More Land for Nhap Luu

Thich Chan Phap Kham
Excerpt from the Nhap Luu Newsletter Summer 2013


"On Nov 12, 2013 Unified Buddhist Church of Australia (UBCA, administrative name of Plum Village Australia) signed a contract to buy 16.1 ha (about 39.78 acres) of land for $122,000.00 (122K) AUD from Mr. Peter Finch. The first payment was made for an amount of $62,000, and Mr Finch agreed to let UBCA pay the remaining on Nov. 12, 2014, without accrued interest.

We decided to buy the land for several reasons.  A review of land aquisition records at Nhap Luu can be helpful in understanding this.

In August 2001 OI member Chan Tu Tue(Than Ho)and his wife Chan Hoai Duc (Min Ho), of Green Bamboo Sangha, Hoppers Crossing Melbourne, bought about 24 ha of land. It was bought from a brother of Mr Finch.  They had the intention to donate the land to Plum Village,so that Plum Village Australia could be established. Sangha members began work on the land, making a pond and roads, and some facilities near the lowest part of the land.

One neighbour objected to the location and asked the Sangha to move the kitchen and dining hall, the toilets, the parking lot and a hut, to a further location. Without an accurate map these facilities were moved -but unintentionally onto the edge of the land of Peter Finch. Walking meditation paths and some roads were cleared, and only after Peter Finch advised the Sangha, did they realise the mistake.

Since the facilities had already been settled, in March 2003 Chan Tu Tue and Chan Hoai Duc negotiated to buy about 4.5ha from Mr. Finch. This made Nhap Luu’s land area about 28.5 ha. The totality of land purchased by Green Bamboo Sangha was legally transferred to UBCA ownership on 1st February 2010. 

Nhap Luu, Spring 2013.Photos courtesy of Thai Nguyen( The A)

Five sisters moved to Nhap Luu and held the first (Monastics) Rains Retreat there in May 2010. Living conditions improved bit by bit. Electricity was hooked up. To prepare for more sisters, a modular home (manufactured by Bond Homes) which could house 10 people was considered  for the cost of about 180,000AUD. This would still have needed extra works such as toilets and ground preparation. However, in Sept. 2011,The "Peace House" property was offered for sale at a cost $ 254,000AUD. Given that it already existed as a finished house - had a well, and an additional 10 ha of land, UBCA decided to buy it as a better option. Final payment for the property was made in September 2012.  Nhap Luu’s land area became  38.5 ha at that point.

In June 2013, Mr. Peter Finch expressed an interest to sell the rest of his land, in preparation for his retirement. Given that it is a beautiful lot and situated right above and adjacent to Nhap Luu; that some works have already been done on the land; and that Nhap Luu will need the land for future growth- UBCA decided to buy the remaining lot from him.

As of December 2013, Nhap Luu’s land area is about 55 ha, which is big enough to keep Nhap Luu a tranquil and peaceful place for years to come- despite the fast development rate in the region.

First and foremost, it is to protect the future generations of Nhap Luu that UBCA  made this most recent purchase of the additional 16ha.