BW Monastery Grand Opening Ceremony
11 August 2017 marked the auspicious grand opening of our 34,000 sq. ft BW Monastery at Woodlands Drive 16! It was an extremely joyous event, much awaited by the sangha, students, friends and even nearby neighbors who had supported in many ways. This is a monastery built by the people, for the people.
Despite the drizzling rain, there were a huge turnout of close to 1,000 people who gathered in high spirits to witness the monastery opening ceremony. There were about 120 Sangha members from Singapore and overseas. Attendees also comprised of the press, donors, guests and students.
At about 9:45 am, Guest-of-honour, Mr. Khaw Boon Wan, Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport, arrived amidst a sea of yellow umbrellas. Another special guest was Dr Lim Wee Kiak, MP for Sembawang GRC.
At 10am, our honoured guest, Mr Khaw, together with Venerable Jing Yuan, pulled the ribbon decoration on the gate, and opened the gate to signify the official opening of BW Monastery. Drums and music accompanied their walk into the shrine. The whole congregation, accompanied by the BW Monastery choir, sang “The Song of Triple Gem", marking the start of this auspicious occasion.
Deputy Abbot of BW Monastery, Venerable Ben Si, gave his welcome speech and thanked the sangha, donors, guests and students for their dedicated support. Next was a video of the construction of the monastery, introduction of BW Monastery sangha members, plus the management committee was shown.
Performance was kick-started by one of our youth groups called Yazers, who sang "Reach", which was written and composed by our famed local singer and song writer, Dick Lee. Other items were performed by our monastery’s choir, youth group - The Odds, and children in our classical learning classes. A special highlight was an item by BW monastery kids aged between 4 to 10 year-old. The children captured the hearts of the audience with both their serious recitation and rap version of _Standards for being a Good Pupil and Child_《弟子規》. Dressed in traditional Chinese or Korean attires, they also sang a lively piece entitled " Eyes of Buddha" ( 佛陀的眼睛). To mark the country's birthday, our choir, children and everyone in the ceremony patriotically sang one of the popular national day songs, "We Are Singapore".
Chanting to seek blessings for our new BW Monastery were done in Pali by visiting Sri Lankan monks and followed by in Chinese by our local monks. Next was lights and flowers offerings by our sangha, VIP guests and youths of the monastery.
Then, a group photograph with the GOHs, special guests, our Abbot, BW Monastery sangha, children and youth performers was captured for this special day.
The ceremony ended with all in great spirits, happy and honored to be here today.
BW Monastery is finally opened to all who seek peace and a spiritual home! We welcome all to participate in the various activities, allowing the Buddha’s light to shine everyday in our lives.