Rev. Grant Ikuta
With the departure of Sensei Kikuchi, Rev. Grant Ikuta will be taking over as Minister for the Steveston Buddhist Temple. He talked to The Bulletin from his current home in Toronto.
I was born in Vancouver, and lived the first three and a half years of my life in Richmond on Blundell Road. Both my father and grandfather have served as resident minister at the Steveston temple and when I was growing up, I used to spend almost every summer visiting my grandparents and uncles who lived in Steveston. I have some very fond memories of going to catch frogs in the ditches of Steveston.
I have served for the past fifteen and a half years as a resident minister of the Toronto Buddhist Church and have been the Senior Minister here since 1996. During my term in Toronto, the single largest project that I was involved in was the building of our new temple of which we moved into in August of 2005. It was a five-year project that saw us move into our new facility with the opening ceremony being done together with the BCC Centennial Celebration in 2005.
As for our move to Steveston, my family and I (my wife and I have four kids, two boys, ages 16 and 13, and two girls ages 5 and 4) are looking forward to moving out west. It will mean new challenges and opportunities. In a way it is like going home for me, as many of the congregation have known me from when I was in diapers, although I must admit that I was too young to remember them. Although we are looking forward to a new beginning, there is also a sense of sadness as we must say farewell to the many friends that we have become so close to during our life here in Toronto. Our eldest was only eight months old when we arrived here and the other three were all born in Toronto. But as the Buddhist adage states, Life is constantly changing and it is how we deal with the changes that makes the difference in how we live our lives.