2016 Annual General Meeting – Sunday 13th November at Nichiren Buddha Center, #4 – 3906 Johnny Bear Road
Administration Office: 365 Day Road, Duncan, BC Canada V9L 3K4 Website: www.VIRetreats.com
Nichiren Buddha Hokkeko Society®
BC Non Profit Number S-48418
A Federal Registered Charity # BN8591688833RR001
2016 Annual General Meeting Sunday 13th November 2016
Celebration of nearly 3,000 years since the establishment of the Buddha Dharma
Celebration of 796 Years since the Sage Messenger Nichiren was born
Celebration of the 14th AGM of Nichiren Buddha Hokkeko Society®
Celebration of the 31st Anniversary of our Teacher/Messenger, N.Henry
Meeting called to Order 12:15 PM following Regular Sunday Buddha Discovery Service,
meeting held at our Nichiren Peace Center. for 14th Annual General Meeting
Meeting Secretary: Moved by Maria Hiles that Janet C. be recording Secretary
Seconded by: Grant P. Passed, Janet accepts
Attendance: Board Members: Janet C., Penny K., Kelly R., Henry L.
Members in Attendance: Tina F. Erla G., Grant P., Judy and Geoff G.,
Guests: Shelly V. and John, Bevis G., Scott M., Cody and Kayla,
Regards from: Cori, in Belgium, David B., North Vancouver, Laurie W., New Westminster, Board Members Stan S., Linda N., Victoria
Vision/Mission of the Nichiren Buddha Hokkeko Society: Read by: Kelly R.
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 of Vancouver Island
4 ] To practice in the Nichiren Tradition, in association with Nichiren Shu, of Japan, in co-operation with all Buddhist Organizations as One Buddha ~ Many Traditions
Member Experience shared by: Grant P.
Old Business: Short Reading of 2015 AGM, read by: Janet C.
There being no business arising from last years minutes meeting moved to 14th Annual Report.
Administrators 14th Annual Report: 2016 – Year of Abundance
Before moving on to our Business Report, we would like to recognize our many Volunteers
who have stepped up and assisted with the work and vision of our pioneering efforts here at our Nichiren Buddha Society, Peace Center: Allan and Karen D., in addition to several past years as dear friends and supporters, this year assisted with the latest expansion to our Lotus Temple Room. Grant P. for so much professional knowledge and help on Johnny Bear Road expansion and other help. Scott Myers for showing up and helping with whatever needs doing, Penny K. for pathway and garden flowers and help with our Community Garden, for baking and other kind works, Bevis for his many hours rain or shine on Meditation Pathway building. Board Member, Kelly R. for her annual painting assistance. To Shelly and Arnie V. for their generous donation of much materials including the large new windows as part of our Lotus Temple Room expansion. We give grateful thanks once again to MERIT Furniture for their generous donation of a new Propane Stove as well as financial donations. To Steve and Karen for cost sharing and help with delivery and rock for our new parking lot. And for all those others who have shown up in 2016 and assisted, we thank you gratefully. Certificates of appreciation presented to Volunteers!
Our Community Buddha Society is a faith based Society whose goal is to assist all who seek spiritual sustain-ability and peaceful means in their life. This is achieved through weekly Buddha Discovery Services, Meditation Services, Annual Retreats, Study Groups, Life Skills Coaching, Personal Counselling, Hospice work, Hospital and Home visitations, local Community service work. 2016 being a very special year with the Dali Lamas Head Canadian Priest, Tsengdoc Rinpoche, and their entourage coming to ask our Master Teacher, to participate in the 2nd Annual Buddhist Festival in Vancouver. We were honoured with their gifts and accepted in the name of our Nichiren Buddhist Hokkeko Society®. This event took place at the Queen Elizabeth Park in May 2016 with thirty Buddhist Teachers/Messengers/Monks from the various Buddhist Temples with the Theme, One Buddha – Many Traditions. Also this past year we participated in the “One World Festival” celebrating the Cowichan Cultural Society’s 35th Anniversary.
Again, this past year we have worked with supporting people in need. Much work was done with the individuals suffering with mental issues, almost half my Hospital visits being with those people suffering from addictions and mental issues. For over two months I assisted a woman with a deportation order from Immigration Canada to be returned to Germany. Working with this couple in hiding we eventually worked it all out, she overcame her huge mental fears and was able to return to Germany without refacing jail; I continue to assist the gentleman who lives here on the Island. Our Counselling services are offered freely to all who come to us seeking to awaken to their holistic BE-ing; for people of all cultures, faiths and backgrounds. Our Buddhist goal to free people from their suffering and to share with them in their happiness.
We continue as a Member of Kinsol Trestle Foundation. We are Friends of our local Library and have made a donation to our Foundation for a new Cowichan District hospital. We continue our work as Spiritual Care Worker/Chaplain for Cowichan Valley District Hospital, as well Victoria General and Jubilee Hospitals in Victoria, Nanaimo Regional Hospital in Nanaimo, BC and when called on at the Prisons in Nanaimo and Victoria. We are members of the Cowichan Green Community and attended the official opening of the new 3 acre Seed Farm, being developed.
Visitations During 2016 we did 12 Hospital visits, 3 Prison visits, and 30 Home Visitations; offering Buddhist services, life skills coaching, helping the sick, assisting with Will preparations. We held several Formal Buddhist Tea Ceremonies. Once again the year we have been busy with personal counselling for people coming forward seeking assistance with life’s difficulties in body, mind and spirit.
Board of Directors
There being no changes to our Board of Directors this year, we thank Kelly, Stan, Linda, Janet, Penny and N. Henry for their dedication, suggestions and active membership. In our Society® every Board Member has equal rights and is without title.
This past year our Nichiren Buddhist Society offered several Group Retreats including:
the 16th Annual Three Day, Buddha In the Park, and the Seven Day Tien Tai Mindfulness Retreat. One Day Retreats on Meditation & Mindfulness, A Day of Faith, A Day with the Buddha’s, LifeSpan Quest Retreat. In 2016 28 people attend the various Retreats, down from the 54 from 2015 and the 36 who attended in 2014.
OnLine and Social Media
We continue for our daily online services, including educational information, daily meditation quotes, events scheduling and so much more, you are invited to bookmark and visit our website at www.VIRetreats.com We have once again updated our website and now offer three Videos, including the ShawGo television special as well as the new one developed for my new book on Meditation. We also have links to Learning the Liturgy and the many Nichiren and other Buddhist websites. We continue to be active with our Social Networking including Twitter our Daily Meditation offerings as Buddha_Now averages 1,500 views monthly. We have posted 2,500 Tweets since 2011, “as a moments reflection to fuel your day from our Buddhist Community. FaceBook is very active with our four pages and we are further developing our LinkedIn and Instagram activites. Our Weekly Buddha Blog, monthly Buddha’s Message offerings reaches an average of 1,900 people monthly. Our Google Analytics show us that we average 650 users a month, over 1,500 page views a month, with 82% of people returning again and again, while 18% are new viewers. 45% of people visiting are from the USA, 10% from the UK, 7% from Canada, 4.5% from France, as well as visitors from over 50 other countries.
Fund Raising for 2016
During 2016 our Year of Abundance, our Land Legacy Projects raised $1,208.92. In addition, you will remember we laid the cement for our new permanent Friendship Entrance Gateway a year ago Fall this is now complete and already has been featured in videos and television specials. The Fund Raising for this $3,600 gateway was completed in just under six months and we are grateful to all who contributed.
2016 FINANCIAL REPORT
[ Full detail Financial Report available online, through RCA or by request ]
Member Donations $ 5,652.00 [+1,966]
Legacy Project Donations $ 2,570.00 [-71.50]
Total Expense $ 19,690.75 [+6,512.89] Total Donations: $ $9,810.00
SAD [ Supporting Anonymous Donations:] $ 9,880.75 [+3774.57]
Cash in Bank at Year End $ 73.56
Legacy Building Fund: $ 150.00
Moved by: Janet C. Seconded by: Kelly R.
that the 2016 Administrators Financial Report be accepted. Passed UNAM
Major Events in 2016 our Year of Abundance
Thirty Two foot expansion to our Lotus Temple Room, Preliminary expansion to Johnny Bear Road and second parking lot, publishing of N. Henry’s fourth book “Meditation the Art & Act of Mindfulness, Upgrading of Website and activities surrounding Social Media, second Greenhouse, Herb Greenhouse completed. Additional work on our Solar Off Grid Projects, completion of two major Videos including Community Television Shaw Go and one for the new Fund Raising Book on Meditation. Major new addition to our Book Library, including two Ancient Heritage Gohonzon Mandala’s, which we are looking into preserving.
In 2016 we had 281 Guests and 404 Members attend weekly Meditation Services, which we now offer twice weekly, Tuesdays and Thursdays at Nichiren Buddha Center and our Sunday Nichiren Discovery Services, 16 people attended last years Winter Study Sessions, we held 8 Formal Buddhist Tea Ceremonies. Retreat attendance as has been reported was 24. During 2016 a total 733 people attended the various activities of our Nichiren Buddha Hokkeko Society.®
Our core group remains small and dedicated, with new persons researching their spirituality at retreats, with personal counselling and our formal Tea Ceremony. In 2016, we accepted and welcomed, Grant P. as our newest community member. Our pioneering journey includes people of great heart and energy, some will not be able to enjoy our efforts, as they have passed from this world, 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!
Nichiren Buddha Center Efforts
Our latest goals for 2017 are the expansion of our Community Garden and the Fund Raising for a water well, as going down to the river everyday is somewhat of a challenge. Last year it took about 60 gallons of water a day for the flowers and vegetables. We had a good year n the Vegetable garden considering we are still working on improving our very poor soil. Our dwarf Fruit Trees are coming along slowly, we may get some starting fruits of Pears or Apples this year, the Cherry Tree produced a whole 12 cherries last year which we got to before the birds did. In 2016 we did our first Mason Bee, effort and the bees are now resting comfortably awaiting next Springs blossoms.
Thanks in part to Grant P. donation, we have partially enclosed our FireSide Outdoor area
and woodshed. Again this year we give thanks to Island Tractor who donated again a week of time with a small tractor to help us move soil, prepare meditation pathways and help in a big way. We were able to get a good start on our Nichiren Community Garden this past year with the building of our Green house and the clearing of two small spaces for vegetables and berries. We were able to enjoy and share our first small crops, although the deer did their part on the Berries and Flower. The daily gathering of water for the garden, from the river took a major effort and we are hopeful our Fund Raising will allow us a Water Well soon.
We thank Penny for her spent many hours on the lovely flowers that graced our walkways, working in the Greenhouse and garden throughout the Spring and Summer.
Off Grid Solar Projects
Our continuing upgrading to our Solar Project is very exciting last year I reported we had spent
on cost of materials at $2,047.85 this year we added three new batteries and one new super solar panel at an additional cost of $1,154 dollars bringing our investment in total to $3,201.85.
In working on our financials it brought real pleasure to see our propane gas bill has dropped from $1,400 to only $744 real considerable savings in the cost of gasoline for our generators due to our
new Solar usage.
Again, we are grateful to the Volunteers who have been such a big help this past year.
This is my 2016 Report, the floor is now open for new business:
Moved by: Tina F. Seconded by: Grant P.
“That our Society once again support the community efforts for the building of our
new Cowichan District Hospital, with a donation of Fifty Dollars [$50.00]
Moved by: Penny K. Seconded by: Judy G.
That our Society once again become members of Friends of Vancouver Island Regional Library”
Moved by: Judy G. Seconded by: Geoffrey G.
“That we continue our Membership in the Cowichan Green Community”
Board Member, Kelly R. suggested that Members donate proceeds of all of the coming years bottle returns and recycling income to go towards our Fund Raising for a Water Well. There
was general agreement, and Buddha Banks will be prepared for those wishing to participate.
Moved by: Tina F. Seconded by: Geoffrey G. UNAM
“That 2017 be designated the Year of Many Treasures”
There being no further business, our Teacher/Messenger, N. Henry,
read a reminder of what it means to be a Buddhist in our times.
“In future ages if there are any good men or women who have faith in the wisdom of the Thus Come One, you should share and teach the Lotus Sutra for them, so that others may hear and understand it. For in this way you can cause them to gain the Buddha wisdom. If there are living beings who do not believe and accept it, you should use some of the other profound doctrines of the Thus Come One to teach, benefit and bring joy to them. If you do this, then you will have repaid the debt of gratitude that you owe to the Buddha’s” Chap. 22 Entrustment
Thank you for sharing this important day together, I deeply respect you
There being no further business Maria H., then called that the 2016 Annual Meeting close in harmony and unity. Second by: Tina F. Passed UNAM
Thus It Has Been Shared, Respectfully, N.Henry, Administrator