By Dr KANAYALAL RAINA
Special to Focus
More than 275 seniors participated in the fourth seniors gala function, held annually by Mississauga’s Shri Ram Mandir in collaboration with Canada Hindu Heritage Centre.
The temple has always celebrated senior’s day in a big way, as a way of showing respect to our elders.
The free event, open to seniors of age 60 years and over, proved to be extremely popular amongst seniors in the GTA, with all available seats initially allocated being booked out within days.
Pandit Roopnauth Sharma, the spiritual leader of Shri Ram Mandir, welcomed all the seniors and acknowledged their ongoing contributions to family, workplaces and communities.
The seniors were served with a delicious four-course 14-dish variety dinner. The dinner was entirely free of cost, as in the past. This exclusive event was full of live performances and entertainment staged by in-house dancers, musicians and singers, who wowed the audience with their amazing songs and the solo dance performances.
The event was very well managed. Each table had seating arrangement for 10 seniors. Each table was looked after by three volunteers dressed in white shirt and black trouser, with the ladies serving the seniors being dressed in purple and green. They took the orders, and served with respect and honour each and every senior during the entire four-course meal, lasting three hours.
More to it
But there was more to it than that, I thought, which made the event truly remarkable. It got me thinking about how it is that Shri Ram Mandir and Canada Hindu Heritage events are so successful in their offering devotees services — and in fact in many instances not only achieving their objective but surpassing it as well.
I believe the main reasons for the overwhelming success are the great generosity of the residents and, especially, the strong sense of community.
I think Pt Sharma said it best in his opening remarks when he observed, “We live in a remarkable community and we have a large senior population — and we must look after them well.”
Our seniors were, indeed, well looked after. More, they had a great time, what with all the singing and live performances and the wholehearted audience participation by all concerned.
In particular, Pt Sharma professed himself in awe of the number of volunteers who came forward to be part of this event.
So there it was: genuine love and respect for our seniors; the strong sense of community; and the wholehearted volunteer participation. All the enternal values that have stood the test of time.
— Dr Kanayalal Raina is a Brampton-based engineer by training, project consultant by profession and freelance writer by passion.
By Dr KANAYALAL RAINA