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Siddhiratna sent this amazing short archive film of the very early days of the FWBO (former name for Triratna) in London in the 1970s as the new community there were preparing to build what would become the London Buddhist Centre in an old fire station…
“The videos were shot on Standard 8 film in what I think would be the mid ’70s, maybe ‘76, ‘77. The corrugated iron still up on the windows and Subhuti, Ratnaguna, Dharmapriya (?) and others are shopping in Brick Lane on a Sunday for wiring, toilets, tools- stuff to get the community up and running so they can start work on the Centre, at some point. Lots of gear from backs of lorries, and Subhuti on the phone arranging electricity, gas, water connections, and deliveries of sheet upon sheet upon sheet of Gyproc (dry wall)…
Fast stop motion car ride from East to North London to Pundarika as we still maintained that Centre [the first dedicated one] for classes. Frenetic times.
Cut to Sponsored Walk across Hampstead Heath/Run with Subhuti and Surata to raise money. Balmore Street at the start of this sequence was nearly all FWBO “squats” - where would we have been without squats? Much further back!
Ends with work on Sukhavati itself. A lot more years to go before completion, with lots of ups and downs. Next big step were the Right Livelihood Co-ops….. But that’s another story!”