Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Hampshire Buddhist Society in the late '60s

I've recently started translating from Thai into English some documents authored by Fuengsin Trafford (formerly Sarayutpitag), my mother. I'm pleased to make available a draft of Some Buddhists in England, being a translation from the Thai of ส่วนหนึ่งของชาวพุทธในอังกฤษ.

The article describes the early days of the Hampshire Buddhist Society, which was founded in 1966. It organised some lectures at Southampton University, but it really developed at Crabwood Farmhouse, near Winchester, where core members of the Society met regularly. I found it particularly interesting to read about the format of the sessions since I attend a group in Oxford, where we follow a very similar procedure. This is no coincidence since our group used to be led by Freda Wint, who, I gather, was one of the early members of the Society. It's a wonderful feeling to know this sense of continuity.

I'll write separately about the process of translation itself, but just comment here that I think this would have been far more difficult for me even 5 years ago, but current electronic tools have really helped. However, I still need a Thai person to make corrections!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Golden Jubilee celebrations at KMUTT

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the official founding of King Mongkut's University of Technology, Thonburi - it was established originally on 4 Feburary 1960 as Thonburi Technology Institute (TTI). It's now a substantial research-led University building up an international profile.

KMUTT Campus; photo credit: KMUTT Welding research and consulting center

I've been fortunate to get in touch with the University as my mother used to work there as a lecturer in English. She would refer to her former place of work as "Bangmot," which is the colloquial shorthand and was one of the first members of staff, joining around the time it was founded - I'm currently trying to establish exactly when. The following photo was taken in 1964, when there was (as far as I know) just this two storey building!

Fuengsin (Sarayutpitag) Trafford standing in front of King Mongkut Institute of Technology, Thonburi

The developments are extraordinary, so congratulations to the university on its achievements! I think my mother would have been delighted to see its progress.