Deputy mayor sees in Buddhist new year

TEMPLE TIME ... deputy mayor, Coun Richard Porthouse, with his wife, the deputy mayoress, Patricia, and temple representatives.
TEMPLE TIME ... deputy mayor, Coun Richard Porthouse, with his wife, the deputy mayoress, Patricia, and temple representatives.

PEACE and tranquillity prevailed at a former Hebburn church as the council’s deputy mayor and mayoress helped see in the Buddhist New Year.

Town councillor Richard Porthouse and wife Patricia were the special guests at the Buddhist meditation centre, now based in the old St Andrew’s Church.

It was in 2013 that part of the Victorian church complex, in Ellison Street, was bought by global Thai cable TV channel Dhamma Media Channel (DMC), which has developed a meditation centre and Buddhist temple at the famous local landmark, built in 1872 in the Gothic style by shipbuilding magnate Andrew Leslie, of the Hawthorn Leslie shipyard.

Coun Porthouse said: “The Buddhist centre has really grown, and become a part of the community in Hebburn, and I know there are now plans to extend it with a new meditation room and kitchen building.

“It was a great day and they even persuaded me to get up to dance on stage – a sight for sore eyes.”

The Dhammakaya Meditation Centre is staging a first one-day retreat in English, by an English monk, Ven River Bhaddako, from 8:30am to 9pm on Saturday, April 25.

For more information, call 0759 530 1731.