Guest


2010.09.24 Cycling the World
Two Taiwanese cyclists Kai and Yen who are touring the world on bicycles visited Fo Guang Shan South Island to recharge their inner energy so that they can continue on their long journey
Two cyclists on a mission to tour the world on bicycle visited the temple on 24 September. They are Kai and Yen, team No. 8 from Taiwan, and are planning to tour the world within two and half years, promoting the theme ¡°Reduce Energy Consumption, Stop Environmental Pollution, Live in Harmony with Earth¡±.
So far, the pair has visited Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. Christchurch was their fifth stop in 6 months since they started from Taiwan in March. Their future destinations include China, the Middle East, Russia, Europe, America, and Japan, totaling more than 55,000 kilometers. The visit to the Temple was to recharge their inner energy, giving them more faith to continue. Venerable Abbess Manshin commended their courage and perseverance; their mission requires enormous power of meditation and exceptional strength. They were creating miracles for their own lives, as well as making Taiwan proud. These warm words of encouragement gave the couple positive energy to continue. The Abbess gave them Founder of Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order Venerable Master Hsing Yun¡¯s book on Words of Wisdom and chanting beads as parting gifts, wishing them renewed strength and faith in their journey.

2009.12.30 Beijing Art and Culture Educator Meets Humanistic Buddhism
Deputy Minister of Ministry of Culture of the People¡¯s Republic of China, Mr. Wu, made a special trip to Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island on 30th December to see the recent ¡®Wondering Comfortably in the Floriculture¡¯ Pressed Flower Exhibition. He was warmly welcomed by Temple Supervisor Venerable Juexi, Public Relations Officer Seeshen Lee and Buddha¡¯s Light International Association South Island Director Guihua Yang. Mr. Wu is also a committee member of China¡¯s Art Education Advisory Committee and is also in charge of ¡®Mei Langfan Memorium¡¯.
Mr. Wu praised the pressed flower artworks created by Shan Shan Shiao, especially the ¡®Heart Sutra¡¯. He also enlightened everyone present by linking the various components of the ¡®Heart Sutra¡¯ piece with its historical background. After being given a guided tour of Fo Guang Shan South Island, he expressed his admiration and approval of the undertakings of the Temple. Mr. Wu hopes that in the future, there will be opportunities for him to exchange experiences of Art and Culture with and recommend artists to Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery.

2009.12.26 Dharma Lecturer Cheng From Far Away Arrives in Christchurch!
Fo Guang Shan Dharma Lecturer Peipei Cheng and her family from far away Hong Kong arrived on Christchurch soil on 26th December, and visited Fo Guang Shan South Island Temple for the very first time. Upon their arrival, they were warmly received by Venerable Abbess Manshin, Venerable Juexi, Venerable Miaoyu, Buddha¡¯s Light International Association South Island Vice-president Meihua Chen, Directors Guihua Yang, Gina Chen and Louisa Guo, and many other volunteers. First of all, the guests were taken to the Buddha Hall, where they paid homage to the Buddha and offered incense. Venerable Abbess Manshin then introduced to them the concepts behind the Temple design and pinpointed their unique characteristics. They were then taken for a tour of the Buddha Hall, Time Capsule Hallway, Chan Courtyard and Shan Shan Shiao¡¯s Pressed Flowers Exhibition at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island. During the tour, the family connected with the peaceful atmosphere of the Temple and expressed their joy ad enthusiasm in doing so.

2009.12.25 Consultant Moved by Spirit of Humanistic Buddhism
All the way from Wellington, Business Advisor of Investment New Zealand, Jane Liu and her friends arrived at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island on 25th December to visit the current Shan Shan Shiao¡¯s Pressed Flower Exhibition and Helena Egg Art Exhibition. Venerable Abbess Manshin kindly attended to her, answering all the queries she had; this led to a detailed discussion about the relationship between architecture and life. Ms. Liu noted that she has been to the Fo Guang Shan Temples in Brisbane, Melbourne and Auckland, but her trip to Christchurch¡¯s FGS Temple is truly an unforgettable and inspirational one. Ms. Liu will be organising the upcoming World Expo in Shanghai and after a discussion with the Abbess, gained insight into the missions and objectives of FGS and the Humanistic Buddhism ideal as advocated by Venerable Master Hsing Yun.

2009.12.15 Mountain View at the Door ¨C What a Pleasant Sight!
On 15th December, residents of the Cashmere View Rest Home paid a visit to Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island. The group of 26 seniors, who have an average age of 70 years or older, was greeted by Temple Supervisor Venerable Juexi, FGY Art Gallery South Island Public Relations Officer Seeshen Lee, Social Education¡¯s Shenghan Lim and Reception Staff Members. Among the visitors, several happened to be regular visitors of the Art Gallery and have also witnessed the phenomenal Embroidery Exhibition many months ago. The seniors had high regards for the artworks displayed by the Art Gallery.

2009.12.13 Guests All the Way from Tahiti Visit Fo Guang Shan South Island
On 13th December, tour group leader, Lucy Afou brought 26 visitors from Tahiti to Fo Guang Shan South Island for a visit. Upon their arrival at the Temple, the guests were welcomed by Temple Supervisor Venerable Juexi, Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island Public Relations Officer Seeshen Lee and the Reception Team. The group¡¯s visit was the result of their bus driver¡¯s dedication to his job; he came to the Temple in advance to inquire whether he could bring his group for a visit. As most of our friends from Tahiti could only speak French and Tahitian, group leader Ms. Afou and member Tiffany Harry came to the rescue by offering high-class translations of the introductions by the tour guides of the Temple. Everyone showed great interest in the artwork and praised the Temple¡¯s building design.

2009.12.02 Senior Police Officers Visit Pressed Flower Exhibition
On 2nd December, Constable Liying Cai brought colleagues Christchurch Central District Commander Dave Cliff and Australian District Commander Anthony Firoavanti to Fo Guang Shan South Island for a visit. Venerable Abbess Manshin, Venerable Juexi and Venerable Miaoyu, along with Buddha¡¯s Light International Association South Island President Almeric Cheng welcomed the guests. While at the Temple, the police officers took time to appreciate and admire the Pressed Flower Exhibition and Egg Art Exhibition.

2009.11.19 Arts Column Chief Editor Visits Temple
On 19th November, Chief of Arts Column Editor Chris Moore and photographer Carys Monteath from Christchurch¡¯s local newspaper ¡®The Press¡¯ arrived at Fo Guang Shan South Island for an interview. Temple Supervisor Venerable Juexi, Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island Public Relations Officer Seeshen Lee, Art Gallery Volunteer Tour Guide Meijun Lin and English Social Education¡¯s Shenghan Lim warmly received the reporter. During his Temple tour, Mr. Moore commended the contemporary Temple building design, its environmental friendliness and its humanistic spirit. The reporter and photographer enjoyed the peacefulness of every corner of the Temple; especially FGY Art Gallery South Island¡¯s ¡®Way of Life Photography Exhibition¡¯, the Time Capsule, the chronological picture biography of Venerable Master Hsing Yun and the Buddha Hall. The visitors then made their way to the Egg Art Exhibition, where they engaged in a pleasant conversation with Egg Artist Helena Kim.

2009.11.04 A Couple of Walking Groups Arrive at Fo Guang Shan South Island for Egg Art Exhibition
The Christchurch Seniors Walking Group visited Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island on the morning of 4th November. Founder and President of the Group, Alan Hunter, who was also the former Principal of Burnside High School, led eight members to the Temple to enjoy Helena¡¯s Egg Art Exhibition. Artist Helena Kim personally attended to the group, as she was keen to meet with the members of the walking group, who were also prominent scholars. The delicacy of the artworks captured the hearts of the seniors; a former Burnside High School Teacher queried into the possibility of achieving artworks that included a small egg within a large egg. Ms. Kim explained ¡®A few difficult steps that must be taken with a careful heart¡¯.

2009.10.21 Fendalton Councilor Revisits Fo Guang Shan South Island
The Councilor for Fendalton Waimari Ward, Sally Buck visited Fo Guang Shan South Island during the Temple¡¯s Opening Ceremony. On 21st October, she returned once again in order to view the exhibition of egg artworks by Helena Kim, who personally took the guests, along with Assistant Curator of Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island, for a tour. Not only is Ms. Buck a politician, she is also an artist herself, who specializes in glass decoration and she employed the artist side of her to view Ms. Kim¡¯s works of art.

2009.10.10 National MPs Admire Egg Art at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island
On 10th October, New Zealand National Party MPs Melissa Lee and Nicky Wagner came to witness the extraordinary Egg Art and the Way of Life Photography on exhibition under the invitation of the Egg Artist, Helena Kim, herself. Venerable Juexi, Buddha¡¯s Light International Association South Island Director Louisa Guo and FGY Art Gallery South Island Assistant Curator Seeshen Lee welcomed them. While they appreciated the delicacy of the Egg Artworks, Ms. Lee expressed her particular interested in the Taj Mahal series and her admiration for the subtle work produced by the artist.

2009.10.05 Tea Chan Talk Where Dharma Music Resonated-
Fo Guang Shan¡¯s Abbot, Most Venerable Hsin Pei arrived in Christchurch on 5th October, accompanied by Venerable Abbess Manshin, Venerable Huihao, Buddha¡¯s Light International Association North Island President Dolly Tsai and committee members. At the airport, the Most Venerable was welcomed by Venerable Juexi, BLIA South Island President Almeric Cheng, Advisor John Lai and committee members. At Fo Guang Shan South Island, in the company of everyone present, the Most Venerable toured around the Temple building, visiting the Buddha Hall and ¡°Way of Life Photography Exhibition¡± while engaging in a simple yet interesting conversation with his respectful escorts.
During the evening, BLIA South Island organised a ¡®Tea Chan Talk¡¯ at FGS South Island as a way of respectfully inviting the Most Venerable to share the Dharma with everyone. Those who attended the Talk included Christchurch Chinese Lion Club¡¯s Ing Ma and her husband, the BLIA North and South Island Presidents, committee members and YAD members, totaling over 80 people. Through a relaxed and humorous manner and with a taste of Chan, the Most Venerable began the Talk and at times, sang Chan verses, giving everyone present a pleasant surprise. The Most Venerable reminded everyone to live a life of gratitude, to treat others with compassion, to practice the Way with a mind of impermanence and to deliver sentient beings with their Bodhi mind.

2009.10.03 Police Maori Media Unit¡¯s Paul Eagle Visits Temple
On 3rd October, New Zealand Police Strategic Advisor Kefeng Chu and Constable Liying Cai accompanied Paul Eagle of the National Police Administration¡¯s Maori Media Unit to Fo Guang Shan South Island. Venerable Miaoyu showed the visitors around Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island¡¯s ¡®Way of Life Photography Exhibition¡¯ and ¡®Helena Egg Art Exhibition¡¯. The visitors were not only moved at the sight of the meticulous egg carvings of artist Helena Kim, but were captivated by the determination and focus of the artist. When the guests visited the Buddha Hall, Strategic Advisor Mr. Chu introduced to Mr. Eagle the Greenstone that was bestowed to the Temple by the Maori Chief; and with that, left Mr. Eagle with a sense of homely warmth.

2009.09.28 Most Venerable Hsin Ting¡¯s Enlightening Dharma Lecture-
The 28th September marked the auspicious day when the President of Buddha¡¯s Light International Association Headquarters, Most Venerable Hsin Ting arrived in Fo Guang Shan South Island, accompanied by Venerable Abbess Manshin, FGS North Island devotee representative Ming Tai Huang, BLIA North Island President Dolly Tsai and several committee members. The Most Venerable¡¯s arrival was met by the warm welcome of 20 BLIA South Island committee members and Temple staff. On the same night, Most Venerable Hsin Ting was respectfully invited to deliver a Dharma Lecture on ¡®Great Compassion, Great Bodhi Mind and the Wisdom of Emptiness¡¯ for 150 devotees at FGS South Island. Reporters from Christchurch¡¯s ¡®The Sun¡¯ newspaper and ¡®Hong Kong Journal¡¯ came to capture this auspicious occasion with photos and print. After receiving news about the Dharma lecture, many Christchurch locals promptly secured tickets to come and listen to the Dharma.
Citing from the Diamond Sutra, Most Venerable Hsin Ting described the great compassion, the great bodhi mind, and empty wisdom of the bodhisattva. Using many illustrative examples, the Most Venerable explained the difference between the love of a bodhisattva and the love of a regular sentient being, noting that the love of a bodhisattva is for all sentient beings and the love of the latter is for the sake of oneself; and that through the realization of the emptiness of the five skandhas, a bodhisattva is able to purify themselves, abandon worldly love and transform to benefit all sentient beings through engaging in virtuous deeds. The vivid stories told by Most Venerable Hsin Ting received warm applause, and the audience listened intently and joyfully. Everyone praised the Most Venerable for equipping them with Dharma wisdom which will allow them to re-evaluate the true meaning of life.

2009.09.23 Christchurch Rotary Club¡¯s Evening Temple Visit
On 23rd September, 23 members from the local Christchurch Rotary Club visited Fo Guang Shan South Island. Event organiser Tom Glass commented that he has always been impressed by the elegance and peaceful atmosphere brought forth by the Temple and his main purpose of organising the visit for the club was to let more people benefit and be acquainted with the Temple. Buddha¡¯s Light International Association South Island President Almeric Cheng took the group for a Temple tour. At the same time, they toured the ¡®Way of Life Photography Exhibition¡¯ currently showing at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island, the Time Capsule Hallway and the Buddha Hall. The visitors expressed their fascination for the monastic lifestyle and had questions regarding the Temple building and Buddhist principles; which were answered by Temple Staff Member Shenghan Lim. The Art Gallery tour was conducted by FGY Art Gallery South Island Public Relations Office Seeshen lee where she introduced to the guests the egg artworks of Korean artist Helena Kim.

2009.09.17 Christchurch Inner Wheel Club Just Can¡¯t Get Enough of It!
Under the arrangement of Joy Holdsworth, the local Christchurch Inner Wheel Club members paid a visit to Fo Guang Shan South Island on 17th September. The group of 15 ladies was also one of the groups of visitors who arrived at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery to witness the ¡®Wonders of Embroidery¡¯ Exhibition in June earlier this year. This visit was the result of their unforgotten enjoyable memories of visiting the Buddhist Temple. Buddha¡¯s Light International Association South Island President Almeric Cheng introduced the visitors the significance of the building concept and its architectural features, and later showed them the Chan painting on the concrete wall of the courtyard. Coincidently, the visitors came at the time when the 40th Anniversary Mini Cooper was on display; it also captured much of the ladies¡¯ attention.

2009.09.04 Secretary of South Korean Embassy Appreciates Egg Art
On 4th September, Assistant Secretary of the Korean Ambassador in New Zealand, Sukdong Woo, President of Korean Community Christchurch, Kevin Park and their friends visited the Egg Art Exhibition at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island. They were shown around by Egg Artist Helena Kim personally and were warmly welcomed by the Venerables, Buddha¡¯s Light International Association Committee Members and FGY Art Gallery South Island Volunteers. The guests confided that they were touched to have the opportunity to see their national artworks outside of their motherland.

2009.09.02 Aranui High School Students Meet Egg Artist Helena Kim
On 2nd September, teacher Charon Holderness from Aranui High School brought 24 students of her ESOL class to Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island to visit its current exhibitions the ¡®Way of Life Photography Exhibition¡¯ and ¡®Helena Egg Art¡¯. FGY Public Relations Officer Seeshen Lee took the students for a quick tour of the Egg Art Exhibition and provided an informative commentary along the way. The students displayed great appreciation for the efforts artist Helena Kim has put into creating her artworks. The students had the privilege of having Ms. Helena share a few words with them during the tour, and everyone was excited for having the chance to witness such high quality artworks.

2009.08.15 Nothing but Praise during Energy Minister¡¯s Temple Visit-
Under the invitations of National MP Nicky Wagner and Buddha¡¯s Light International Association South Island President Almeric Cheng, Minister of Energy and MP for Ilam, Honourable Gerry Brownlee visited Fo Guang Shan South Island on 14th August. The welcoming party included Venerable Abbess Manshin, Venerable Juexi, Venerable Miaoyu, BLIA South Island President Almeric Cheng, Vice-president Meihua Chen, BLIA North Island President Dolly Tsai and Vice-president Peter Chen, and committee members of BLIA North and South Island, totaling 20 people.

2009.08.12 Christchurch Girls Experience Spirit of Humanistic Buddhism
On 12th August, teacher Ms. Jeneveive brought 23 students from Christchurch Girls¡¯ High School to Fo Guang Shan South Island for a visit. Buddha¡¯s Light International Association South Island President Almeric Cheng took the students for a Temple tour, introducing them to the design concepts behind the building and the history of Humanistic Buddhism. Following on, the visitors took time to appreciate the ¡®Way of Life Photography Exhibition¡¯ at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island.

2009.08.06 Hagley Community College Students¡¯ Ultimate Experience
On 6th August, teacher Alice Flett from Hagley Community College took nine of her students to Fo Guang Shan South Island for a visit. Ms. Flett said that she has visited the Temple on previous occasions, and has also had the privilege of witnessing Yao Hong Ying¡¯s Embroidery Exhibition at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island. Ms. Flett commended the Temple building, stating that it is a spiritual building that has integrated art with religion. As a teacher of world religion at the College, she hopes that her students may gain more knowledge and insight into Buddhism through their visit to FGS South Island.

2009.07.12 The Case of a Lively Religious Exchange
On 12th July, Church Senior Reverend Vivienne Sinclair from the New Zealand Presbyterian Society and her friend Joan Macdonald visited the Embroidery Exhibition at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island. The 93 year old Reverend decided to witness the embroidery for herself after Ms. Macdonald, who had already visited the exhibition, highly commended it after being moved by the beauty of Yao Hong Ying¡¯s artwork. The special guest was received by Venerable Abbess Manshin, and without a moment¡¯s hesitation, the two of them clicked. Joyfully, the two prominent religious figures engaged in an in-depth religious exchange. During their conversation, Reverend Sinclair revealed that she has been preaching for the last 60 years. Even though the Reverend is now 93, she is healthy, humorous and full of life.

2009.06.26 Young-Hearted ¡®Ladies in Red¡¯ Define ¡®Young¡¯
Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island welcomed a special group of visitors on 26th June. Eleven members of the Red Hat Society of Christchurch arrived at Fo Guang Shan South Island to visit the Embroidery Exhibition. Most of the members are locals of Ashburton, and all of them wear red coloured hats during their outings. Their passion and vitality brought warmth to the Temple on that cold wintry day.

2009.06.24 Letter of Appreciation from Sister Annette
Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island¡¯s Embroidery Exhibition has touched the hearts of many in Christchurch, including that of Sister Annette. On 24th June, FGY Art Gallery South Island received a letter of appreciation from her. The letter is as follow:
Dear Friends,
This afternoon I had the great pleasure of visiting your centre of the Yao Hong Ying Embroidery Art Exhibition. On returning home I felt moved to write a note of thanks to you for making these exquisite works of art available to the people of this city at this time.
I was filled with amazement and admiration at the surpassing skill of Ms. Yao, who has given pleasure to thousands through her wonderful art. I hope she will find much joy and satisfaction in teaching others to follow in her steps and in the knowledge of how much delight her creations are giving to all those who view them.
As a lover of embroidery, this day¡¯s visit has given me inspiration and delight, with encouragement to strive for better stitching in the vestments I make for the Church.
Thank you too for your kind welcome, and the excellent guided tour around the exhibition. I sensed a real harmony and spirit of peace while I was with you.
May peace and blessings be with you all.
Yours sincerely,
Sister Annette C.S.N.

2009.05.28 Manukau City CEO Witnesses Majestic Fo Guang Shan South Island
The CEO of Manukau City, Leigh Auton and wife Jenny Auton visited Fo Guang Shan South Island on 28th May. Mr. and Mrs. Auton have a good rapport with Venerable Abbess Manshin and were here to fulfil their promise to Venerable Abbess Manshin as they were drawn in by her introduction to the building of Fo Guang Shan South Island. They were welcomed by Venerable Juexi and Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island Assistant Curator Seeshen Lee. The Chan painting on the wall in the courtyard was done by Clark Esplin, who also happens to be Mrs. Auton¡¯s brother-in-law. The Auton¡¯s trip to the Temple was also an opportunity for the couple to witness his work of art.

2009.05.24 MP Invites Art Enthusiasts to Exhibition
On 24th May, a group of 27 people with passion towards embroidery visited the exhibition at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island through the invitation of Nicky Wagner, National Party MP. The invitation included a guided tour of the exhibition and also lunch in Fo Guang Tea House. Buddha¡¯s Light International Association South Island President Almeric Cheng led the group for a tour around the Temple and Assistant Curator Seeshen Lee gave them a guided tour of the Embroidery Exhibition. The Temple gifted them with ¡®2008 BLIA Report¡¯ and ¡®2008 BLIA YAD Report¡¯. Ms. Wagner expressed her hope in the invitation that everyone can come to this building which combines culture with art and experience the unique atmosphere that it creates.

2009.05.06 Talented Fingers ¨C Embroidery Continues to Win Hearts
On 6th May, reporter Bernadette Cooney from ¡®The Press¡¯ and ¡®Christchurch Mail¡¯ visited Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island¡¯s Embroidery Exhibition. Venerable Juexi and Assistant Curator Seeshen Lee welcomed her and took her on a guided tour of the Exhibition.

2009.04.14 Delight at First Sight! Probus Members Visit Exhibition
On 14th April, Christchurch Aotea Combined Probus leader Mary Milne brought 26 Probus members to Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island for a visit. Probus was first established in Australia, with the purpose of providing friendship and fellowship for retired professionals, business people and those who are likeminded. Although the group of retirees was very interested in western embroidery, they had nothing but unreserved praise when they witnessed the embroidery of artist Yao Hong Ying.

2009.02.19 Active Canterbury Walkers Arrive at Fo Guang Shan South Island
To promote a healthy and active lifestyle for its people, the Christchurch City Council has sponsored the Active Canterbury walking groups. On 19th February, the group leader for Active Canterbury, Graeme Stanley led 65 of the participants to visit Fo Guang Shan South Island. At the Temple, the group visited Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island¡¯s ¡®The More Good the Better¡¯ children¡¯s drawing exhibition. The group members expressed their amazement at the children¡¯s extraordinary creativity and commended the Temple for its peaceful and serene atmosphere.

2009.01.24 Police Strategic Advisor Appreciates Art and Architecture
On 24th January, New Zealand Police Strategic Advisor Kefeng Chu and Constable Liying Cai came to Fo Guang Shan South Island for a meeting with Bev Watson of the Baha¡¯i Community of New Zealand. The guests were warmly received by Buddha¡¯s Light International Association South Island President Almeric Cheng and Temple Supervisor Venerable Juexi.

2009.01.24 Acupuncturists Visit Fo Guang Shan South Island
On 24th January, The New Zealand Register of Acupuncturists President Paddy McBride, Acupuncturists Georgia Bryant and Mana Fleming visited Fo Guang Shan South Island. They were led by Buddha¡¯s Light International Association South Island President Almeric Cheng and his wife.

2008.12.28 Mr. and Mrs. Leung, from FGS Melbourne came and visited FGS South Island and were warmly welcomed by Venerable Juexi and given a tour of the Temple. They highly praised the concepts behind the Bodhisattvas on the exterior of the building, the water which surrounds the complex, the design of Buddha Hall, time tunnel and green building.

2008.12.20 Director General of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Auckland Mr. Yang, with his wife and son made a visit to FGS South Island. They were warmly welcomed by Venerable Juexi, and BLIA South Island Advisor, Vice President and Director. As Director General Yang has been in touch with Buddhism in Taiwan for a number of years, seeing how FGS South Island presents the essence of Buddhism through its magnificent architecture amazed him and gave his highest admiration. Director General Yang also mentioned the unforgettable atmosphere which surrounded FGS North Island when he made his visit there. Upon Director General Yang¡¯s departure, Venerable Juexi presented them with Grand Master Venerable Hsing Yun¡¯s publications and Special Reports by BLIA Young Adults Division South Island.

2008.12.17 Mrs. Kawai, wife of Japanese Counselor Office resident correspondent in Christchurch, under the accompaniment of Ikebana International Christchurch Chapter 202 President Ray King, Vice President Yumiko, Secretary Wendy Johnson came to appreciate the exhibition ¡°Nature and Life ¨C Floral Week¡± on display in Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island. They were personally welcomed to FGS South Island by Abbess Venerable Manshin.
Japanese Counsel resident correspondent Mr. Kawai was reassigned to Christchurch from Pakistan only this September. This was the first time that Mrs. Kawai has visited FGS South Island and Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery after arriving in Christchurch with her husband. During the visit, Abbess combined the floral display with the architecture and formed the concept of ¡®using extremely simple and flowing in design without projection or addition to present the richness and depth of life¡±. This concept helped lead us to interpret the dialogue between contemporary Buddhist architecture and beautiful floral display. To conclude this wonderful visit, Abbess Venerable Manshin presented our special guests with Grand Master Venerable Hsing Yun¡¯s book and our own activity publications.

2008.12.15 Mr. and Mrs. Tsai, representative of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New Zealand, together with Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee Member, Secretary, Advisor and Hwa Hsin Society Secretary-General, a group of almost 20 people, made a surprise visit to FGS South Island New Zealand. Abbess Venerable Manshin together with BLIA South Island President, Advisor and members welcomed them to FGS South Island New Zealand.
Abbess Venerable Manshin personally took them for a tour around the building, introducing its functions and the many cultural and art events that are hosted here such as ¡°Draw with Heart¡±, ¡°Nature and Life ¨C Floral Week¡± and ¡°Heart of a Child¡±. BLIA members and our special guests became engaged with profound discussions involving topics such as ¡°Modern¡± and ¡°Contemporary¡± Buddhist architecture, culture and art. Representative Tsai said that for him, this was a trip about learning, not only of the concepts behind Buddhist buildings but also Buddhism philosophies in much more depth. He also commended the quality of culture and art presented in FGS South Island New Zealand.

2008.12.15 BLIA North Island Advisor Mr. and Mrs. Shih specially flew from Auckland to Christchurch to visit FGS South Island. They were given a warm welcome by Venerable Abbess Manshin and BLIA South Island Advisor Mr. and Mrs. Lai. Mr. and Mrs. Shih had a short discussion with the South Island staff and exchanged ideas that they have come to learn. After the tour of the temple, they were taken to BLIA Advisor Mr. Lai¡¯s lavender farm to witness the blooming lavender and to experience lavender harvesting. At the end of the day, they returned home with rich and joyful experiences of Christchurch.

2008.12.01 Seven members of Women¡¯s Walking Club visited FGS South Island. The women were invited to ¡°Draw with Heart¡± and ¡°Purple Sand 18 Arhats¡± currently on exhibition at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery by BLIA South Island member Tracy Wang. After touring the temple, the ladies expressed their liking for the tranquility and serenity within. A wonderful conclusion was drawn to their visit with a delicious vegetarian meal at Fo Guang Tea House.

2008.11.30 Having held their Christmas feast at Fo Guang Tea House last year and receiving their members respond enthusiastically, it couldn¡¯t have been more appropriate for SAFE Riccarton Brach (Save Animals From Exploitation) to choose Fo Guang Tea House as their venue again this year. On 30th November, 26 SAFE members gathered at Fo Guang Tea House to have their Christmas lunch. After the delicious buffet lunch, the members took time to enjoy the current exhibition ¡°Draw with the Heart¡± at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery .The SAFE members had a meaningful and unique Christmas lunch experience.

2008.11.22 A group of 17 members from Our Lady of Victories Catholic Women¡¯s League of Sockburn arrived at FGS South Island to take part in a guided tour of the temple. BLIA South Island member Jack Liu acted as tour guide for the group. BLIA South Island member Tracy Wang and BLIA Young Adult Division member Rebecca guided the ladies in folding paper lotus flowers, and explained the significance and uses of paper lotus flowers. Members of the tour commented on the peacefulness and serenity within the temple environment and expressed their interest in visiting the temple again in the future.

2008.08.05 A group of 17 teachers and priests, led by Christ¡¯s College Priest Bosco Peters, came to visit FGS South Island. They were introduced to the temple by BLIA South Island member Jack Liu. The members of the visiting groups were very interested with the contents of the tour and raised many questions throughout the tour. Yvonne Smith, who organized the visit for the teachers and priests, wrote an email to FGS South Island to express their gratitude.

2008.07.24 Seventeen members of Riccarton Girl Scouts, under the leadership of Alice Ronald, came to visit FGS South Island. These girl scouts came from different primary schools and ranged between ages of 9 and 12. BLIA South Island President Almeric Cheng gave them a guided tour. The girls were also given the opportunity to light an offering to Buddha and to make a wish at the Wishing Bell and then learnt to write Fo Guang Four Mottoes with the Chinese brush.

2008.07.17 Fifteen members of Durham Street Methodist Theology Group from Durham Street Methodist Church in the Riccarton area came to visit FGS South Island. BLIA South Island President Almeric Cheng personally took them for a guided tour around the temple. Even though the two parties are from different religions, they got to know more about each other through the tour and boosted their understanding of Buddhism.

2008.05.15 On the afternoon of 15th May, Alice Fleet, a Social Studies teacher at Hagley Community college, led a group of 11 Year 13 students to FGS South Island for a visit. BLIA South Island member Jack Liu gave them a guided tour of the temple and explained to them some basic Buddhism concepts. The students were also given the opportunity to light an offering to Buddha. Then they were taught how to fold paper lotus flowers by BLIA South Island member Tracy Wang. The students felt enriched by their visit to FGS South Island that day.

2008.04.04 International Buddhist Progress Society Benefactor Ms. Chiang along with IBPS volunteer Ms. Chen visited FGS South Island. While in FGS South Island, they met BLIA North Island staff Ms. Lee and were given a guided tour of the temple by Abbess Venerable Manshin. Mrs. Chiang took time to appreciate the beauty of the architecture and praised the architect for their thoughts and design. Abbess Manshin organized for the group a short but insightful tour of Christchurch. Before leaving, Mrs. Chiang and Ms. Chen showed their gratitude for the hospitality of FGS South Island.

2008.02.15 On 15th February, Christchurch City Councilor Hellon Broughton wrote to FGS South Island and BLIA South Island to show her gratitude for the invitation. She felt very honoured to have been able to come to such an event and thanked the hospitality of Abbess Venerable Manshin and Abbess¡¯s guided tour of the temple. She also expressed her gratitude for the contribution that FGS South Island has done to help spread the messages of Dharma and have expressed her willingness to help the running of FGS South Island in any way she can.

2008.01.26 The New Year Reunion Dinner for volunteers of FGS South Island took place and was attended by over 300 devotees and volunteers, Abbess Venerable Manshin led the group in chanting a prayer. Minister of Commerce Hon. Lianne Dalziel, National MP Nicky Wagner, Canterbury District Commander Superintendent Dave Cliff, Christchurch City Councilor Helen Broughton and many other special guests joined members of FGS South Island in chanting the prayers and the New Year Reunion Dinner.
Abbess Venerable Manshin presented the guests with works by Grand Master Venerable Hsing Yun and ¡®New Zealand FGS Grand Opening Special Issue¡¯. Abbess also gifted everyone with red envelopes and wished harmonious conditions in all and prosperous future generations.

2008.01.25 On the afternoon of 25th January, 11 members of BLIA Queensland Australia West Chapter visited FGS South Island under the leadership of Vice-President Ms. Chen. They were warmly welcomed by Abbess Venerable Manshin, Venerable Juehao and the whole team, a group of over twenty. Abbess Venerable Manshin first took them for a guided tour around FGS South Island with their first stop being Buddha Hall. Here Abbess explained to the group how they came to build the temple that they now stand in and the many concepts that are behind the architecture of the building. Abbess gifted them with ¡®Grand Opening Special Report¡¯ and ¡®Grand Opening Special Report¡¯ on behalf of FGS South Island.

2007.03.27 Ms Nicky Wagner, Member of Parliament of the New Zealand Government, visits the South Island Fo Guang Shan and was met by Venerable J Hao and President Almeric Cheng. Nicky said that the natural and beautiful design of the building is not only a Buddhist temple but an art that will can be appreciated. It also expressed the vitality of life through the activities of the Young Adult Division.

2007.03.15 Canterbury Police District Asian Liaison Office Rakesh Naidoo brought the Inspector David Lawry, the South Canterbury district commander, and 4 others senior officers to visit the temple. Venerable J Hao and President Almeric Cheng explain to them the history of our organisation and the special design of the new temple.

2007.03.07 Over 20 architects from Warren and Mahoney, the designer of South Island Fo Guang Shan, led by Ian Bisman visit the temple and was met by Abbess Man Shin and Venerable J Hao. The architects acclaimed the design are creative and are an excellent representation of Warren and Mahoney design of recent years.

2006.10.24 Fo Guang Shan Supervises Chief and President of the Young Adult Division of Buddha¡¯s Light international Association Venerable Hui Chuan arrived in Christchurch with Abbess Man Shin of South Island Fo Guang Shan and Ms Dominique Cheung President of Melbourne Buddha¡¯s Light International Association to visit the construction site of South Island Fo Guang Shan.

2006.07.13 Writer, Miss Fu Zhiying, accompanied by the North Island Fo Guang Shan Temple Supervisor Venerable Man Wang arrived at Christchurch from Auckland to visit the new South Island temple site. They were met by the South Island temple Supervisor Venerable J Hao, President Almeric Cheng, Supervisor John Lai of the South Island Buddha¡¯s Light International Association and architect Anders Chong.

2003.06.24 Fo Guang Shan Abbot Hsin Ting visits New Zealand south island Fo Guang Shan and delivered Dharma lecture with the title 'Buddhism and the world peace'.

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