Clearwater, FL, February 11, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- The new Church of Scientology Melbourne (http://www.scientology-melbourne.net.au) became the first Ideal Organization down-under as the Church of Scientology Tampa (http://www.scientology-tampa.org) prepares Ybor Square for its new location and grand opening.
The new Church in Melbourne, Australia, was dedicated January 29, 2011, in ceremonies attended by thousands of Scientologists, dignitaries and guests from across the nation. Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion was joined by civic leaders and government officials to commemorate the opening of the first Ideal Church of Scientology in Australia.
Auntie Joy Murphy Wandin, senior elder of the Wurundjeri people, opened the dedication and Melbourne native and award-winning singer and songwriter Kate Ceberano performed.
Acknowledgments of the Church for its many contributions to the community were given by Melbourne Lord Mayor the Honourable Robert Doyle, Moonee Valley City Councilor Paul Giuliano, Shadow Minister for Tourism and Major Events, the Honourable Justin Madden, Sociologist Professor Gary Bouma and former Indigenous Person of the Year Uncle Bob Randall.
The new Church now stands on the fully renovated site of the 19th century estate of Robert McCracken, leading businessman and founder of the legendary Essendon Bombers football team. After the turn of the 20th century, this building became the home of Mercy Teachers’ College, later part of the Catholic University. The original name of the estate is “Ailsa” for Ailsa Craig, an island off the west coast of Scotland from where the McCracken family sailed more than 150 years ago.
Praising the Church’s active role in community life, Lord Mayor Robert Doyle told those assembled: “Today marks an historic occasion for Scientology. The building you see before you is the first of its type in Australasia, and the re-birth of an historic Melbourne building. This is a unique space. I hope benefits flow in partnerships, community connection and goodwill. I invite you to celebrate this opening in the heart of our exciting, welcoming and diverse Melbourne.”
Today, the Melbourne Scientology Church is the first Ideal Church of Scientology Organization in Australia, realizing Mr. Hubbard’s vision for what Scientology can provide for its congregation and community.
The Chapel seats hundreds. The library contains all Church Scripture. Course rooms and counselling rooms accommodate Scientologists from throughout Victoria. Seminar rooms, film rooms and Life Improvement Course Rooms make effective solutions to the most pressing challenges people face today easily available to Scientologists and non-Scientologists alike. Workspaces for volunteers stand open and ready for use by parishioners and the community.
Melbourne has long held importance for the Scientology religion. Within months of L. Ron Hubbard authoring Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health in 1950, the first Dianetics group in Australia was formed here and in 1955 the first Scientology Church in Australia opened in this city.
Australia similarly long held a place near to L. Ron Hubbard’s heart, beginning with his service “Down Under” as a United States Naval Officer through the first days of World War II. Principally stationed in Brisbane, but also operating from Melbourne, then Lieutenant Hubbard was charged with organizing relief efforts for Allied troops trapped in the Philippines. He also proudly served with Australian gunnery units for the defense of Brisbane.
As Scientology Founder, L. Ron Hubbard returned to Australia in 1959 to deliver two historic lecture series: The Melbourne Congress and the 1st Melbourne Advanced Clinical Course. Remembered today for his delineation of the highest spans of the Scientology Bridge, Mr. Hubbard’s Australian lectures will forever hold a cherished place in the religion.
Under the guidance of Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, 23 Ideal Churches have been dedicated and opened since 2003, including those in world cultural capitals: The National Church of South Africa in Johannesburg; the National Church of Scientology of Spain in Madrid; the Church of Scientology of New York, just off Times Square; the Church of Scientology of London, located in the epicenter of the city; the Church of Scientology of Italy in Rome; the Church of Scientology of Washington, D.C., just blocks from the White House on “Church Row”; the National Church of Scientology Mexico, in Mexico City; and the Church of Scientology of Berlin, near the Brandenburg Gate. Another 60 Ideal Churches are in design, planning or construction phases.
The first Church of Scientology (http://www.scientology.org) was formed in the United States in 1954 and has today expanded to more than 9,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 165 countries. The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard.