The Most Venerable was born in 1922 in Gia Dinh Province (near Saigon), Vietnam.
He began his life away from home in a pagoda for education and training at the age of thirteen, received ordination as samanera novice at the age of sixteen, and was ordained as a Bhikkhu at the age of twenty.
He continued Buddhist studies at the advanced level at the Saigon-based An Quang Buddhist Institute, the leading Buddhist University of Vietnam.
Buddhist Activities in Vietnam
After graduation as a Buddhist scholar, he focused his attention in education. Since 1954, his main professional and religious activities took place in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam where, amongst other responsibilities, he was in charge of a Buddhist Secondary School in An Giang Province. Upon his return to Saigon, he was appointed Director of Studies at the Buddhist Studies Institute. In the early 1960's, as Secretary of the Southern Vietnam Delegation, he attended the National Conference of the Vietnamese Sangha which resulted in the formal establishment of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV).
He held many positions of high responsibilities at the Central Executive Office of the UBCV, including Commissioner for Sangha Affairs (Tong Vu Truong Tong Vu Tang Su) until 1975. After the Fall of Saigon, the UBCV was banned by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
In Vietnam, the Most Venerable was also credited with the establishment of several pagodas in the Mekong Delta and some provinces around Saigon.
Buddhist Activities in Australia
The Most Venerable arrived in Australia in 1980 from Hong Kong and became the first Vietnamese resident monk in this country. He aspired to rebuild Vietnamese Buddhism not only to serve the religious needs of Vietnamese Australian believers but also as a contribution to multicultural society of Australia.
In April 1981, he was elected First President of the Vietnamese Buddhist Federation at the Inaugural Buddhist Conference in Sydney. In 1987, he was re-elected President of the newly re-structured national organisation known as The United Vietnamese Buddhist Congregation in Australia-New Zealand (UVBC). He was the Congregation's longest serving President until his resignation in 2008 because of ill health.
The Most Venerable was also one of the longest serving Presidents of the Buddhist Federation of Australia (BFA). In 2009, he stepped down from the BFA presidency for the same health reason.
Internationally, he was a high-ranking member and Elder of the World Sangha Council and the World Fellowship of Buddhists.
Like in Vietnam, he built or was instrumental in the building of Vietnamese temples in Sydney, Melbourne and other capital cities of Australia and New Zealand. He was the founding Abbot of Phuoc Hue Monastery in Sydney and Patriarch of Phuoc Hue Buddhist Lineage.
The Most Venerable was a strong advocate for peace, social harmony and inclusiveness. His achievements as one of the most influential Buddhist leaders in Australia are numerous. Following are some of the highlights:
In 1994, during his royal tour of Australia, HRH Prince Charles chose Phuoc Hue Monastery as the neutral place to hold discussions with Australia's religious leaders of Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist Faiths.
In November 2004, in his capacity as an Elder of the World Buddhist Sangha Council, President of UVBC and Founding Abbot of Phuoc Hue Monastery, the Most Venerable led the Organising Committee for the First Executive Conference of the Seventh World Buddhist Sangha Council Congress & Third World General Conference of the World Buddhist Sangha Council Youth Committee in Sydney.
In December 2004, attending as President of the BFA, he delivered a strong message of peaceful cooperation amongst nations and peoples of different faiths at the first "International Dialogue on Interfaith Cooperation" jointly hosted by the Foreign Ministers of Australia and Indonesia in Yogyakarta.
Most Venerable Thich Phuoc Hue was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia on Australia Day 1995.
He passed away peacefully on Saturday 28 January 2012 in Sydney.
Last Updated on Friday, 03 February 2012 16:51