before the event began photos and names of the deceased were shown on a big screen with the sacred Tibetan music … “Rest in Natural Great Peace” playing in the background. This is spoken by Sogyal Rinpoche inspired by a poem by Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche.
There were speeches, prayers, music and the Mayor, Roger Conroy, read out a heartfelt letter of concern from TV presenter, Gloria Hunniford. It said, “It is a great honour to send love to this event and help keep the Tibetan lineage alive. My daughter TV celebrity, Caron Keating, was battling with cancer and she had the Dalai Lama’s photo by her bed and Tibetan monks stayed in her home. She gained incredible strength from their kindness and care. I wish you much success in this incredibly honourable cause. My very best wishes” – Gloria Hunniford. A Mother’s message from the heart.
Caroline Scattergood, organizer, spoke of one young 20 year old Tibetan girl “Tsering Kyi” who took her life in desperation to help Tibet, saying to her family, “Life is meaningless if we don’t do something for Tibet.”
David Mackintosh, Leader of the Council, spoke on behalf of the Council and their 14 years of support for the Tibetan people, despite being asked by the Chinese officials to not fly the flag last year … the Council say, “It’s traditional now!”
A letter was read out from Michael Ellis MP for Northampton. He said, “I am pleased that the people of Northampton will again have an opportunity to show their support for the Tibetan people. I would have liked to have been able to attend but I am required at the House of Commons.
I remain very concerned about the situation in Tibet. The conduct of the Chinese Government with regards to Tibet has repeatedly shown how little they respect the rights and will of the Tibetan people. I hope that the new Chinese Leadership will show a reforming attitude to this matter and a new-found respect for Tibetan culture but until they do campaigners like those here today are so very important.
I know the Prime Minister also feels strongly about this, and alongside the Foreign Secretary, have repeatedly raised the human rights issue with the Chinese Government at every available opportunity. This diplomatic pressure will continue and I hope we will all eventually see a peaceful and equitable resolution.”
Before the flag was raised the audience sat in silence and contemplation while healing Tibetan sounds flowed around them, played by Rozz & Ant.
They were asked to pray for Tibet and the deceased’s mothers and fathers and share in their loss and grief.
The flag was raised and we were left with this thought:
The true way to mourn the dead …
… is to take care of the living that belong to them.
“So, Northampton will take care of Tibet.”
Tashi De Lek
Monday 14th May 2012
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was awarded the prestigious Templeton Prize at a moving ceremony held in St Paul's Cathedral. Caroline Scattergood shares her thoughts as she attended this wonderful occasion.
"What better place could there be than St Paul’s Cathedral to award this Holy, Heroic, Gentle man of peace, introduced as a ‘Charismatic Icon’.
Arriving at St Paul’s, an hour before the doors opened, and standing in an extremely cold wind and with rain beating down, my own selfish heart sank as I shivered and worried about my hair getting wet. Not a very spiritual, selfless moment!
This soon changed as I noticed I was surrounded by Tibetan people whose faces were glowing like the sun. The toddler’s and children’s warmth for this honoured occasion shone through the gloom. I was reminded of the courage of this Nation of people and the thousands that had crossed the Himalayas to escape persecution in Tibet to be near His Holiness in India.
Our seats were a long way from the front but, embraced by the Tibetan People’s excitement, it didn’t matter. We were all rewarded as the Dalai Lama and Dr John Templeton Jr. walked down the aisle. They passed within touching distance and you were engulfed in a surge of love from the hearts and smiles of the Tibetan people, many with eyes tinged with tears.
It is a great honour to receive the “Templeton Tree of Life” Medallion which is regarded as all nourishing and reflects a link between heaven and earth. It was in 1972 that the late Sir John Templeton created this prize for progress in religion, to identify entrepreneurs of the spirit. His son, Dr John Templeton, presented the prize of £1,100,000 saying that His Holiness offers a universal voice of compassion that encompasses all human beings.
Humour twinkled throughout the Dalai Lama’s acceptance speech as he gave most of the prize money as a gift to Save the Children of India – a country that had opened their doors and hearts to him and his people over 50 years ago when they fled from their beloved Tibet.
This was followed by world class singer Jessye Norman with a rendition of “He’s got the whole world in his hands”. He certainly had the 2,000 people in St Paul’s in his hands.
What will continue to resonate in our hearts was the Dalai Lama’s compassion for all sentient beings and his magic way of building spiritual bridges.
The late Sir John Templeton would always say, “I love you all”, and as the guests left the Cathedral, it wasn’t difficult to imagine a world that embraces the Tibetan People’s culture of spiritual teachings – compassion, tolerance. generosity, gentleness, humour, and the acceptance of all sentient beings and their beliefs.
If we could only embrace the Dalai Lama’s message of
A oneness of spirit…
…then the future for all our children and our children’s children would be bright indeed.
It was an honour to stand alongside the Tibetan Community who, even if they have little, will give of their hearts."
Tibet will be Free
Tashe de Lek
Tuesday 6th March 2012.
This years raising of the Tibetan Flag over Northampton's Guildhall saw one of the most moving gatherings in the event's 13 year history. 150 supporters joined with the Mayor of Northampton and the leader of the Borough Council, united in one heartfelt cause,
"To carry the sorrows of Tibet on our shoulders."
This is a campaign of goodness and loving kindness for the people of Tibet. Prayers were said and songs were sung dedicated to the monks, nuns, and lay Tibetans who have, with great courage, set themselves on fire and died in agony to highlight the unbearable suffering of their fellow Tibetans. Their names were read out and will be remembered in the hearts of all who attended.
A beautiful message of support was read out from Archbishop Desmond Tutu who said,
"Goodness ultimately prevails. Love, compassion, gentleness, caring and sharing will have the last word. The Dalai Lama and his people will return in peace to their beloved Homeland.
"Kindness is the noblest weapon to conquer with. Their dreams will come true."
Pictured above are Caroline Scattergood with the Mayor of
Northampton cllr. Jamie Lane, leader of the Borough Council
Cllr. David Mackintosh alongside other County and Borough
|Wednesday 14 March 2012|
|Support for Tibetan Flag Raising|
Flag raising event in Northampton
A large group gathered on the steps of the building on Tuesday, March 6 for the day of music, prayer and speeches.
For More details - please contact Caroline Scattergood on
Global day of action for Tibet Wednesday 2nd November 2011
As Lovers of Justice and Peace gathered around the World to unite their voices for Tibet, Northamptonshire's peaceful village of Flore joined them in a service of love. The Tibetan flag was flown by Cllr. Johnnie Amos at the Milennium Hall and War Memorial.
The uniqueness of this event was to see 16 Union Jacks blowing in the wind alongside Tibet's own flag.
We all prayed for the Mothers and Fathers of the many monks and nuns who have died so tragically, feeling that the only way to raise awareness of the horrific happenings in Tibet was to set themselves alight.
Their cries could be heard through their pain - "Give us freedom and let His Holiness the Dalai Lama return to Tibet."
Dreaming of a new era for Tibet is not foolish but it will take many many people joining in a force for good.
Please join us in this just and honourable cause and show the Tibetan People they are not alone.
Tibet will once more become a land of "Hope and Glory"!