Surrey Sikhs Trying To Save Historic Canadian Paldi Gurdwara

Historic Gurdwara in Paldi, BC. Courtesy: medleyview on flickr

SURREY, BC, Canada—A meeting of Sikh Societies of Lower Mainland was held Tuesday at Surrey’s Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara after finding out that the historic Paldi Sikh Temple is being sold by the bank via court order sale.

At a meeting chaired by Bikramjit Singh Sandhar, President of the Gurdwara, it was decided to send Prem Singh Vinning and Avtar Singh Gill to the Vancouver Island town to meet concerned authorities and visit the site on next morning to find out details and more information about this.

Both members along with Gurmeet Singh went to Island early Wednesday morning and visited Paldi  Sikh Gurdwara and met with the key people including Mayo’s grandson and current president of Paldi Sikh Temple – Davinder S. Mayo, CVRD board, City, real estate professionals, Bank, Potential buyers and other concerned people and local Community members.

Another meeting was held  7pm Friday March 16 at Senior centre of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara where a full report was presented to all the Societies and community members. Further steps will be taken to save the historic site.

History of Paldi

The Temple is located in the town of Paldi (near Duncan) on Vancouver Island. This remote town in British Columbia’s lumber country is named after its founder Mayo Singh from Paldi Village in the District Of Hoshiapur in Punjab. Mayo Singh arrived in North America (San Francisco) in 1906 and soon afterwards moved to Vancouver Island to open the Mayo Lumber Co. with his partners.

At its height the logging town was home to over 1500 people, it had its own school and supplies store. Although families of the original residents have long since moved away, remants of the town’s Punjabi links are still apparent in its street names such as Bishan Street. The Gurdwara is still functioning, and has its own resident Giani (Priest) who admits that although it is very quiet during the week, the occasional ‘tourist’ who’s had family links in the town sometimes pay the Gurdwara a visit. Also many Sikh families scattered in the Cowichan Valley still hold Akhand Paths and other religious functions at the Paldi Gurdwara.

Courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/medleyview/2180064238/

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