South Tyneside’s first citizen paid tribute to the borough’s Buddhist community as he opened a prestigious ceremony.
The Mayor and MayoressCoun Richard Porthouse and his wife Patricia visited the Buddhist Temple in Hebburn to take part in the Kathina ceremony.
The event takes place at the end of the Vassa or Monsoon period in October and November, and celebrates the largest alms-giving ceremony of the Buddhist year.
Coun Richard Porthouse, said: “It was a great honour to be asked to open this year’s Kathina ceremony within my home town and to welcome the many guests, including those who had flown across the Atlantic Ocean to join the ceremony, to South Tyneside.
“It was a very special occasion where everyone united peacefully to meditate together. I was also proud to see the tremendous amount of work that has gone into restoring life to the local landmark which would not have been possible without the generous support of the monastic and wider community and volunteer staff at Wat Phra Dhammakaya Newcastle.”