Visit of Kellie Bain and Lynn Hunter to FGS South Island

Through the years, University of Otago Dunedin, has established an excellent relationship with Fo Guang Shan (FGS) South Island, and on 15th December 2017, Kellie Bain of the Stewardship Office, and Lynn Hunter, the Office Manager, both from the Development Office, University of Otago, paid a visit to FGS South Island. On hand to welcome the guests were Temple Supervisor Venerable Jue Xi, Buddha¡¯s Light International Association (BLIA) South Island Vice President Lih-son Ding, Elsa Lee and Fo Guang Yuan (FGY) Art Gallery Coordinator Vicky Han and others.

The visitors were guided through a tour of the Buddha Hall and the Exhibitions at the FGY Art Gallery and were introduced to the many varied activities undertaken by FGS South Island in the propagation of Humanistic Buddhism. After learning about the wholesome approaches taken, the visitors were full of praise for FGS.

Since 2013, FGS South Island in conjunction with BLIA South Island, on an annual basis, has been offering Scholarship to 2 students of University of Otago. All this while, Kellie has acted as the Liaison Officer from the University. In July this year, led by Venerable Abbess Manshin, members of FGS South Island, visited University of Otago to present to the University the English version of the publication ¡®Encyclopedias of Buddhist Arts¡¯. On the same day, Venerable Abbess Manshin presented a talk on ¡®Humanistic Buddhism¡¯ to the professors and students from the Department of Theology and Religion.

Kellie and Lynn informed the hosts that one of the reasons of their visit was to let FGS know that the 2017 recipients of FGS Scholarships, Abigail and Helen, have continued with their community service activities. The two of them would like to thank FGS for the scholarships given. Arising from their gratitude, they vow to return the same kindness to the community.

Later in their conversation, the hosts briefed Kellie and Lynn about the ¡®3G4G¡¯ Cultural Festivals organised by FGS North Island for many years. So far, these Festivals have benefitted 5 to 6 thousand students. Next year, FGS South Island will also organise the same Festival in Christchurch and will invite the local students to participate. This will help the students understand ¡®Humanistic Buddhism¡¯ better and will plant the seeds of kindness in them. Kellie and Lynn were also briefed on the historical 20th 2017 Australia New Zealand Buddhist Youth Conference (ANZBYC) which took place at FGS Temple South Island on 4th August 2017 where the delegates discussed Dharma Cultivation and the future Propagation and d Development of Humanistic Buddhism in Oceania Region. The visitors agreed very much with the idea of propagating Humanistic Buddhism to the students via education as practiced by FGS; and they also felt that the interactive manner in which the subject on future development of Humanistic Buddhism in the Oceanic Region was openly discussed, debated and formulated by the delegates augured well for the development of Humanistic Buddhism. One should look forward to such kind of activity and learn from it.

Before their departure, Venerable Jue Xi gifted the visitors with the book ¡®366 Days with Wisdom¡¯ by Venerable Master Hsing Yun and a copy of ¡®FGS NZ 10th Anniversary Report¡¯. Kellie and Lynn thanked the hosts for their hospitality and for the rich knowledge gained about Humanistic Buddhism which has left an imprint on them.