Approaching Vesak (the Buddha day) in May this year, the Buddhist community on the border will receive pleasing news. Ajahn Satit, the Buddhist monk who runs the Buddhist Sunday service every week has been granted an honorary Sema-Dhammachaka Award from Thailand.
Sema-Dhammachaka Award is an honorary award given to persons or organisations who put great effort to support or work towards Buddhist propagation both in Thailand and overseas. It is a real honour of a life time to receive this award. The award is Presented by H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on the celebration of Vesaka Puja week in Thailand every year.
Three years ago Ajahn Satit came to Albury to re open Wat Buddhawongsayaram, a Buddhist temple at Abercon Street. He has since been holding a Sunday service and re-established the Buddhist community here in Albury. Some may not know that this is only one part of his work. His residence is at a temple in Sydney where he works for a Buddhist community there during the weekday. He is also one of the committee members of the Buddhist Federation of Australia Inc. based in Sydney. He travels to Albury on the weekend to hold the Sunday service for the Buddhist community on the border every week.
In the past three years he has been commuting between Sydney and Albury more than 100 times, facing two brake-ins and a rock attack at the Abercon Street premises, dealing with the legal issues of the temple in South Albury, but they did not deter him from his determination to establish the Buddhist community in Albury.
Those who attend the Sunday service, the ground staffs at Albury Airport, staff member of NSW trainlink are the witnesses of that determination. He always smiles in any situation even when the temple was in crisis.
“I understand that works here are not easy, but what inspires me is that we are the only hope, so we just never think of giving up, we only look for opportunities.” Said Ajahn Satit
His hard work has been recognised by the Sema-Dhammachaka Award’s Committee in Thailand. The recognition is in the category of the overseas Buddhist work. This year there are also two other monks from Malaysia and USA received an award in this category.
The Sunday service on 11 May 2014 in Albury will be closed due to his departure to Thailand for the Award presentation.
The community in Albury is organising the celebration for his award on Sunday 18 May 2014 at the temple’s temporary place in Thurgoona. Many Buddhist friends from Sydney and Melbourne are expecting to come along to congratulate him as well.