The History of Won


The History of Won-Buddhism (Wonbulgyo Kyosa)

Part 2. Founding of the Order

Chapter 2. Procurement of the New System

4. First Commemorative General Meeting of the First Generation

March 26th, Won-Buddhist year 13 (1928), marked the day of the first commemorative general meeting of the first generation. In preparation for the general meeting, Song Gyu and 4 others (Appendix 12), from the beginning of the year, had reviewed and compiled the work report on the 12 years since the founding of the Order. Furthermore, they reviewed the record of performance in study and work for each member. On the day of the assembly, the meeting began with Song Mankyeong`s opening address and proceeded with reports on the work accomplished over the years. The Order`s 12-year history was presented, which included calling Jo Songkwang to the chair, appointing the executives to various levels of offices, and the status reports on the founding groups of industry and education departments.
On the morning of the 27th, persons of merit from various levels of work and Jeonmu-Chulshins of 10 years or more standing had their pictures taken in commemoration. In the afternoon, the first work report card conferment ceremony was held under the supervision of Sot`aesan, who had made an earnest request: "The precursors and the juniors, do recognize, revere, and uphold one another`s acts of merit, and thereby let the fortunes of the Order boundlessly thrive and flourish while making your meritorious acts infinitely transmigrate."
Five people, including Yi Cheongchun, Yi Dongjinhwa, Seo Jung-an, Jeon Samsam, and Kim Gwangseon, were recognized as the first-ranking persons of merit; Kim Kicheon and Yi Kongju, as the second-ranking persons of merit; Yi Jaecheol, Song Byeokjo, Yu Jeongcheon, and Song Gyu, as the third-ranking persons of merit; Pak Sihwa and 10 others (Appendix 13),as the fourth-ranking persons of merit; Pak Secheol and 12 others (Appendix 14), as the fifth-ranking persons of merit. Persons who belonged to the top five ranks totaled 35 and those included in the sixth to the twelfth totaled 278.
On the 28th, the first dharma rank advancement ceremony of the new Order was performed under the supervision of Sot`aesan, through which 68 people advanced to the preliminary grade of special faith and higher. Pak Secheol and Seo Dongpung were advanced postmortem to the status of dharma strong and Mara defeated; Song Byeokjo and 5 others (Appendix 15), to the grade of special faith; Yi Chunpung and 59 others (Appendix 16), to the preliminary grade of special faith.
The total number of believers at the time of the first commemorative general meeting, including Yeonggwang, Iksan, Seoul, Kimje, Buan, and Jinan, reached 438 (176 of which were male and 262 were female). Over 20 Jeonmu-Chulshin were actively engaged in activities as executives or members of the industry department in places such as Youngkwang, Iksan, and Seoul. The assets of the Order included the land, buildings, and the office articles and fixtures at the General Headquarters in Iksan, the district office in Youngkwang, the branch office in Sinheung, the cultivation center in Buan, and the branch office in Kyeongseong (over 33,190 Korean Won) as well as the money invested in the Cooperative Association (over 500 Korean Won) and the savings (over 2,000 Korean Won).