Mr Ruddock will open the temple in the presence of religious leaders, Caodaists from across Sydney and visitors from intersate and overseas. The Hon. Morris Iemma - State Minister for Public Works and Services, Councillor Kayee Griffin - Mayor of Canterbury City, Ven. Thich Bao Lac - The Unified Vietnamese Buddhist Congregationof Australia & New Zealand and Professor Garry Trompf of Sydney University will also speak. Special guests will include former Mayors and Premiers as well as a range of parliamentarians from state and federal arenas.
Before 1993, the Caodaists of Sydney worshipped in the main room of a rented house in Campbell Street, St Peters, NSW, Australia . It was here that a small altar was dedicated to Duc Cao Dai (God the Father). By the mid-eighties the house at Campbell Street was becoming too small and the community decided to look for elsewhere.
The Unsworth State Government offered several parcels of excess land for purchase. A meeting was held in Bankstown to raise money. The followers of Duc Cao Dai / God the Father were amazed that in one day they had brought the temple's funds to more than AUD$120,000.00! The Caodaists of Sydney were able to buy the block of land on King Georges Road.
A number of plans were submitted to Canterbury Council. This was a time of agitation for the community as it learnt how to deal with the intricacies of Australia planning law. Mr Pham Van Duc, the architect, eventually helped create a building that reflected the Dao Cao Dai architecture of Vietnam, and yet was eminently suited to the block of land in Wiley Park and could be built to Australian standards. Finally after many changes to the plan, permission to build was granted on the 28 August 1991. The building of the Caodaist Association of New South Wales Temple commenced with the laying of the foundation stone on 20 November 1991. This day marked the beginning of nine years of volunteer labour, hard work, frustration and determination.
Over nine years, hundreds of people have helped with the Temple. People new to Australia not only worked at their jobs all week and studied in the evenings, but also gave up their weekends to get the foundations set and the walls started. Some helped with bricklaying, carpentry, painting and paperwork, others turned over their gardens for the growing of food that could be cooked for the workers. Working on the Temple became an activity that drew the community closer together. On the 6th of December 1992, the altar and the image of the Divine Eye was moved from St Peters to the new building. Regular worship has been taking place in the new building ever since.
A few of the features of the temple were shipped out from Vietnam, such as the statues on the canopy over the altar, but in the main, most of the building from the windows to the dragon columns, were made by local volunteer workers. For those who know Dao Cao Dai architecture well, these Australian-crafted features give the building a decidedly local feel, though of course, to most Australians, the temple looks nothing but Vietnamese or Asian.
Note: This Website includes over 1000 photos of the Temple and other Caodaist architecture from around the world.
Cao-Dai Temple of New South Wales
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