THE FINDHORN Foundation is celebrating 50 years of its community this weekend, and remembering the incredible chain of events, which got the whole thing started.
The Foundation is now much more than a haven for hippies seeking an alternative lifestyle, and has grown into a well oiled corporate machine, with a business and lifestyle based on alternative lifestyle practices which have been copied by many.
The story of how the community was started could be the plot for a Hollywood film, with the incredible story of a family forced to live in a caravan next to a bit of old airfield, after the father lost his job as a hotel manager, and becoming a world wide centre for peace, love and all things eco-friendly.
It was 50 years ago on November 17, 1962 that the community and ecovillage had its beginnings in the wintry dunescape near the village of Findhorn. Sacked hotel manager Peter Caddy and his wife Eileen Caddy parked their caravan at the Findhorn Bay Caravan Park, hoping to be on their way within days. With them were their three young sons and close friend Dorothy Maclean.
However, their little encampment attracted international attention after reports of giant cabbages sprouting in the garden became public, particularly as Dorothy claimed she had invoked the help of the ‘Devas’ - angels in the soil to grow them.
Although it has been thought since then that the temperate cilmate and seaweed in the soil, might have given the cabbages an extra boost, the story spread like wildfire and it was the 60s, so people came from far and wide to get some of the feelgood factor and set up camp alongside.
Putting it in a modern context, what was essentially a 1960s travelling site became an eco-friendly village, which now welcomes visitors from all over the world and is internationally respected for its lifestyle approach.
Based at The Park, the community still sees itself as a force for positive change and pioneer of new ways of living sustainably that has touched the lives of people in more than 200 countries around the world and attracts almost 10,000 visitors each year.
To celebrate the 50 years event, many of the early residents are returning to the communtiy for a week-long series of talks, workshops and events that honour a half-century committed to awakening the highest in human potential.Fellows of the Findhorn Foundation will converge for the weekend and include Sir Jonathon Porritt, former Director of the UK government Sustainable Development Commission, appearing regularly on radio and television as a spokesperson for Friends of the Earth and the Green Party.
See this week's Gazette for the full story