The Temple To World Peace: Who We Are and What We Shall Accomplish
The Temple To World Peace began as an idea in 2010, as I, Sir Christopher S. Dailey and my partner Edward R. Ghera II walked along the shore of the Salton Sea, in the desolate desert of Southern California’s Imperial Valley. In this wasteland untouched by human involvement, “What,” I asked myself, “What can be done to break humanity of the seemingly perpetual cycle of war and self destruction?” The answer came in an instant; create a space dedicated to lasting World Peace, so that everyone in the world may know a tangible place exists, where the prayers of the people of the world can be focused. With the combined positive prayers of all mankind, this symbol of peace may translate into a real and lasting peace for all. From this instant forward, we have embarked on a journey to make this place a reality, a journey which has brought us here before you today.
The Temple To World Peace is more than an idea or a symbol, as at its first conception; it is a movement, a lifestyle, and now a physical reality. In 2012, while spreading the concept to others in our Southern California community, we joined forces with Princess Corrina Renee Coco Mountbatten-Windsor, ‘Princess Coco’ for short, a diplomat and humanitarian who was already working with the United Nations on World Peace measures. Her project at that time was to create a special meeting place for leaders of the world to settle their problems removed from the public eye. She embraced our notion of a non-denominational sacred space dedicated to lasting World Peace and we combined our goals into one. The new Temple To World Peace project would be a place, in a rural and out of the way setting, centrally located to the United States and in a politically neutral, easily accessible location. The idea being, political leaders from around the globe could go there without fanfare, publicity or harassment by the press. In late 2012, Princess Coco visited Keokuk, Iowa and we concluded this would be our perfect location.
During that visit, while walking through a historic neighborhood close to my home, Princess Coco and I passed the old Unitarian Church building on 4th and High Streets and knew instantly that this monumental structure would be ideal for our purpose. Immediately, we contacted Melanie Wells, who was already working on efforts to save the endangered structure. Melanie was overjoyed with our concept and agreed to work as a liaison between the Christ Vision group who owned the building and our Temple To World Peace group. Through our combined efforts Christ Vision agreed to donate the building to our group, holing the property until we received not-for-profit status; and to allow us access to the structure for restoration and cleaning efforts. Meanwhile, Princess Coco returned to Los Angeles to raise money and awareness of the project, while Edward and I also worked on spreading awareness from his family home in Salinas, CA.
In Spring of 2013, Edward and I returned to our Keokuk, Iowa home and began to work in earnest to restore the structure at 4th and High streets. We received overwhelming public support from Keokuk locals and soon amassed a small army of volunteers interested in both restoring the church building and creating our non-denominational Temple To World Peace. Thanks to the hard work of these volunteers many issues with the building have successfully been addressed, including the stabilization of a loose rose window, painting the doors and some windows, and clearing out of dangerous pigeon waste material. The building is structurally sound and is prepared for major work to begin; with a new roof being our first primary goal. To date, we have donations promised to us, which will pay for a significant portion of the new roof; we also have almost 400 members who have joined us in support of the project.
Supporters of the Temple To World Peace come from all over the globe, and represent the mass global appeal of such a project. The following is an abbreviated list of some of our famous supporters: Greg Laurie, along with Saddleback Community Church of Orange County, CA, a 30,000 member congregation, pray for our success; Nancy Sinatra, daughter of Frank, allows the Temple To World Peace to advertise updates on our project via her popular websites; HIRH Prince Shams Panhwar, crown prince of Pakistan is planning a trip to Keokuk to see our Temple and pledges his support; Former President Bill Clinton, a personal friend of Princess Coco supports our efforts; Lady Tassel Hyre Daley (Africa Peace Advocate), Lord Michael David Peschka, Countess Tatiana Kurbatov, Tatiana Wales-Windsor, Contessa E. Jordaan and Princess Jodie Alice Ann Mountbatten are famous humanitarians who have joined our Temple to World Peace group. The group Peace Iowa, are also supporters. In addition, almost 400 other people, from every populated continent, have joined our group; the list includes politicians, news reporters, TV and film stars, authors, architects, nobility and most important, the common man. Together we endeavor to create both a physical space dedicated to lasting World Peace, and more, an atmosphere of understanding and empathy that can outreach violence, to change the hearts of mankind.
What shall we accomplish and how? Abstract concepts like peace exist in the mind, while realities of discord are visible around us. To translate Peace into reality we shall impact the future with education. The primary purpose of our Keokuk, Iowa location is community outreach. Through classes, open to the public, we shall teach sustainable living practices to our community, such as growing one’s own food, nutrition, and other practical life skills. We shall also teach classes on empathy and tolerance; on cultural resource appreciation and also how to properly care for and maintain historic structures. As we restore the Temple building, our efforts shall become a classroom for our volunteers, teaching them marketable skills like tuck-pointing and masonry work, painting, plastering etc. Our outreach program continues past our restoration agenda, to include home maintenance assistance for our community’s elderly, and eventually a Community Kitchen which shall be open daily, servicing our local hungry, supplied by our community gardens, where we teach organic gardening to the public. All this is in addition to providing a place for leaders of the world to unite to solve global problems. As the saying goes, Think Globally, Act Locally.
All these endeavors, which aim at elevating our community and fostering volunteerism, have the broad support of our local Keokuk and surrounding communities. It is to these ends that I humbly request the City of Keokuk drop the old lawsuit against Christ Vision, which is aimed at demolishing our Temple Building. It is obvious that this building is no longer abandoned, and that indeed it has a purpose which serves the greater public good. Let us all move forward unencumbered by a law suit which is a waste of City time and money, and allow our efforts to be focused on the necessary fundraising and restoration. All of us here today have only good to gain by this project. Let’s work together to create a better tomorrow!