Construction of the Heavenly Mother Temple in Footscray

11 12 2008

I recently reported on the construction of a 16 metre gold statue of the “Mother of Heaven” in the inner city suburb of Footscray. It is to be part of a Buddhist temple complex currently under construction. I was so intrigued that I decided to go and check it out for myself. It wasn’t hard to spot – the golden icon glistens, clearly visible as you whizz by on the Sydenham line train, standing in a barren, weedy wasteland between the railway and the Maribynong River, which was once lined by factories and is now being revived.

It was a hot, still day and apart from the occassional cyclist whizzing by on the new riverside bike track, it was dead, dead quiet. I even wondered if it was really that safe wandering around on myh own (still in South American mode!). Surely the grafitti covered tunnels under the railway bridge would make great junkie havens? But I saw no sign of anyone at all. Maybe the stink from the pools of stagnant water drove even them off?

And in the middle of it all, the stunningly incongrous golden statue, standing amongst eucalytpus trees and hardy native Australian shrubs. The pillars of the still unbuilt temple next door provided another odd touch. And there were no workman, and no security, anywhere.

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9 responses

17 01 2009
Fo Guang Shan « ilbonito blog 2007

[…] Sao Paulo and South Africa. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are also behind the new “Heavenly Queen Temple” under contruction here, with its 16metre golden statue by the Maribynong […]

8 05 2009
Mel

This statue is ugly

26 12 2009
Tricia Szirom

The image of the Queen of Heaven is magnificent and reminds us of both the importance of the Divine Feminine and the multicultural nature of our community.

6 03 2011
Simon.L

it looks very different now, maybe i should go for a visit next weekend

17 04 2011
vgag

When we went past last night on the way to Yarraville, I had semi-dozed off and thought we were on the train heading south in Taiwan. We guessed it was Mazu almost at once–we had just visited her stunning complex in Guandu off the Danshui Line in Taipei. That site is also set along a river with wetlands and mangroves.

4 07 2011
Golden Lady of footers « walleroux

[…] the Sung Dynasty. She became a legend after saving and helping many people.” There’s a temple that has been in the midst of construction for donkeys years, apparently. They’re getting […]

6 10 2011
shona

hi there can you tell me how to get there? how do i get there if i stop at south kensington?

6 10 2011
vgag

A few months ago I got off at South Ken, walked along some parkland to my right, through an industrial area that included (as I recall) Marathon Foods, across a pedestrian bridge and then I joined the pathway that led to the statue and temple. It’s well worth a look.
The complex is on Joseph Street or Road, and it’s in the Melway and on Google maps…

9 08 2014
Melbourne | ilbonito blog 2007

[…] or Tasmania to see the Museum of Old and New Art, MONA, (as I had orginally planned) or have pho in Footscray or cakes in St Kilda. I didn’t go to any gay parties or any of the museums or galleries or […]

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