Nichiren Buddha Hokkeko Society, 10th Annual General Meeting
Office: 365 Day Road, Duncan, BC Canada V9L 3K4 Website: www.VIRetreats.com
2012 Annual General Meeting Sunday 18th November 2012
BC Non Profit Number S-48418
A Federal Registered Charity # BN8591688833RR001
Celebration of nearly 3,000 years since the establishment of the Buddha Dharma
Celebration of over 761 years since the establishment of the Nichiren Buddha Sect
Celebration of the 10th Annual General Meeting of Nichiren Buddha Hokkeko Society®
Meeting called to Order 12:20 PM following Regular Sunday Discovery Service,
we met at the Duncan White Spot Meeting Room for our 10th Annual AGM.
Welcome, Introductions, Opening Statements
Meeting Secretary appointed: Janet Curley
Board Members: Janet Curley, Kelly Robertson, Stan Skretting, Linda Nadworny, Henry Landry
Member: Maria Hiles, Guest Speaker: James P. Tousignant, Manager Warmland House, for the Homeless of the Cowichan Valley.
Guests: Rajinder Kapila, Reetika Kapila, Laurie Chisholm, Leslie Powell, David McNeil
Regrets from: Maureen Fleming due to health difficulties, Best wishes from Nichiren members and Vancouver Island Sangha followers unable to attend: David Boothman, in Seattle, Robert in Poland, David Ross in Mexico, Yoku in Peru.
Vision/Mission of the Nichiren Buddha Hokkeko Society: Read by: Stan Skretting
1 ] To educate all seekers in the philosophy of the Buddha’s peaceful teachings.
2] To offer educational, benevolent and spiritual community services through the Buddha-way of faith, practice, study and meditation.
3 ] To accept members into the Nichiren Buddha Hokkeko Society, Vancouver Island.
4 ] To be associated with the Head Temple of Nichiren Shu, in Japan and work in co- operation with the Nichiren Organization of North America
Member Experience Shared by: David McNeil, expressing his joy and ability to help out with his skills and how he enjoys the community spirit of all the members.
Old Business: Reading of 2011 Annual Meeting,
There being no business arising from the minutes, Lunch was served as our Guest Speaker was introduced by Board Member, Kelly Robertson then we listened to a from the heart conversation by James Tousignant, Manager, Warmland House, thanks and gift presentation following James talk was given by Maria Hiles
Meeting moved to Administrators 10th Annual Report.
Administrators 10th Annual Report: 2012 – The Year of Good Deeds
Yes, we indeed made our goal as the Year of Good Deeds, as we Signed and Received
our 49 year renewable lease of two acres of private forest land with all rights, and a renewal clause for an additional forty nine years, a ninety year lease agreement. Thanks to you and a other fund raising we have done our good deed, securing a permanent Nichiren Peace Park for our Nichiren Buddha Hokkeko Society and for all who come to us seeking spiritual sustain-ability and peaceful means in their lives. Congratulations, to everyone, a deed well done!
Before moving on to my Business Report, we would like to present a couple of Certificates
of Appreciation. The first is to Janet Curley, Silver Sponsor; the second one is to Maureen Fleming, Silver Sponser, the third one is to Daniel and Aimie Webb of Knight Leasing, Silver Sponsor, the fourth one was to Rajinder and Reetika Kapila of Merit Furniture, Gold Sponsor having donated over $5,000 in the past three years. We ask our members and their friends to support this local furniture store.
Our Community Buddha Society is a faith organization whose goal is to assist all who seek spiritual sustain-ability and peaceful means in their life. This is achieved through our weekly Buddha Discovery Services, Meditation Services, Retreats, Study Groups Life Skills Coaching, personal Counselling, hospice work , home visitations, and local Community service work.
Our Community support includes: Life Skills Coaching at WarmLand House for the homeless. Our educational materials are available at Somenos Home for abused women. We are a Member of the Vancouver Island Rail Foundation, Member of Kinsoil Trestle Foundation. We actively work with the Cowichan Valley Regional District, City of Duncan and North Cowichan District supporting the growth of Bike/Walking Trails for sustainable health and environmental ways of commuting. This coming year we will later have a motion to present to the District of North Cowichan, to become Roadway Stewards, cleaning the roadway from the Cowichan Valley Hospital to Vimy Road as part of our Community Services.
Our Teacher is Lay Chaplain at the Cowichan Valley Hospital, Victoria General and Jubilee Hospitals in Victoria, BC, a skilled Counsellor we offer services to all who come to us seeking to awaken to their holistic BE-ing. Our Society offers free counselling to people of all cultures, faiths and backgrounds. Our Buddhist goal to free people from their suffering and to share with them in their happiness.
This past year, we gave out eight small gift donations helping brighten the spirits of those celebrating or to those with personal suffering; donations went to Cowichan Valley Hospice
the Vancouver Island ALS Society and to the personal Nurses and staff on the 8th Floor at the Jubilee Hospital in Victoria in respect to the passing of member Raymond degraff.
Several of our members did personal walks for MS, Heart and Stroke, and Cancer. In 2012 our Teacher, Henry Landry, did 14 Hospital visits and 4 Prison visits for Youth At Risk, those teenagers under sixteen, serving time in BC’s Youth Detention Centers. He did 54 Home Visitations, offering Buddhist services and life skills coaching. We offered our services for three deceased persons and we held one private wedding.
We had the sad task of offering funeral services for one of our members, Raymond Degraff, who after a courageous three year battle with the ALS disease returned to the Light and the Energies of eternity. Eighty six people attended the memorial services, most for the first time witnessing a Buddhist funeral service, thus becoming educated with this ceremony of life and death in the Nichiren-way.
We were and currently are active in the pursuit of the return of Passenger Train travel on Vancouver Island, through our membership and major campaign of the Island Corridor Foundation. Thanks to Maureen Fleming, who purchased a $1,000 Gift Certificate at
a silent auction, three times daily we offered, “A Moment For You” a daily Meditation Moment of good news to our community. We also thank, Seaside Computers who also sponsored this program giving us a total of six months airtime at no cost to our Sangha. Seaside Computers has assisted us with our Computer needs freely over the past four years, we are most grateful.
Retreats and OnLine Sangha
This past year we focused largely on Fund Raising to meet our deadline goal and therefore the Retreats were kept quite small and unannounced, however we did host four Retreats, a LifeSpan one day retreat; we held our 12th Annual Buddha in the Park, three day Retreat and one InSightful Evening Retreat. In all we had twenty four people attend the various Retreats. Our Retreat Hut, was used by friends from Fort McLeod and Andrew from South Africa, Andrew who was happy to find a Nichiren Sangha, so far from his native land.
In harmony with our practice of the Buddha-way that is correct for our times our Internet Community includes associate Sangha members in Poland, Mexico, India, England, and Peru, as well as Canada. These people follow our local Sangha on Tweeter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our Website. With over 100 followers on both Twitter and Facebook. Our Weekly Buddha Blog, monthly Buddha’s Message and personal faith based conversations to assist with the work they are doing in their Communities and Countries.
Over this past year I have attended six training sessions on Website development, the merging of Social Media and the coming of Mobile Media, which is expected to grow hugely as tablets and Supersmart phones replace, personal computers. In line with this I am happy to report that we have a very special Custom Q-Code, so if you scan our business card Buddha Code, it will take your phone or Tablet directly to our website at www.VIRetreats.com
In total during 2012 we had 284 Guests and 464 Members attend our Thursday Evening Meditation Service and our Sunday Nichiren Discovery Services, our Retreats, Study Sessions and Public Forums, such as the Annual Sharing of World Peace Day. Our core group remains small and dedicated with several new persons researching their spirituality that will hopefully find our Community in line with their Heart-Minds and desire of spiritual purpose.
In line with this we will host two Gojukai, or Member Community Vow taking in 2013, the Spring Nichiren Buddha Hokkeko, member vows will be taken on Sunday, 19th May and the Fall Gojukai will be Sunday 20th of October.
There are no changes in the Board of Directors this coming year and we thank Kelly, Stan, Linda, and Janet for their dedication, suggestions and active membership. May their blessings from the Buddha’s of the Ten Directions be many. Julie is no longer our Chair for Children’s care so this post is open. Member Janet Curley will be taking over our Archives from Cleo Spencer, thank you Janet. We are also seeking a Chair for our Fund Raising, to assist myself.
2012 FINANCIAL REPORT [ short form ]
Financial Report [ detailed Financial Report is available online at Revenue Canada/Charities or by request ]
General Net Income $ 4,955.00 Business Donations $2,400
SAD [ Anonymous Donation] $3,488.36
Total Expense $ 10, 843.36 Total Revenue $ 10, 843.36
Increase/Decrease over 2011 Annual Expense – $784.00
General Income over 2011 + $1,847.00
We would like to thank Merit Furniture, Seaside Computers and Knight Leasing for their corporate care and financial donations to our Society.
Questions about our Financial Report Janet asked when and how the mnonthly balance
will be paid, Answer: payments are to start mid month January and continue until full
$16,000 is paid and long term 49 year renewable 49 year lease is paid in full.
Moved by: Janet Curley Seconded by: Kelly Robertson
that the 2012 Administrators Financial Report be accepted. Passed UNAM
The Most Significant Event of 2012 – The Signing and Witnessing of our Long Term Lease to the Land. In the coming Summer of 2013, we will host the First Phase Official Opening of our Nichiren Peace Center, which has been named Lotus Land last July 1st, as part of our Canada celebrations. In not having our land totally paid for, we find ourselves a year behind in our Vision and goals, we will not be able to start any permanent buildings, road to property or put in well for water until the land it totally paid for. Then we will be able to starty our Second Phase, in the meantime we ask all members and guests to find the faith, practice, study and meditation offerings towards our Nichiren-way to wisdom and enlightenment; here in Western Canada, on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. Hopefully we will be able to get a start on our Community Garden and continue working on our Eightfold Meditation Pathways, with benches and tables on this beautiful property bordering our Heritage Cowichan River.
Our deep appreciation to Jacquie Leeming and her partner in expanding our time commitment allowing us to take full possession of our Long Term Lease, even before it is fully paid for. Thanks go to everyone who has become part of our Legacy for this Nichiren Peace Park, Vancouver Island Retreat Garden and Nichiren Buddhist Temple.
We have accomplished this major undertaking starting in 2003 with our Provincial Non-Profit Status. Second was the Federal Charitable Status in 2010 and then in October of this year, 2012, the completion of our Lease Agreement. Our Fund Raising continues now into Phase Three as we finish paying for the land and begin saving for our buildings, which will include the Ministers Cottage, three Retreat Huts for rent to those attending retreats of one day, three days or ten days. Our temporary Community Kitchen is open now to all as well as our Lotus Room for regular Sunday Services and studies and personal visitations of the GoHonzon. We also need to raise the funds for the completion of Johnny Bear Road onto our land and for a well for water. All these things will come to pass here at Lotus Land.
This Journey has included many people of great Heart and Energy, some will not be able to enjoy our efforts, but you are here today and I deeply respect you. I cannot express in words my Joy and thanks for all your efforts as we fulfil our Mission to relieve the suffering of all BE-ings searching for happiness and peace in their lives. Here, on our two acres that borders on the BC Heritage protected water shed of the Cowichan River, on this ancient land, we vow to protect!
We welcome everyone to come have Tea, to come see the land, to come participate in this exciting project for all people of all faiths, cultures and backgrounds even while we teach
the Nichiren Buddha way to spiritual sustain-ability and peaceful means in peoples lives.
Last year, Kelly Robertson suggested based on the success of our Silent Auction that we look into doing more of this kind of promotion for our Fund Raising success so two people will be appointed to look into this to talk with Agents of big star musical events coming to Vancouver Island and the mainland in 2013.
Further to Kelly’s suggestion of having Shaw Community Cable doing a Video of our project
it is hoped we can talk them into doing this for our opening later in the Summer of 2013.
Maria Hiles moved that we become “Road Stewards” to pick up litter from the Roundabout
at Gibbons Road out to Vimy Road as part of our active Community Service. Seconded by:
Stan Skretting Passed UNAM
Stan Skretting moved that our Society join the Duncan/Cowichan Chamber of Commerce
as it may assist us with our Fund Raising, and they offer a non profit discount. Seconded
by: Kelly Robertson Passed UNAM
Janet Curley, moved that our Society become a member of the Nikkei National Museum &
Cultural Centre in Burnaby, the Association for Japanese Canadians; as we will be able to
than participate in events and make valuable contacts in our Fund Raising efforts.
Seconded by: Stan Skretting Passed UNAM
There being no further business, our Teacher/Messenger, TM Henry, read a Quote from the Lotus Sutra, from Chapter Ten….
“after my extinction, those who would teach the universal Law, should abide in pleasant speech, this is the second method, take no pleasure in telling of the errors of others neither does he despise other teachers, nor speaks of the good and evil, the merits and demerits of other people.” “One should keep a cheerful heart and spread no gossip. He then says “if there by any difficult questions, one should answer according to its meaning and at the capacity of the person asking.” This is so that they may be able to grasp the essence and proceed to the next level of understanding of the pathway to wisdom and enlightenment. Thank you for sharing this day together, I deeply respect you
Board Member, Janet Curley then called that the 2012 Annual Meeting close in harmony
and unity. Second by: Maria Hiles Passed UNAM
Thus It Has Been Shared, Respectfully, TM Henry Landry, Administrator,
Master Dharma Teacher, Author, Counselor, Nichiren Buddha Hokkeko Society
of Vancouver Island