Report On The Opening Ceremony Of An Quang Temple

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha.

Dear The Venerable Buddhist Monks, Buddhist Monks & Nuns and
local & international Buddhist fellows,
Dear Ladies and gentlemen,

The Grand Opening Ceremony of the Australian Buddhist Center held at Cairnlea ( An Quang Temple ) by the United Vietnamese Buddhist Congregation of Australia and New Zealand took place beautifully & successfully on the 20th of October 2019.

By 7:00 am, hundreds of local Buddhists flocked to the temple with Vietnamese traditional colorful dresses as seen at spring festivals.

The temple was decorated with traditional Buddhist multicolored flags and banners to welcome the guests attending the ceremony.

About 10 o’clock, hundreds of monks and nuns in golden robes gathered under the Pho Mon stupa and the Quan Am Bodhisattva statue chanting religious prayers through the decades-long practice under the light of The Sakyamuni Buddha.

At 10:30 am, the senior Venerable Buddhist monks Thich Huyen Ton, Thich Bao Lac & Thich Quang Ba, and the other appointed monks & nuns were represented to conduct the ceremony at Dai Hung Bao Dien.

There are around 400 Buddhists presenting and many others standing along the corridors of the Great Hall and other halls.

At this moment, the yard of the temple was crowded with thousands of people.
The drum Bat Nha started chiming while the dragon dance group was leading the monks and nuns to approach the front area of Dai Hung Bao Dien.

Then the firecrackers were crackling from Quan Am Bodhisattva statue and the Bao Dien Road for 15 minutes.
The mixing sounds of the bell chime and firecrackers made the ceremony atmosphere very special where our sad & happy emotions disappeared completely.

Everyone seemed to enjoy welcoming the new Bodhisattva the An Quang Buddhist Temple, also known as the Australian Buddhist Center.

The monks and VIP guests cut the ribbon to inaugurate the Australian Buddhist Center, and unveiled the memorandum with the presence of State Government representatives including the ministers of Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, and Brimbank City Council representatives.

People standing at the Chief of the Palace excitedly held hands with the monks and nuns heading into the main hall

The renowned MC My Ly bilingually introduced the presence of the Venerable Buddhist Monks and Nuns and the guests of the ceremony.

In the opening speech, the Venerable Thich Thien Tam, President of the Unified Buddhist Congregation of Australia and New Zealand ( also the President of the Executive Council of the Australian Buddhist Center ) talked about the origin and purpose of this building project.

As having reported on the construction progress, Mr Le Dinh Chau specially mentioned Mr Hung Truong’s dedication throughout the construction period.

Dr. Pham Phuc Nhan, Head of the Campaign of Fundraising, recalled the fundraising process over the past two years and thanked the sponsors and members of the fundraising committee.

Ms Marlene Kairouz, the Minister of Consumer Protection honorably expressed her feelings on the contribution of our Vietnamese community in Australia.

The Venerable Thich Phuoc Thai recited the congratulations of the Venerable Thich Phuoc Bon from the United States who was unable to attend due to his health reason.

The greetings of Prime Minister Scott Morrison were also received via email

The charming & inspiring words of the Venerable Thich Bao Lac were said. The Venerable Thich Quang Ba & the Venerable Truong Sanh presented souvenirs to the Venerable Thich Thien Tam and The Venerable Thich Phuoc Tan.

The Venerable Thich Huyen Ton gladly expressed his praise to the Venerable Thich Thien Tam and gave him a beautiful pearl as a merit gift.

The Venerable Thich Phuoc Tan ( also known as Vice President of the World Monks Association, President of the Buddhist Church in Victoria, Vice President of the Executive Council of the Australian Buddhist Center) expressed his thanks to all the representatives of the federal & state government including Ms Marlene Kairouz, Senator Kieu Tien Dung, MP Natalie Suleyman.

Thanks to the Associations such as the Vietnam Australia Women’s Association, the Indochina Elderly Refugee Association, the FABA Association, the RABA Association, the BrimBank City Council, the Tibet Buddhist Association, Bhutan, Vesak, Daylesford Dharma school and so on.

Thanks to all Buddhist monks and nuns and fellow Buddhists for attending the ceremony and for their hard work during the past month to prepare for the inauguration ceremony.

After that, there was a unique dancing performance of Luc Cung Dang Hoa by the two Buddhist Families Dai Bi Quan and Dai Hoan Hi with the brilliant fireworks crackling in the main hall to making offerings to monks and nuns for praying Bat Nha.

The ceremony was concluded after the monks and nuns’s souvenir photos were taken.

At 12.45 pm, the Venerable Thich Thien Tam and the Venerable Thich Phuoc Tan read the prayers and gave souvenirs to Buddhists from all the local temples for their attendances.

Nearly 4,000 Buddhists and the Venerable monks and Nuns enjoyed the delicious meals and the unique cultural scenes as well as Buddhist songs. The 4 hour ceremony was broadcasted around the world.

The Cairnlea Buddhist Center ( An Quang Temple ) is considered as the Buddhist headquarter where unites all Buddhists, monks and nuns all over the world together.

Approximately 5000 people visited and went touring the beautiful spots around the temple like main hall, the Great Hero of the Palace of India, Assembly & multi-purpose hall, Pho Mon’s stupa and Long Tho resting rooms, Quan Am Yin Bodhisattva garden …

We also remind that

* Saturday 19 October 2019 at 10.00 am

• An An Ton Statue of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva made of monolithic quartz stone 8 meters high and flower garden was completed a few days prior…

• The ceremony promotion of the Most Venerable Thich Thien Tam, Venerable Thich Phuoc Thai, Venerable Thich Phuoc Thien, Venerable Thich Phuoc Huu, Venerable Thich Phuoc The, Venerable Thich Phuoc Vien, Venerable Thich Phuoc Sanh, Venerable Thich Linh Tan, Venerable Thich Phuoc Nhon, Venerable Thich Phuoc Minh, Nun Thich Nu Phuoc Hoan, Nun Thich Nu Trung Hang, Nun Thich Nu Nhu Lien, Nun Thich Nu Phuoc Nghiem, Nun Thich Nu Phuoc Hi, Nun Ni Nu Thich Phuoc Dinh…

• And at 7.30 pm there was a seminar on the subject of the “Current Situation of Australian Buddhist Ceremony”. expressing the thoughts and aspirations of fellow Buddhists to make easier for the young people to integrate and learn more about Buddhism.

I should also mention you that nearly 6 million dollars have been spent on the construction of the Cairnlea Buddhist Center, which was thanks to the Buddhist monks and nuns; Buddhist Fellows and the sponsors for their huge supports and commitments.

Thanks to the efforts and dedications of Mr Le Dinh Chau ( Architect ) and Mr Trinh Hung ( Engineer ) as well as the close cooperation of the Venerable Thich Thien Tam and the Venerable Thich Phuoc Tan.

The construction team saved around 1,8 million dollars from the initial estimated amount of 7.8 million including GST.

The construction work has so far been carried out successfully with Dai Hung Bao Dien , the multi-purpose hall, the main hall, Stupa of Pho Mon and Long Tho Resort, Quan Am Bodhisattva landscape garden, and the car park….

Once completed, this facility will become an cultural and administrative center of the Vietnamese Buddhist community in Australia. It will be a place for studying and practising Buddhism disciplines.

As you know, the construction of the Australian Buddhist Center in Cairnlea over the past 14 months has reached more than two-thirds of the way with over $ 3 million dollars spent. This is the result of valuable contributions of the monks,nuns and the generous donors with materials and efforts in the fund-raising campaign during the past stages. It is a modest achievement but a great encouragement to the Board of Fundraising.

It is a good news to the Monks and supporters that we have so far completed 80% of the construction project with the expenditure of $3.4 million.

Thanks to the efforts and ingenious calculation of architect Le Dinh Chau & engineer Trinh Hung together with the self owner building experience of the Venerables Thich Thien Tam and Thich Phuoc Tan, the construction committee has saved about $ 3 million compared with an initial bid estimate of $ 7.8 million including GST.

The cost can be around $ 4,5 million as expected (the construction department has saved $ 3.5 million from the initial $7.8 million estimation ( GST included ). The remaining 20% of building would be able to be finished off faster than scheduled If you would give supports by buying lottery tickets, giving tiles or any other kind of donations.

Currently, the construction work is at the lockup stage with electricity & gas installed; as well as landscape & car park established…

Once completed, this facility will be a cultural center of Australian Vietnamese Buddhism as well as a institute of teaching, learning & practising Buddhism for the Vietnamese Australian Buddhist community.

Cairnlea Buddhist Center is an unique architecture achievement with the compassionate throne representing Vietnamese culture.

We can base on the previous fund-raising events at the temples of Quang Minh, Hoa Nghiem & Phuoc Hue which had gained $50,000 per year, it would take at least 30 years to raise the sum of 7.8 million dollars for the construction of Cairnlea Buddhist Institute. Remembering back to the Period of Spirit Retreat at Hoa Nghiem Temple in 2017, the monks and Buddhist members from all Vietnamese temples gathered to form the fund-raising and building committees to find the best way to complete the institute in the earliest time.

The First donations were the Venerable Thich Phuoc Tan and the Venerable Thich Thien Tam’s birthday monetary gifts given by the Buddhist members. From there has started the 1st stage fund-raising campaign taken places at the 3 Temples of Quang Minh, Hoa Nghiem & Phuoc Hue with a significant increase from $200,000 to $200,000 and to 1.4 million dollars throughout 12 months of campaigning via media and in festival occasions such as Tet, Phat Dan, Vu Lan…

On the 15th of July 2018, the Buddhist people who visited Cairnlea Buddhist Institute Center were surprised and happy as to see the building locked up with the beautiful roof, halls, rooms….

At the present, interior & exterior fittings including electricity, water, gas, and landscaping and car park are being performing.

In order to achieve the present stage of construction project, it is thanks to our Vietnamese Buddhist community, kind benefactors all over Australia, especially the Most Venerable Thien Tam and the Venerable Thich Phuoc Tan as well as Mr Dinh Chau Le ( architect ) and Mr Hung Truong ( engineer ) who have voluntarily given their physical help and valuable professional mentoring respectively in constructing this great project.

There are people who have given bronze statues of Gautama Buddha, Stratum Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva, tile and ashes pots as well as supports in buying raffle tickets.

Thanks to Bang UB Sound & System, Phuong-Tam Video for the first livestream program at Quang Minh and An Quang Temples.

We sincerely thank the monks and nuns of the monasteries Phước Huệ, Quang Minh, Hoa Nghiêm, Hoằng Pháp, Liên Trì, Quảng Đức, Pháp Hoa, Bồ Đề, Phước Tường,Thiên Đức,Lộc Uyển,Từ Quang, Liên Trì, Nalanda, Thiện Hòa, Viên Giác, Thiên Phước, Phước Huệ Wollongong, Thiên Thai NZL, Nam Hải Phổ Đà-Noumea,.. together with the at-home monks and nuns who do not know the names of temples with the different sects: Nam Tông, Bắc tông, Mật tông, Tịnh độ tông, Thiền tông, ect…

We wish the Buddhist monks and nuns all the best on the cause of serving Buddhism..

Finally, I would like to wish our Buddhist community all the best on the way to successfully build and operate the Buddhist Vietnamese National Palace in Australia under the light of the Buddha.

Head of Fundraising

Dr Pham Phuc Nhan