THUNDER BAY – Members of the Thunder Bay Sikh Society celebrated the grand opening of their gurdwara on Sunday
The gurdwara, also called a Sikh Temple is a place where Sikhs perform daily prayers and gather for larger functions.
The Sikh Society previously operated a gurdwara out of a rented building and Tarlok Singh Sahota, president of the Thunder Bay Sikh Society, said that its been a lot of work to get to the opening of the new gurdwara.
“On March 31, we bought this building. It was a church, we renovated it and brought it to a level where we can make it a gurdwara and then we moved here on 9th of September 2023. But our official is today,” he said.
In attendance of the grand opening were some representatives of the area including Mayor Ken Boshcoff and Federal MPs Patty Hajdu and Marcus Powlowski all of whom were given a Robe of Honour.
“The robe of Honour is a respect. Those who are respected, if we respect them, we will give them, you know, from the behalf of the Guru, a Robe of Honour and in Punjabi it’s called siropa... That is respect and also protection of the Lord from feet to head, which means complete respect and complete protection. That's what the Robe of Honour on the indicates,” said Sahota.
All members of the community are invited to the Gurdwara said Sahota.
“It's not only for Sikh minority Sikh gurdwara are open to all communities, all genders, all races, all colours, white, black, yellow, brown, whatever colour. Everybody is invited except troublemakers, troublemakers, we don't allow to enter here,” he said.
“Everybody else, any age, younger children, old people, black, white, anything, you know, everybody is allowed to enter and then everybody will be offered free food. Then everybody will sit together. That means they're no discrimination. All will be treated equal whether somebody is rich or somebody is poor. To prove they will all sit on the floor except people who have problem like knees or other. They cannot sit. Then we provide some type of benches or some chair and all that. Otherwise sitting down means equality for everybody.”