London Buddhist Vihara 90th Anniversary programme
Photographs by Tissa Madawela
London Buddhist Vihara 90th Anniversary programme "a great success".
Head of the London Buddhist Vihara Chief Sanghanayaka of Great Britain Most Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala Nayaka Thera said that the week long 90th Anniversary celebrations held at the temple was a huge success. He thanked each and every one who worked tirelessly spending their valuable time to make the History Exhibition and the Pirith and the Dana programme a success. During the 6 days a large number of people visited the exhibition gaining a valuable insight in to the Vihara activities. Many devotees also attended the Pirth and the Dana Pinkama..
Earlier Ven. Nayaka Thera in a press release said thus " 90 years ago Buddhism was hardly known in the West. Anagarika Dharmapala, through his foresight, had a vision of the future. As a result of his vision, Buddhism is now a well established part of the religious life of this country. I would like now to pay tribute to our great founder as a pioneer of bringing Buddhism to the West, in general, and as the prime mover in establishing this Vihara in 1926.
Throughout the 90 years of its history, the London Buddhist Vihara has been supported by a great many Dayakas and friends. Great Dhammaduta Monks guided the Buddhist community from here. We remember all those supporters with deep respect and gratitude. Through the years the Anagarika Dharmapala Trust has been the backbone of this Vihara and I would like to give out respects to the members of the ADT."
Exhibition depicting the 90 years of the service rendered in bringing the Dhamma to the west by the London Buddhist Vihara with emphasis on the yeoman service made by it's founder the Great Buddhist revivalist Anagarika Dharmapala was held from the 10th to the 15th September.
Each day it was opened by an invited special guest, Lord Nick Bourne, Minister for Communities and Local Government, Dr Patricia Walker, Worshipful Mayor of Ealing, Vice Admiral Anthony Johnstone-Burt CB, OBE Master of the Royal Household , Buckingham Palace, H E. Mrs Amari Wijewardene High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in UK, Dr Desmond Biddulph, Chairman of the Buddhist Society and Mrs Pat Smith, A senior Coordinator of the London Buddhist Vihara.
Deputy Sri Lanka High Commissioner Sugeeshwara Gunaratne delivered the key note speech on the 17th evening prior to the Pariththa Chanting.
Last day of the Exhibition was sponsored by the UK Branch of the Devi Balika Past Pupils Association and it was declared open by Pat Smith.
In her touching and in places emotional speech Mrs. Smith explained how her life was transformed with a short visit to a building at Heathfield Gardens with a friend who wanted to attend a meditation session.