Officer Gurdwara radiates festive spirit for Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary

By Our Reporter
Multicultural Affairs Minister Ingrid Stitt, MP, celebrates Guru Nanak Dev's birth anniversary at Officer Gurdwara // Pic supplied

Tn a vibrant display of unity and cultural celebration, the Sikh and Indian community in the Southeast region commenced a three-day extravaganza to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith. The festivities, which began on Saturday, have drawn together a diverse array of community members from various faiths, ethnic backgrounds, and organisations.

The inaugural day witnessed a distinguished guest, Honourable Multicultural Affairs Minister Ingrid Stitt, MP, making a special visit to the Officer Gurdwara Siri Guru Nanak Darbar in Officer. Several other parliamentarians also graced the occasion to extend their heartfelt congratulations to the Sikh and Indian community.

Photo supplied

Extending a warm welcome to the entire community, Harpreet Singh Kandra expressed gratitude for their presence, saying, “We, the Sikh community, feel privileged and thankful to all of you for finding time to join us as we celebrate the Prakash Purab of the founder of Sikh faith Guru Nanak Dev Ji, who was born in 1469. On behalf of our congregation, I welcome you all from the core of our hearts.”

The event aimed to enlighten approximately 70 attendees about the five principles advocated by Guru Nanak during his travels worldwide. These principles include Vaand Chhako (sharing and caring), Kirat karo (honest living), Sarbat daa bhalaa (everyone’s well-being), Naam japo (meditate on the Name of ONE God), and speaking the truth without fear.

Photo supplied

Minister Ingrid Stitt commended the Sikh and Indian community for their significant contributions to Victoria, aligning with the teachings of Guru Nanak. She specifically highlighted the commendable food relief efforts by the Sikh community during various crises, including the Covid-19 pandemic.

Stitt also announced that several buildings would be illuminated on Guru Nanak’s birthday to acknowledge the contributions of the over 91,000 Victorian Sikhs.

Kandra also shared insights into the Gurdwara’s achievements since its establishment in January 2019. Despite being a relatively young Gurdwara, the selfless volunteers have tirelessly worked towards promoting social cohesion, compassion, sustainable development, value creation, and productivity.

Photo supplied

The Gurdwara has actively contributed to community well-being, producing recipe books during the pandemic and organising sessions for world peace. Kandra revealed the Gurdwara’s ambitious goal to become the first carbon-neutral Gurdwara in Australia and the world, showcasing their commitment to environmental sustainability.

Notable attendees included Lee Tarlamis, Member for South-eastern Metropolitan; Michael Galea, Member for South-eastern Metropolitan; Emma Vulin, Member for Pakenham; Vivienne Nguyen, Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC); Cr Stephanie Davies and Cr Collin Ross from the Cardinia Shire Council, and Sylvia Coombe, VMC Commissioner.

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