Unique Lotus Pavilion opened at Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium

Prajna Monastery Australia monks and pandits from the Australian Council of  Hindu Clergy helped open the unique Lotus Pavilion at Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium.

Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium officially opened its unique new Lotus Pavilion at a special ceremony on Wednesday, September 27. Members of the community attended the opening ceremony for the open air pavilion, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and will offer Australia’s Buddhist, Hindu, Jain and Sikh communities a place to carry out traditional ceremonies.

Pauline Tritton (Northern Cemeteries Metropolitan Trust Chief Executive Officer), NSW Multiculturalism Minister Ray Williams and Northern Cemeteries Metropolitan Trust Chairman Dr. John Hewson officially open the Lotus Pavilion at Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium.

The Hon. Ray Williams, NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, gave an introductory speech and cut the ribbon to officially open the pavilion, which will also be available to the wider community for services of their choice. Set in landscaped gardens at the east of Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium, the pavilion is available for daylight and twilight services and comes equipped with various amenities including a large LED screen, offering table and community incense burner.

Pandit Rami Sivan, from the Australian Council of Hindu Clergy, said the pavilion would be an invaluable asset to Australia’s expanding South-East Asian Dharma communities. “Since we only cremate our deceased we do not require land for burial, but we find existing chapels are not suitable for our rituals,” Pt. Sivan said. “We believe this is the only pavilion of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere that will allow Hindu priests and family members of the deceased to carry out last rites at their own pace and in the way Hindu scriptures prescribe.”

The Lotus Pavilion was designed by architect Toby Wetherill from Gardner Wetherill and Associates after collaboration and consultation with Hindu and Buddhist representatives and members of the wider community. Built by Kane Constructions, the pavilion took approximately 10 months to build and has capacity for 160 people seated, with additional areas for extra seating at its sides.

“It is so important for the Buddhist community to have a place like this to carry out our services,” the Venerable Ban Ruo Shi, Senior Abbot with the Prajna Monastery Australia, said. “This pavilion is great news for the future of the Buddhist community.”

The Lotus Pavilion is the latest pro-active initiative by Northern Cemeteries, which manages five sites ”“ Macquarie Park, Gore Hill Memorial, Field of Mars and Frenchs Forest Bushland cemeteries in Sydney and Sandgate Cemetery in Newcastle ”“ and is committed to caring for the community in all its diversity.

“The Lotus Pavilion is an invaluable addition to the Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium,” Northern Cemeteries Chief Executive Officer Pauline Tritton said. “Northern Cemeteries is committed to providing the best service to people of all faiths and the diverse community we serve and the Lotus Pavilion will further help us achieve this.”

For more information, visit www.northerncemeteries.com.au

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