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History of the Indo-Canadian communitys arrival in Canada goes back to 1880s
Richmond Gurdwara Celebrates 25th Anniversay

Surrey, Vancouver, July 03, 2010
Balwant Sanghera
President, Punjabi Language Education Association

Richmond Gurdwara Celebrates 25th Anniversay

India Cultural Centre of Canada (Nanak Niwas Gurdwara) on Number 5 in Richmond will be celebrating its 25th anniversary on Sunday, July 4. This was the first religious place to be built along now famous Highway to Heaven. Since then, close to twenty religious institutions representing various denominations call No.5 Road their home.

History of the Indo-Canadian communitys arrival in Canada goes back to 1880s. By 1906 there were close to 5,000 Indo-Canadians living in and around Vancouver. Their struggles and inspiration resulted in the formation of Khalsa Diwan
Society. 1866 West Second Avenue in Vancouver became the home of our first Gurdwara in Canada. Our communitys slow but steady growth needed bigger premises. Consequently, the new Gurdwara was built at 8000 Ross Street in
Vancouver in 1969. 1970s and 1980s brought a large number of Indo-Canadian immigrants to Canada. Thus, a number of pioneers felt the need for a new Gurdwara and chose Richmond for the same. They bought 10.5 acres of land on No.5
Road in 1983. The land included a farmhouse which was renovated as Gurdwara. In order to meet the needs of a growing congregation the old Gurdwara was replaced by the present one in September, 1993.

Thanks to the generosity of prominent pioneer, businessman and philanthropist Mr. Asa Singh Johal and his family, Gurdwara Nanak Niwas has become a great credit not only to Richmond but also to the entire Sikh community.

The building of the Gurdwara is a double storey building, Langar hall, kitchen, library, office, residences of the priest and washrooms are on the ground floor, whereas assembly (Diwan) hall, place for Sukh Aasan, separate place for Akhand Path, rooms for handicapped men & women on both sides of the Diwan hall, which are also used for children, and separate shoe racks (Jorha Ghar) for men women are all on the second floor. Diwan hall has the capacity to accommodate 1000 persons.

The program of the Diwan hall can easily be watched with the help of closed circuit television in the Langar hall.
The Gurdwara is a top attraction for public and first choice for young men and women to get married there because of its beautiful location, landscaping, park decorated with colourful seasonal flowers, sprinklers, huge parking lot, overall maintenance, skillful cleaning arrangements and an efficient staff. On the side of the parking lot is a special arrangement of
swings etc., for the young kids. Behind the building there is a stretch of green tender grass extended up to highway and round the whole property fir trees are standing just like guards. In 1999, at the occasion of tri-centenary celebration
of the birth of Khalsa, a memorial Yadgar-E-Khalsa installed on behalf of 37 Gurdwara managing committees of B.C. and USA is also gracefully present in the park of the Gurdwara, which is a great center of attraction for devotees and

The celebration on Sunday July 4 begins with Bhog ceremony at 10:00am. This will be followed by greetings and speeches by dignitaries, Sikh scholars and special guests. Langar will follow at 1:00pm. The gurdwara management committee has issued an open invitation to the entire community to join it in celebrating this special occasion. It would like to issue a special
invitation to all of the couples who got married at this Gurdwara to attend. Further information can be obtained by phoning the Gurdwara at 604-274-7479 or president Balbir Jawanda at 604-649-5366.

Balwant Sanghera
(Balwant Sanghera is a retired School Psychologist and
Community Activist. He is one of Top 25 Canadians Immigrants for 2010)



Balwant Sanghera
President, Punjabi Language Education Association . He is a retired School Psychologist and Community Activist in British Columbia ,Canada.