NEWS FOR NEWCOMERS
NEIGHBOURHOOD PARK HONOURS SIKH HISTORY
On Saturday, June 22, the City of Brampton celebrated the official opening of the new Komagata Maru Park.
Located adjacent to the new Spring-dale Library, the park features a full playground, splash pad, reflection pond and signage commemorating the historical significance of the event that occurred in 1914, when the 376 Indian passengers of the SS Komagata Maru were forced back without being allowed to land.
As a community champion for the naming of the park, regional councillor Gurpreet Singh Dhillon indicated that the park is dedicated to the entire community.
“Komagata Maru Park does not only represent the journey of South Asians to this country, but all immigrants who have sought to build a better life for themselves and their families in Canada,” he said.
Raj Toor, spokesperson for the Komagata Maru Society, flew in from Surrey, BC, to participate in the festivities and spoke on the significance of the event in regards to his advocacy for a similar tribute in Surrey.
“Brampton’s initiative has opened the door for Surrey to name a park or street after the Komagata Maru, which was recently passed by our city council,” said Toor.
Dignitaries in attendance included mayor Patrick Brown, Brampton councillors Harkirat Singh, Pat Fortini, Charmaine Williams; MPPs Sara Singh, Amarjot Sandhu; MPs Kamal Khera, Sonia Sidhu, Ruby Sahota; Brampton Fire assistant deputy Ravjot Singh Chhatwal; school trustee Balbir Sohi; and Oakville councillor Jasvinder Kaur Sandhu.
Descendants of those on the Komagata Maru in attendance included Nimrat Kaur Randhawa (great-great-granddaughter of Baba Gurdit Singh), Rajni Sharma (granddaughter of Bhagat Kanshi Ram Joshi), Raj Toor (grandson of Puran Singh Janetpur), and Charanjit Singh Dhillon (grandson of Teja Singh), and were honoured with a ceremonial tree planting.
55+ Desi Friendship Group connects seniors
The 55+ Desi Friendship Connect Group aims to connect and integrate the 55-plus South Asian and Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres (OSCC) 55+ communities by sharing the unique traditions of the South Asian communities through art, leisure, music, dance and drama.
Events will bring awareness, promote volunteerism among seniors and foster a sense of belonging. They will also encourage social participation and inclusion for South Asian seniors into OSCC55+.
The group currently meets on the first Sunday for games and the third Sunday of each month for Bollywood karaoke at the Oshawa Senior Community Centres, 43 John Street branch.
The group aims to facilitate seniors’ empowerment through engagement, networking and sharing culture.
With increased South Asian senior participation, the Centre aims to provide more programs with a South Asian focus.
The 55+ Desi Connect steering committee, in partnership with OSCC55+, is supported by the New Horizons for Seniors.
The group presents several cultural events through the year. Up-coming ones include:
• Theatre festival in association with RangManch Canada featuring multilingual plays and Mirza Ghalib on September 21. 2 pm-9 pm at Oshawa Little Theatre.
• Dastangoi, showcasing the lost art of 15th century storytelling in Urdu by Jawaid Danish. Dastan E Jamal E Khusrau, narration and qawali on October 26 at 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm.
• Grand multilingual mushira and poetry reading on Saturday, November 23. 12 pm - 3:30 pm. For more info or to join the group, contact Uzma Danish at osccdesi email@example.com.