BRIEF HISTORY OF SYDNEY CENTRE
The first Self-Realization Fellowship meditation group in Sydney was started in Roseville by Mrs. Augusta Claude. Paramahansa Yogananda was aware of the establishment of our Centre and wrote a warm letter (see below) with greetings and encouragement:
"God bless you, and may you reap the harvest of Self realization in this season of your life. Please know that I am with you all in Spirit, regardless of time and distance" — Paramahansa Yogananda
In the same year another group was established in Kirribilli by Constantine and Inessa Tenukest.
Letter from Paramahansa Yogananda
The New Year's Message from Paramahansa Yogananda
Both meditation groups cooperated in arranging the first Monastic Visit to Australia.
The first Monastic Visit took place. 27 devotees attended the first Kriya Initiation, 20 from NSW, 6 from other states and one from England.
The Kirribilli group started studying the Bhagavad Gita. The classes were advertised in the Sydney Morning Herald.
We moved to Philip Street in the city and first service took place on July 11th. In November, we had the 2nd Monastic Visit by Sri Mrinalini Mata, Brother Mokshananda and Brahmacharini Lorraine. 52 devotees were initiated into Kriya Yoga. On November 3rd the Sydney Centre chapel was dedicated by Sri Mrinalini Mata.
We moved to 599 George Street in the city because the Philip Street building was about to be demolished. On November 15th we had our first service there.
On August 17th we started our first Sunday School.
In April 3rd Monastic Visit by Brother Achalananda took place and 53 devotees were initiated into Kriya Yoga. There was also one christening ceremony conducted by Brother Achalananda.
In February Edward Katsch, the foundation member of our Centre died. His house in Surry Hills was renovated and used for the Sydney Centre. On November 17th, overjoyed devotees attended their first service in "Edward House".
In November we had the first Weekend Retreat for men, in Marshal Mount. The beds, cooking utensils and furniture were donated by devotees. We continued to have retreats alternately for men and women until April 1981.
The fourth Monastic Visit was by Brother Ramananda and Brahmachari Miles. The meetings were held in St. Stephen's Hall. 70 members were initiated into Kriya Yoga. One wedding took place and one child was christened and both were held in "Edward House."
Mrs. Augusta Claude, the founder of the first meditation group in Australia, died and Inessa Tenukest conducted a brief memorial service for her.
In April we had the fifth Monastic Visit by Brother Ramananda and Brahmachari Austin. There was a Public lecture and 54 members were initiated into Kriya Yoga. We also had one wedding.
In May we had the Monastic Visit by Brother Ramananda at St Stephens. 1987 We moved to a large hall in YWCA building in Wentworth Avenue in the city because "Edward House" was too small to accommodate increasing numbers of devotees.
The Monastic Visit by Brother Ramananda and Brahmachari Bradley (now Brother Naradananda). They conducted classes and Kriya Yoga initiation in the Hilton Hotel, Sydney.
We moved for few months to Bondi and then to 130 Redfern Street, Redfern where we stayed until 2004.
Another Monastic Visit was made by Brother Achalananda.
The special Monastic Visit by Brother Satyananda and Brahmachari Glen (now Brother Sivananda) took place to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Paramahansa Yogananda.
The Monastic Visit by Brother Santoshananda and Brother Nakulananda took place in May. The classes and Kriya Yoga initiation were conducted in the Centrepoint Convention Centre.
The Monastic Visit by Brother Ramananda and Brahmachari Terry (now Brother Ritananda). Again, the classes and services were held in in the Centrepoint Convention Centre.
We commenced very successful silent retreats at Hartzer Park, Burradoo in spring and autumn.
The Monastic Visit by Brother Satyananda and Brahmachari Anthony took place in April.
We moved to Cooper Street at Surry Hills. The first service at our new chapel was held on March 4.
The Monastic Visit by Brother Devananda and Brahmachari Lynn (our contact at Centre Department for many years).
The first Center Department Visit to Australia by Brother Vijayananda and Brahmachari Rich. Visit was devoted to enhancing divine fellowship between devotees.
Our centre is steadily growing in numbers. 60 devotees attended the special service celebrating Paramahansa Yogananda's birthday in January and 55 devotees participated in the Krishna commemorative service in August.
Our Sunday School and Teen Group are in operation, helping to serve the spiritual needs of our interested youth.
The Monastic Visit by Brother Satyananda and Brahmachari David (now Brother Jitananda) took place in April.
The Monastic Visit by Brother Naradananda and Brother Jitananda took place in November.