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The Celebration in the Toskansky Palace

Friday, September 16, 2005 was a very memorable day for the Centipede. The book „We fly together only to war“ was launched. The event took place in Toskansky Palace in Prague.

Preface of this book was written by Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, Archbishop of Prague and Primate of the Czech Church. Click here.

Many Centipede children were invited to the event, including those who contributed to the book with their articles. Then patrons and the Centipede supporters – General Stefka, Minister of Defence Mr. Karel Kühnl, the Ambassador of Norway H.E. Peter Raeder, the vice president of the movement – Mrs. Astrid Hagen Huerta, teachers from the Centipede schools and many others.
The celebration began at 2 p.m. The entry to the Toskansky Palace was very festive as the lane of the guards of honour was welcoming the guests. Marcela Augustova and Roman Pistorius from the news of Czech Television greeted the guests after. Minister Kühnl thanked the Centipede for its precious work and pointed out how important the work was. General Stefka told that he was very honoured being the patron of Centipede movement and gladly promised the support of Czech Army to the Centipede for future. While listening to the Centipede anthem “Never Be Alone”, the book was launched. Mrs. Bela and Mr. Jan Prochazka from AVIS – main authors of the book, together with General Stefka, Minister Kühnl and a little girl from the Centipede kindergarten in Kostelec nad Labem met on the stage. The book was sprinkled with “baby champagne – Flying corks”. After that, Mr. Prochazka, Michaela Pickova and Jana Kaplanova read excerpts from their articles. Following that, Mrs. Bela emotionally explained how much work on the book and the book itself were important to her and thanked to everybody who cooperated, especially Mrs. Jean Griffiths, who helped with the translation of the book into English. Mr. Prochazka was remembering his travels with Centipede and how he wrote his articles after coming home. Chief Army chaplain, Lt.Col. Holub, pointed out how important Centipede work for the children in war affected areas is.
The end was coming. The children whose articles were published in the book received diplomas, handed over by Mrs. Bela and General Stefka. Miniter Kühnl joined them and presented the children with small gifts.

This was not an end, however. Children and adults received their book and waited for the signatures of Mrs. Bela, General Stefka and Mr. Prochazka. Photographs were taken to remind this special event. The little girl from the kindergarten in Kostelec nad Labem received from Minister Kühnl a doll – Pavlķnka – dressed up in an army field uniform. Small refreshment followed where everybody talked about their work for Centipede.
Everybody was sorry that time flew so fast and that they had to leave because for many of them there was a long way home ahead.
Some of the Centipede friends were invited for a walk around the Cernķn Palace, the seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. Mr. Bartos was a great host and guide of the tour. He was talking about the history of the building and the work in the diplomacy. We could see many rooms and salons where important political meetings were held.
The day before, on September 15, General Stefka had his birthday. Mrs. Bela with couple of closest colleagues came to wish happy birthday to him. They wished the General all the best in the coming years and thanked him for the wonderful cooperation without which the Centipede work would be almost impossible.

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