In commemorating the official opening of Tai Pei Buddhist Centre the following is a bibliography of our Founder, Venerable (Ven) Fatt Kuan.
Born in 1927, our Founder came from the Chinese village of Pang Yu in Kwangtung. Her given name was Poon Sin Kiew. At the age of nine, due to political unrest in Kwangtung Province, Ven. Fatt Kuan left for Singapore with her mother, Madam Chow Siew Keng.
In the early days madam Chow was known for providing Free Chines Medical care in Kreta Ayer District. In 1938, Madam Chow purchased a piece of land at Jalan Kemaman and founded Kuan Yin Lodge, presently Tai Pei Yuen Temple, to propagate the Buddhist Dharma. After the war in 1945, the then 18 years old Ven. Fatt Kuan, was put in charge of operating a shop providing supplies to the post war renown eateries at the shopping and entertainment stretch near High Street. Enduring 12 years of hardship in establishing a viable business, but faced with the declining health of her mother, Ven. Fatt Kuan had to cease operating the business in 1957 to care for her mother and oversee the operation of Kuan Yin Lodge.
It was during this time of caring for her mother that Ven. Fatt Kuan received the calling to devote her life to Buddhism. The following year, with the demise of her mother, Ven, Fatt Kuan headed Kuan In Logde. Due to the run-down state of Kuan Yin Lodge, Ven. Fatt Kuan worked hard to raise funds for its rebuilding and the rebuilt new Temple was renamed Tai Pei Yuen Temple. The wisdom, guidance and encouragement from Ven. Yan Pei and Ven. Xu Ming inspired Ven. Fatt Kuan into becoming a Buddhist nun. She took refuge under Master Hui Sing and Master Hui Jing. Ven. Fatt Kuan made the aspiration to receive ordination under Venerable Chang Xi, and walk the spiritual path of propagating the Buddha's teachings to beniefit all sentient beings. In 1966, Ven. Fatt Kuan received precepts from Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery.
With the completion of the Temple rebuilding in 1967, Tai Pei Yuen conducted 3 days of intense prayer sessions drawing participation from many Buddhist devotees.
Progressively, from 1957, Ven. Fatt Kuan undertook the task of fund raising for the construction of Tai Pei Old People's Home, Which is the first Buddhist Women-Nursing Home for the needy in Singapore.
In 1985, Tai Pei Foundation was established as a Charitable Organisation to propagate Buddhism. Tai Pei Foundation bought over the Kwang Fu named it Tai Pei Buddhist Centre to house a Child-Care Centre, conduct Dharma classes for the community with the goal to interest our young in Buddha's Teachings. With the passage of time, the structure of the building deteriorated beyond repair, resulting in the need for rebuilding.
Through the help of our friends and devotees, fund raising in the form of charity fairs, auctioning of donated calligraphies, art pieces and antique furnitures together, with a Thousand People Charity Dinner event led to the realization of a Ground breaking Ceremony for the rebuilding of Tai Pei Buddhist Centre in 1998.
With the completion in year 2002, of our new building, Tai Pei Buddhist Centre provides Chinese and English Dharma classes, supports Internet Access to the wealth of Buddhist Literature and invite international and local venerables to conduct Dharma Talks. It is our founder's aim for Tai Pei Buddhist Centre and provides the general public with an avenue for Buddhist learning. Especially for the younger generation, many of whom are not exposed to traditional temple setting, our modernized place of learning servers as an evident to the young that Buddhist institutions progress with time and can provide an ambience that is conducive to learning Buddhism.
In 1989 recognizing our founder's public service, the PBM was conferred on her by the president of the Republic of Singapore. For her unyielding community efforts, out founder was conferred the title of BBM, in 1997.
For several terms, our founder served as Vice President of both the Singapore Buddhist Federation and the Singapore Buddhist Free Clinics.
In the winter of year 2001, our founder made a pilgrimage to Da Yu Shan Boon Lian Ch'an Temple in Hong Kong and become a disciple of Elder Venerable Master Chu Hui, inheriting the lineage of the Cao dong tradition.
In the midst of preparation works for the opening of our Tai Pei Buddhist Centre, our founder succumbed to exhaustion and passed away peacefully in her sleep on the 26th of August 2002. Members of our Buddhist Congregation and the Public were saddened by the news of our founder's sudden demise.
By modeling after our founder, with "perseverance" and always lending a hand to others in need, we can uphold our devotion to our country through charitable deeds and honoring our founder's conviction to further Buddha's teachings. In our journey through self discovery of Loving Kindness, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity we will keep the spirit of our founder alive in us. Like our founder, in leading a responsible and fulfilling life, we propagate racial harmony and community well being in our joint efforts towards building a more Progressive and Prosperous Nation.