Thompson Manitoba Welcomes Winnipeg Leaders
By Maxine Stewart, Winnipeg
Hann (far left) beside his mother and aunt. Stella (centre) with David (far right)
On November 4, Winnipeg District leaders David and Stella Gower drove nine hours to Thompson Manitoba to welcome two new members to our SGI Canada family. After Hann Chong joined SGI Canada in Winnipeg in October of this year, his mother and aunt decided to join as well.
At this historic first ever meeting in Thompson, held on November 5, David and Stella encouraged Hann to lead the chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and then spoke to the family about the basics of the practice. These two exceptional women were delighted to join SGI and saw this visit as a new beginning in their lives and refreshed their determination for the future.
Hann's father does not practise Nichiren Buddhism but through his warm welcome and support of this visit Stella said: “David and I both see him as a Bodhisattva of the earth, looking out for people he works with and citizens in the Thompson community. The family went through many hardships of racism and dealing with the language barrier over the years. Mr. Chong shared many stories that touched us and helped us understand his heart. They are a very hard working and sincere family. Hann's mother and aunt are wonderful, very expressive and dedicated to their practice. I wish I had all of them here in Winnipeg, yet they are where they are needed the most. We will support them through emails, Skype and in the spring they will be able to come for a visit to Winnipeg. Hann is already sharing this Buddhism with others and we are confident of the emergence of a future district in Thompson.”
David and Stella returned greatly inspired by this family and commented that after reading The New Human Revolution they were able to feel what SGI President Ikeda felt when he was visiting members. They returned and chanted with great appreciation and deep gratitude.