Buddhist Fellowship marks 30th anniversary

The phrase "one heart" echoed what Buddhist Fellowship president Lim Phang Hong identified as the key teachings of Buddhism - harmony and togetherness. The event's guest of honour, President Halimah Yacob, penning Chinese calligraphy of the phrase "o
The event's guest of honour, President Halimah Yacob, penning Chinese calligraphy of the phrase "one heart", with the help of Buddhist Fellowship member Lim Joon Hiang, as Buddhist teacher Ajahn Brahm looked on, at the association's anniversary dinner at Safra Toa Payoh yesterday.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
The phrase "one heart" echoed what Buddhist Fellowship president Lim Phang Hong identified as the key teachings of Buddhism - harmony and togetherness. The event's guest of honour, President Halimah Yacob, penning Chinese calligraphy of the phrase "o
The phrase "one heart" echoed what Buddhist Fellowship president Lim Phang Hong identified as the key teachings of Buddhism - harmony and togetherness.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

The Buddhist Fellowship (BF) of Singapore marked its 30th anniversary yesterday with a dinner that included a time of sharing, a silent auction, as well as song and dance performances.

But what really excited the more than 1,000 people at the event at Safra Toa Payoh was the guest of honour, President Halimah Yacob, trying her hand at Chinese calligraphy.

She was invited on stage during the event and penned the words "one heart" in Chinese, to the sound of applause and cheers.

The words she penned were in line with what BF presidentLim Phang Hong said were the key teachings of Buddhism - harmony and togetherness.

In his speech, where he also thanked volunteers, Mr Lim said: "A bedrock of BF's activities emphasises harmony across religion and race, and we listen to speakers across Buddhist traditions and from other religions."

He added that the fellowship actively participates in events celebrating racial and religious equality and harmony.

He also touched on Buddha's teachings of inclusiveness, saying that the fellowship has been active in the community to make it a "kinder and more inclusive one".

He added that the fellowship has volunteered locally and overseas to provide help where it can.

This includes regular visits to the Geylang East Home for the Aged and Ren Ci Nursing Home.

Also at the event was Buddhist teacher Ajahn Brahm, who spoke on the topic of "Strengthening fellowship, benefiting community", which was the theme for the dinner.

Mr Lim said the fellowship, which was founded in 1988 and has a few thousand members, needs to adapt with the times.

It has been doing so by using social media to publicise its talks and adopting e-payment systems to handle funds.

He said: "It is our hope that BF will continue to be a place where fellowship can strengthen and grow... This fellowship lays the foundation for us to then be able to help others."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2018, with the headline 'Buddhist Fellowship marks 30th anniversary'. Print Edition | Subscribe