Castle of Victory Opens in Long Beach
New SGI-USA center opens in southern California.
LONG BEACH, Calif., Aug. 26—It was 18 years in the making and a dream come true for many.
With just 28 days until the 50,000 Lions of Justice Festival, the SGI-USA members of Long Beach Region celebrated the grand opening of their new Buddhist center with two ceremonies joined by SGI-USA General Director Adin Strauss.
In a message, SGI President Ikeda emphasized that Long Beach is among the most prominent port cities in Southern California and, as such, their new center will serve as an important “forum of dialogue from which new trends of humanistic thinking will emerge.”
This sentiment was echoed by the event’s honored guests, which included nine dignitaries and members of the South Coast Interfaith Council.
In a nod to the grand opening, one proclamation and four certificates of recognition were issued to the SGI-USA and President Ikeda. Nicholas Cabeza, the field representative for the Office of Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, of the 70th District, and Councilmember Al Austin II, of the 8th District, were on hand to present citations during the afternoon gathering.
To reach the SGI-USA Long Beach Buddhist Center: 4425 Atlantic Ave. Suite C-01 Long Beach, CA, 90807 562-349-0682
The 5,361-square-foot facility, which features four Gohonzon rooms and a conference room, is located in the Bixby Knolls neighborhood, an active community of small shops and restaurants that is also home to the historical site of Los Cerritos Ranch House.
As participants entered the building, they were greeted by a magnificent sunset photo taken by President Ikeda during his 1990 visit to Long Beach. The picture is accompanied by his poem to the Long Beach members, which has since become their prime point:
You have won
I have come to the battlefield
for peace, Long Beach
I am overwhelmed with joy at this auspicious encounter.
In welcoming remarks, region women’s and men’s leaders Helen Walker and Yuji Kawakami declared that the new center was actual proof of the members’ many years of sincere prayer and behind-the-scenes efforts to advance American kosen-rufu. They especially thanked the pioneer members who taught them the SGI spirit to never give up and also expressed their gratitude to the many members who opened their homes for discussion meetings for nearly 20 years.
The event also included Gohonzon conferral ceremonies in which four people joined the SGI-USA.
General Director Strauss called on the members to use their new center to carry out their human revolution and support the happiness of others. “Everyone has the right to become absolutely happy,” he said. “In fact, a core tenet in our philosophy and practice is that the person who suffers the most has the right to become the happiest.”
Advancing toward the 50K Festival and beyond, region youth leaders Jolie Tea-Taniguchi and Hiroshi Ikeda determined that from this new “battlefield for peace,” they would respond to their mentor and work in unity to build a castle of capable people, happiness and victory.
This center is located in the heart of the 8th District. We do a lot of community activities, and I want to say this is one of the most activated areas of the city, and with that said, there is a lot of opportunity to engage. Our residents are involved and do good things in our community.
I think the mission of the Long Beach Buddhist Center and the SGI with peace, community and education is very consistent with the values of the community here in 8th District. When I look upon the crowd in this room, I see the diversity in my community reflected, so for that, I welcome and salute you, and wish you nothing but success on moving forward and welcoming you to this community as a whole.