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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Jack Layton on 100th Anniversary of the Abbotsford Khalsa Diwan Society

I can say without unequivocally that, out of all the current federal leaders, the NDP's Jack Layton has stood with the Sikhs at every opportunity. Regardless of whether there is a camera rolling or if there is political points to be gained, Jack has been there for Sikhs. From speaking out against human rights abuses in Punjab to protecting the Sikh identity, he has consistently spoken out on Sikh issues and made sure he's been there in person whenever possible. Last week it was the kirpan issue, this week he acknowledges the important legacy of Abbotsford's 100 year old Abbotsford Khalsa Diwan Society.
Last April 2010 , Jack was happy that David Murray gained the nomination for the NDP in the riding of Abbotsford.  David has been a long-time coach in the community.  Coaching many of the Sikh youth on numerous sports teams in the Fraser Valley.  He was able to speak in front of 3,500 Sikhs at the 406th anniversary of Sri Guru Granth Sahib at the temple.  He delivered greetings from party leader Jack Layton who was not touring in the summer so he could recover from his cancer treatments.
Many local politician's in the Fraser Valley have endorsed David as the Federal NDP candidate.  Mike Farnworth, Harry Bains, Jagrup Brar, Raj Chouhan, Don Davies to name a few.
Here is Jack's message to the Sikh community.

Vahiguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Vahiguru Ji Ki Fateh!

It is with great pleasure that I extend my congratulations and best wishes to the Sikhs of Abbotsford, in marking 100 years in the community and for establishing the first Gurduara, or Sikh place of worship, in Canada.

As Abbotsford Mayor George Peary officially proclaimed 2011 as Year of the Gurduara, I am confident Sikhs across Canada will also be celebrating.

I have had the honour of visiting numerous Gurduaras throughout the country and I have always been humbled by the generosity of the community and the values of the faith. The commitment to sharing, service and hard work are part of the basic Sikh tenets, and values all Canadians respect and hold dear.

Those who built the Abbotsford Diwan Society were true pioneers and role models for generations to come. Battling harsh conditions – from racism and discrimination to acclimatizing to the Canadian environment – Sikhs are now one of the largest and most successful communities in the country.

During this Year of the Gurduara, I encourage all Canadians to visit their local Sikh place of worship, learn more about the community and join Sikhs in celebrating being a part of the Canadian multicultural fabric for over a century.

May the community continue to spread the spirit of Chardi Kala.

Vahiguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Vahiguru Ji Ki Fateh!

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