Stephen Harper mentions “the tremendous contributions of the Sikh community in Canada” visiting the oldest Sikh temple in North America

Prime Minister Stephen Harper visits the Gur Sikh temple Sunday with MP Ed Fast, left, and B.C Premier Christy Clark. Photograph by: Reuters, Postmedia News

Gur Sikh Gurdwara temple in B.C. celebrates centennial
By Andy Ivens, Postmedia News August 29, 2011

Tens of thousands of people turned out Sunday for a parade and a ceremony attended by political heavyweights to mark the centennial of the Gur Sikh Gurdwara, the oldest Sikh temple in North America. The federal government declared the Abbotsford, B.C., Sikh temple a national historic site in 2002.

Satwinder Bains, director of the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley, said she was proud of her community’s remarkable achievements.

“It has a huge significance to us,” said Bains

The weekend celebration began Friday morning.

“The prayers started on Friday, and there was 48 hours of continuous reading of the scriptures,” said Bains.


Harper reflected on “the tremendous contributions of the Sikh community in Canada,” which he called “a community that continues to play an important role in building our strong, dynamic society while taking great pride in their faith and traditions,” in a news release.

“The temple is more than just a building, it’s a sacred place with a long history of holiness, community and family,” Clark said. “The temple and the people who continue to care for it are a significant part of the cultural mosaic that makes our province great,” she added in a statement.

Bains said the temple is indispensable in Sikh culture.

“It is the cornerstone of our social life,” she said.

“It has more significance than just being a religious place. It’s where we eat, pray … It’s a place where we go for every momentous event in our lives – birth, deaths, marriage.

“We have a place that’s not just for our own community … but for the larger community as well,” she said.

Ashok Das, India’s consulgeneral in Canada, brought greetings from his government and called the event “a historic occasion.”

“The Sikh community is acting as a bridge between our two countries. We recall the sacrifices made by the pioneers. This is a very happy occasion for us,” said Das.
© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix

9 Responses to “Stephen Harper mentions “the tremendous contributions of the Sikh community in Canada” visiting the oldest Sikh temple in North America”

  1. Tony Hilton says:

    So, what were all those contributions? I.e., that couldn’t have been made just as well back in the Sikh homeland or by non-Sikhs here in Canada in their absence?

  2. Hans Schneider says:

    Contributions ?

  3. Euonymus says:

    Perhaps Mr Harper could extrapolate.

  4. So they built a temple for themselves. That’s a contribution to Canada? How so? I think we could have done without a Sikh temple. I know as a heritage Canadian, I have no use for one.

    Or is he praising the fact that Sikhs are a tremendous help in replacing the heritage Canadian population with cooler, darker people with less-boring cultures than WASPs?

  5. qatzelok says:

    Perhaps what Harper meant is that the Sikhs have contributed to the Conservative Party of Canada?

    • Canadian Born says:

      As FourFooted Messiah says I have no use for a Sikh temple. I am third generation Canadian and a Sikh temple is no good to me!! It is too bad Canadian born now won’t get up and fight for their country like our ancestors did who fought and died for this country to make it a better place for their future generations!!!

      • qatzelok says:

        I’m not so sure that all those wars made the world or Canada “better.” Perhaps what’s needed is for future generations to consume less to leave the planet in better shape for their progeny.

        • FourFooted_Messiah says:

          A high-tech society demands a low, steady-state population.

          The world needs to abandon its love for the myth of “constant growth is necessary”.

  6. FourFooted_Messiah says:

    One of these days, that “Golden Sikhs” highway sign is gonna disappear just for being sickening.

Leave a Reply