He appears an unlikely source for this first legacy. Like other early members of the Order, Abhayaratna was part of an ‘alternative scene’. He gained a heavy vehicles license so that he could drive trucks to Peace Festivals as part of his commitment to non-violence.
He lived on a low income in a ‘squat’ in Kings Cross, London. He gained tenant’s rights on the flat, resisting all attempts by the Council to remove him. Eventually he was bought out, which gave him enough money to buy a small house in Birmingham. There he worked as a gardener and gave his time to helping people in many practical ways.
Abhayaratna was an unassuming man, an ordinary bloke, and he would be genuinely shocked to find a Fund named after him. He was not someone who cared about money, was never rich, and yet left what he had to benefit the Order he loved.
By the autumn of 2005, Abhayaratna had been ill for some time. He needed a liver transplant. Mahamati went with him and his sister to the hospital for a consultation and briefing. Shortly after this, Abhayaratna phoned Mahamati to say that he was making a new will and wanted to leave money to the Order. Abhayaratna died on December 25, 2005. His estate, amounting to £50,000, went to found the Trust which now bears his name.
The Abhayaratna Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (1126494).Registered Address: The Abhayaratna Trust, c/o Birmingham Buddhist Centre, 11 Park Road, Birmingham, B13 8AB
The Abhayaratna Trustc/o Birmingham Buddhist Centre11 Park RoadBirminghamB13 8AB email@example.com