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Welcome Gate Put to Further Use

When the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, arrived on campus for his visit to Smith in May, he passed through a traditional Welcome Gate specially constructed for his visit by the local Tibetan community.

The colorful gate, which was constructed inside the main campus gates next to John M. Greene Hall, was adorned with special signs symbolizing good wishes, success, health, happiness and long life. A Tibetan inscription across the top of the gate read, “On this auspicious occasion, we are blessed with your presence.”

The Dalai Lama’s Welcome Gate remained in place for more than a month until it was disassembled on June 21. The gate was sold to Sonam Lama, a stone mason in South Deerfield, who is building a large Tibetan stupa – a Buddhist religious monument – in memory of his friend the late Paul “Tiny” Stacy, of Holden, Mass., who worked to help those in need. Stacy died in 1994.

Sonam is building a stupa at his recently opened Tibetan Plaza located on Routes 5 and 10 in Deerfield. He expects to finish the structure in about six weeks. The Welcome Gate will be used in a ceremony honoring Stacy when the stupa is completed.

“This will be a beautiful thing to have in the community,” he said of the gate.

6/22/07   By Eric Sean Weld
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