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London Buddhist Vihara Celebrates its 90th Anniversary

London Buddhist Vihara Celebrates its 90th Anniversary

( Read Sinhala Translation – here )

This is a significant year for the London Buddhist Vihara as it celebrates its 90th Anniversary. The main event will be an exhibition depicting the great history of the Vihara, from its inception to the present day. The exhibition will commence on Saturday 10 September and continue until Thursday 15th.

It will be open from from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm each day. The public Photographic Exhibition portraying the History of the Oldest Buddhist Temple outside Asia, from its inception to the present day. In addition to the exhibition, there will be the Founders Day speech on Saturday 17th by Mr Sugeeswara Gunaratne, the Deputy High Commissioner for Sri Lanka at 5:00 pm, followed by a chanting ceremony at 7:30 pm.

The Vihara was founded by Anagarika Dharmapala in 1926. The London Buddhist Vihara has a great history. It is considered the Centre for Theravada Buddhism in the West and is a preeminent Buddhist temple providing highly valued Dhamma Duta service.

The exhibition will be declared open by an invited dignitary each day and will be supported by some leading Past Pupils Associations with sponsorships.

Programme for the day (subject to change)
6:00 Puja
7:00 Arrival of Chief Guest and the Opening ceremony Lighting of the traditional oil lamp
7:10 Exhibition
8:00 Welcome speech
8:10 Speech by the Chief Guest
8:20 Speech by the sponsoring PPA
8:30 Tea and a short film
9:00 Close

The Message for 90th Anniversary Celebrations
Venerable Bogoda Seelawimala
The Head of Vihara

It is a great pleasure for me to say a few words on this memorable occasion of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the London Buddhist Vihara. 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.

I would like now to invite to all our Dayakas and friends to come and see our exhibition.

May you all be well and happy.

Exhibition – 10th to 15th September

Saturday 10 : Chief Guest – Lord Nick Bourne, Minister for Communities and Local Government
Sponsor – Coordinators of the London Buddhist Vihara

Sunday11 : Chief Guest – Dr Patricia Walker, Worshipful Mayor of Ealing
Sponsor – The Sunday Dhamma School

Monday 12 : Chief Guest – Vice Admiral Anthony Johnstone-Burt CB, OBE Master of the Royal Household ,
Buckingham Palace
Sponsor – Ananda college OBA and Dharmaraja OBU

Tuesday 13 : Chief Guest – H E. Mrs Amari Wijewardene High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in UK
Sponsor – Past Pupils Association of St Pauls’ Milagiriya

Wednesday 14 : Chief Guest – Dr Desmond Biddulph, Chairman of the Buddhist Society
Sponsor – Nalanda OBA and Mahinda OBA

Thursday 15 : Chief Guest – Mrs Pat Smith, A senior Coordinator of the London Buddhist Vihara.
Sponsor – Devi Balika OGA

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