Holding true to the objective of ¡°Nurturing Talent Through Education¡± and in line with the concept of ¡°Three Good Deeds and Four Givings¡± expounded by Venarable Master Hsing Yun, (buddha¡¯s Light International Association (BLIA) South Island signed an agreement with University of Otago to award ¡°BLIA Scholarships¡± to two outstanding students of the University annually for a period of three conservative years.
In their show of appreciation and gratitude, University of Otago Alumni House Director Philip Kearney, and Donor and Funding manager Jude McCracken made a special trip from Dunedin to visit Fo Guang Shan (FGS) South Island. On hand to welcome the visitors were FGS New Zealand Venarable Abbess Manshin, South Island Temple Supervisor Venarable Jue Xi, BLIA South Island President See Shen Lee, English Sub Chapter President Sally Lim and members of BLIA South Island. The visitors were taken for a tour of the Temple and the Fo Guang Yuen (FGY) Art Gallery where the exhibition ¡°Humanity and Love Oil Paintings¡± by artist ZiJian Li was being held.
Later, Philip expressed his view that, through this visit, he managed to gain a better understanding in the harmonious operation and management of FGS South Island, and the ¡°Concept of Giving¡± as contained in the ¡°Humanistic Buddhism¡± propagated by Venarable Master Hsing Yun. Both Philip and Jude thanked BLIA for their focus on and support for Education as evidenced by the offer of the scholarships. This would, in addition to providing financial assistance to the students, give affirmative recognition to their achievements, and bring out the positivity in them. The visitors also praised the ¡°Humanity and Love¡± Oil Paintings on exhibition, pointing to the penetrating effect of the realist paintings, injecting emotions into real-life environments. Philip and Jude then invited Abbess Manshin and members of BLIA to University of Otago for their 150th year Anniversary Celebration which falls on the year 2019.
In her speech, Venarable Abbess Manshin mentioned that both the FGS North Island and South Island Temples are important places for the propagation of Humanistic Buddhism in New Zealand. Through the spirit of ¡°Giving¡±, people will gain ¡°Confidence¡± and ¡°Hope¡±, and life will then be filled with positivity. Abbess also pointed out that ¡°education¡± not only imparts knowledge: it also gives us confidence. Finally, Abbess Manshin narrated to the visitors the efforts put in by ¡°NZ 366 Adventurous Team¡± in distributing the book ¡°366 Days with Wisdom¡± written by Ven Master Hsing Yun to the motels in New Zealand. Before their farewell, Philip and Jude were gifted with the book ¡°366 Days with Wisdom¡±, and they appreciated all present for the warm and positive meeting extended to them.