John D Hughes
Premier’s Award for Victorian Senior Citizen of the Year 2003.
John D. Hughes, Dip. App. Chem. T.T.T.C. GDAIE, Founder, Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey) Ltd.
Council Adviser, World Buddhist University.
Mr. John D. Hughes to be considered for his involvement in the Buddhist community both locally and internationally and his continued personal endeavour to build a Buddha Dhamma learning Centre in Australia, to propagate the teachings of the Lord Buddha.
John David Hughes is 72 years old, born on 9 September 1930, in Melbourne.
On 9 September 1978, John D. Hughes founded the Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey) Ltd. at 33 Brooking Street, Upwey, Victoria 3158. He was 48 years old, and working as a high school teacher.
In 1990, at age 60 years, he retired, devoting his time to fund and develop the Centre as a global Buddhist organisation and to develop a Buddhist library.
25 years since inception, the Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey) Ltd is a Regional Centre of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, an Associated Institution of the World Buddhist University and a member of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria; The John D. Hughes Collection library has 4000 catalogued Buddhist book titles including rare Buddhist texts.
John D. Hughes has achieved two of his life time goals.
How did one man do this?
John planned diligently. His life plans have the word ‘I CAN’ ‘I WILL’ ‘I MUST’ written on nearly every page.
When speaking to John you can see that he has great determination. He said that he had these goals in mind when he was 25 years old and geared his entire life to achieving these goals. When he retired from teaching, he could then start working for the Centre entirely.
1990 -John designed a strong teaching role for himself to teach other persons about Buddha Dhamma.
He commenced producing and publishing the Buddha Dhyana Dana Review 3 times a year and distributed it free of charge to 35 countries around the world. This publication is now on-line at www.bddronline.net.au
He taught Buddha Dhamma 2 nights a week – 7.30 pm onwards – usually to 2-3am.
On weekends he worked on the site – developing the Chan garden and extending buildings and maintaining the property.
He hosted annual New Year's Visits by the Vietnamese and Chinese communities, on weekends, to his Centre – up to 1000 persons a day during the months of January and February up to 1999.
All things continue to be done without creating debt. The funding is raised first, then the materials purchased and the work done.
Many things are donated as gifts and second hand materials used.
John continues to correspond with Buddhist organisations overseas, attend international Buddhist Conferences and became known to the world Buddhist community.
John teaches Chan – a Chinese form of painting, once a month. He went on self funded painting tours to Tasmania and Philip Island and has produced over 2000 paintings since his retirement.
Chan painting sales have funded many of the building improvements and other projects.
1992 – John attended the 18th General Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists in Taiwan.
1993 – John and his Members opened the Moomba festival on a river float with Buddha Dhamma chanting and sounding of the Dragon Gong.
1994 - John attended the 19th General Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists in Taiwan. He delivered a congratulatory message from the Prime Minister of Australia at the opening ceremony.
1996 – John visited Bangladesh to attend the Funeral celebration of the Sangharaja of Bangladesh – the head Monk. He was the guest speaker there.
1997 – John had a heart-attack. He recovered and returned to his teaching roles.
1998 – started the Buddhist Hour radio broadcast which has since generated 261 weekly programs.
1998 – He set up his first Buddhist Web site www.bdcu.org.au His centre acted as rapporteurs at the World Fellowship of Buddhists 20th General Conference held in NSW – the first Buddhist Conference ever to be held in Australia. He was elected as a Vice President of the World Fellowship of Buddhists to represent Australia and Oceania. His Centre was elected as an Associated Spiritual training Centre of the World Buddhist University. His paper- Buddha Dhamma and Challenges in the 21st Century was published in the World Fellowship of Buddhists Review Jan – Jun 1999. He was elected as reporter for Australia and Oceania to the WFB newsletter.
1999 – started producing the internal newsletter The Brooking Street Bugle (New Series).
2000- he attended the 21st World Fellowship of Buddhists General conference in Thailand and delivered a congratulatory message from the Prime Minister of Australia at the opening ceremony, attended by the Prime Minister of Thailand.
He was elected as a council adviser to the World Buddhist University.
He has set up multiple Web sites to provide Buddha Dhamma to persons world wide. You may visit these sites to read his papers, to view photographs of his overseas visits, his paintings and his Centre. Visit www.bdcu.org.au; www.bddronline.net.au; www.bdcublessings.net.au;. www.buyresolved.com au; www.bsbonline.com.au;
2001 April – He suffered from renal failure and underwent surgery for prostate cancer.
2001 September– He attended, by invitation, the International Conference on Religious Tolerance and World Peace in Taipei, Taiwan. There were 19 religions from 25 countries. His speech was published in the WFB Review.
2002 – February – he attended the 3rd Council Meeting of the World Buddhist University and the World Conference on Buddhism and World Peace, Bangkok, Thailand. He was one of the main speakers at the conference and the panel discussion. His paper was published in the World Fellowship of Buddhists Review.
2002 September – Married Anita, a Buddha Dhamma practitioner.
2002 December - John sent a delegation of 6 senior members to represent him at the 22nd General Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists (He was unable to attend due to illness) in Malaysia. John received a message form the Prime Minister of Australia that was read by Mr. Julian Bamford, President, Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey) Ltd. at the opening ceremony. The Prime Minister of Malaysia was in attendance.
The organisation has been self funding and works on self help principles.
He is an inspirational speaker who helps persons overcome dysfunctional lifestyles of all descriptions.
In some countries he is accorded recognition of being a living Buddha Dhamma saintly person with the good qualities of being able to bless persons throughout the world.
His council is sought by over 1000 Buddhist organisations throughout the world. Because he has visited Bangladesh three times he has many followers in that country.
John’s writings are relevant today as he shows how the ancient doctrines of Lord Buddha can be applied to the modern world and everyday life to bring about peace, prosperity and contentment.
John has generated over one million Australian dollars in goods and services for philanthropic work, in many countries.
His philosophy of self help is being implemented in many countries and is always conducted in a manner that is in Australia’s national interest.
The organisation he has built, the Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey) Ltd. is stable and sustainable and the next generation of its global leaders are in training at present.
His Chan paintings are well received internationally and are in art collections in many overseas countries.
The motto he teaches his students is to belong to “the school that never comes to error”.