Multicultural Event to Celebrate Vesak in Gold Coast
The Gold Coast Buddhist Association Inc (GCBAI), also known as Gold Coast Buddhist Centre (GCBC), organised a multicultural event to celebrate Vesak (Lord Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and passing away) at the Robina Auditorium on Saturday, 29 May 2021. The overall theme of the celebration was “The role of spirituality in promoting social and emotional wellbeing”.
Venerable Kottukachchiye Pagngnasiri Thero, the Abbot of the GCBAI, primarily guided the planning and execution of the event. This was the first time the GCBAI organised such an event and it brought together all the Buddhist cultures and the friends of Buddhism in the Gold Coast for the first time under one roof.
The event was well attended with more than 200 attendees from various communities. Despite the covid restrictions that were in force, the number participating was more than expected. There was a very positive response from all the communities and friends of Buddhism in the Gold Coast region.
The programme consisted of 22 different well-balanced elements. Venerable Pagngnasiri Thero, gave a speech on the overall theme of the celebration. The Thai community provided an enchanting item termed the Thai Hammered Dulcimer Show. The keynote speech was given by Dr. Stephan Bradford of the University of Queensland. Councillor Ryan Bayldon-Lumsden spoke on behalf of the Gold Coast Council. There was a presentation by the Venerable Tseten of the Buddhist Education Services. The children of the Thai Community presented a fascinating Flower Dance. Venerable Thubten Chokyi spoke briefly on behalf of the Australian Sangha Association. Reverend Tetsuyu Wilson, President of the Queensland Sangha Association, made a brief presentation. A charming musical item, Sound of Thailand, was performed by Ms. Peranya Visitchantaragoon. Mr. Robert Fraser spoke on behalf of the Thai Buddhist Temple in Narang.
Special mention must be made of all the children of the Gold Coast Buddhist Centre (GCBC) Dhamma School who presented the Bakthi Gee (Paramitha Bala Poojitha Poojitha), Pooja Dance, Uttama Muni Dalada dance, and a dance for Traditional Sri Lankan Drums.
The teachers of GCBC Dhamma school contributed immensely to this event by training and guiding the students. A speech and presentation was also delivered by children of the Sati Pasala towards mindfulness.
An exceptional citation must be made to acknowledge the contribution of the dozens of volunteers who looked after the logistics, the provision of free vegetarian snacks and the 4EB Radio for media coverage. A team of members representing GCBC Dhamma School & youth club compered the whole show.
The event was in part sponsored by the Queensland Government, whose representative the Honourable Leanne Linard MP, Minister for Children and Youth Justice, and Minister for Multicultural Affairs was unable to attend. The GCBAI expressed its thanks and gratitude to the Queensland Government for this sponsorship.
Also, His Worship Tom Tate the Mayor of the City of Gold Coast sent a congratulatory message because he could not attend the celebrations. In all the celebration of Vesak was a serendipitous occasion for all those who attended the event.
Gold Coast Buddhist Centre