Lieutenant-governor 'overwhelmed' by gift from Buddhist monks

A visit by P.E.I. Lt.-Gov. Antoinette Perry to the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute in Kings County last week ended with a surprise unveiling.

‘It's just meticulous craftsmanship’

The monks built the replica in just a few weeks with nothing but a picture from the internet to go by. (Submitted by Venerable Dan/GEBIS)

A visit by P.E.I. Lt.-Gov. Antoinette Perry to the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute in Kings County last week ended with a surprise unveiling.

Perry was on a tour of the facility and noticed that something was covered in one of the rooms.

"At the end of the tour, they said, 'Well, now we have something for you.' So they unveiled this absolutely beautiful replica of Government House," she said.

"I was overwhelmed … The detail in it is just amazing. There's even a light in it. You can light it up and see through all the windows. It's just meticulous craftsmanship."

Venerable Dan, a monk with the institute, said a group of monks created the replica as a gift to all of the people of Prince Edward Island.

A picture from the internet

The monks who built it had never been to Government House. While they are fully vaccinated, they have remained inside the bubble of the monastery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"All they have is a picture that we downloaded from the website," said Dan.

A group of monks delivered the replica of Government House this week. (Submittted by Venerable Dan/GEBIS)

"They just use that picture and then try their best to kind of make a model out of it."

The replica was made using material leftover from the building of the monastery itself, he said.

The model wouldn't fit in the government car, so a group of monks delivered it to Charlottetown this week. Dan said the builders, who were not able to come themselves, were keen to hear what the inside of the building was like.

The back of the replica opens up with a space for files and documents. (Submitted by Venerable Dan/GEBIS)

With no information of the inside, the builders opted for a practical purpose. Both the top and the back open for the storage of files. When it was delivered there were some extra gifts inside.

"They also gave me a gorgeous fan, handpainted, and they even made some little flowers: tiny, tiny, tiny origami," said Perry.

The replica has been set up in a room just off the main entrance hall, a staged governor's office. Perry said that area is part of regular tours of the house, and so it will be available for the public to see once public health guidelines allow tours again.

With files from Angela Walker


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