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Piaree Saadh Sangat ji,
Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh
Regrettably recently there have been many rumours regarding the Park Avenue Gurdwara site. As you may or may not be aware the CrossRail (a major rail link between East and West London) project will mean that Southall railway station will be significantly expanded to handle the increase in capacity. The council approached the Gurdwara over three years ago (when previous committee was in office); proposing that the Park Avenue site be enhanced for the benefit of the whole community.
The various proposals have been looked at over the time, however no firm agreement has been made. We should note that the building of the new station will lead to a significant congestion, both in terms of public usage, and also in terms of increased road traffic (this is one of the main concerns that the Sangat already have).
Discussions are still continuing and the council have kindly confirmed the up-to-date situation in a letter that is available for your perusal – in the interests of transparency. You can view the letter by clicking here.
Please click the image below to view the report.
Note: The General Body Meeting today was called off due to it being inquorate. Mr Himmat Singh Sohi apologised to members present and thanked them for giving up their time and attending]]>
Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall invites you to view a permanent installation by Punjab Digital Library, celebrating the sovereign Sikh spirit under the leadership of Banda Singh Bahadur; the installations focus is on the digitised heritage of Punjab that highlights key parts of a glorious era.
Spanning 1708-1716, it covers major incidents, places, forts and material starting from Banda’s meeting with Guru Gobind Singh Sahib. Quoting contemporary sources, it attempts to bring to life the complete sequence of events as they occurred till Banda’s martyrdom.
The exhibition is being held at Havelock Road Gurdwara and is to run from 17th February 2013 for a period of approximately six months.
[See image gallery at www.sgsss.org]]]>
The Executive Committee sincerely regrets that this incident has occurred as it shows the whole Sikh community in a bad light. Unfortunately a lot of misinformation has been put out regarding the incident. The executive committee wishes to clarify some of the misconceptions:
The painting and frame was a large structure, which had been displayed in front of the lift at Havelock Road; the lift design is very open and of a glass construction which makes the inside of it very visible. Because of recurrent unpleasant incidents that have been taking place inside it, and having taken advice, it was decided, on Health & Safety grounds, to move the painting into the library (it should be noted that paintings/pictures in the Sikh faith are not revered and the usual convention is that paintings and pictures should be displayed in library areas – in the Golden Temple complex in India paintings and pictures are displayed in a separate building -not in the Gurdwaras). The painting was removed and relocated on a prominent wall in the library.
At the same time, 16 display frames (A1 size) were put up in the landing of the foyer area for the forthcoming display of the exhibition of the ‘First Khalsa Raj’ (this exhibition is costing approximately £5000 and some of the prints will be seen for the first time depicting the Raj of Banda Singh Bahadur) this will be opened on Sunday 17 February.
Some persons in the congregation made objections that the painting had been removed; those objections were answered; however, there was still a strong feeling amongst some of them as it depicted a significant Sikh historical incident.
These issues were discussed and the concerns addressed in the early hours of Friday morning; and an undertaking was given that serious consideration to relocate the painting back in the foyer area will be done by the executive committee (the meeting was arranged for Sunday 3rd February).
On Friday evening some members of the Sangat, and many persons from outside the area, used intimidating gestures and bad language and stated that they were going to remove the painting from the library and put it back in its original setting. Despite repeated requests, and also explaining that the situation was going to be considered by the executive committee on Sunday they still persisted in their threats and indeed were bullying and trying to intimidate a committee member saying that they were going to break down the library door and remove it by force.
The Executive Committee member (Mr Satnam Singh Virdee, Stage Sec) stood his ground despite this intimidation. Because of the likelihood of disorder and physical assault and with great regret the police were informed and they attended.
Late on Friday evening mediation discussions were held and various options considered (including bringing out the painting and resting it on a table in the foyer area). Dr Garcha (general secretary); came out to address those persons who were sitting down; he apologised for any omissions in communication that were made and in the way the painting had been relocated, and said that serious consideration will be given by the executive committee to its relocation back in the foyer area at their meeting on Sunday.
However , there was a group of persons in the gathering (many of them had been involved in the disorder outside Park Ave Gurdwara on 11thNovember when Prof Dhunda was doing Katha), whose spokesman said no matter what the executive committee decided, or what the police were saying or doing; they would make sure that the painting would be put back in its original place.
After further consideration and advice it was decided to bring forward the committee meeting to Saturday (2nd February) and all were informed. This meeting was duly held, and all the options carefully considered and the Executive Committee decided that the painting will be relocated in the foyer area; and two prominent sites were proposed, and the proposal made to the persons gathered in the foyer area which addressed both their wishes and Health & Safety issues. This was stated to those gathered by the President Mr Himmat Singh Sohi.
Most of those present agreed with the one of the options –to have it located permanently in front of the Langar (community Kitchen area). However, there was an element in the group who persisted in saying that the painting will go back in its original place or demanded that there be a temporary placement in the foyer area and then further discussions/meetings be held. This was not considered appropriate by most in the gathering and they agreed that the painting should be relocated in front of the Langar area.
This was duly undertaken by sewadars from amongst the persons gathered in the foyer area and those sewadars who had relocated it in the library. This process was carried out with due humility and peacefully.
The Management sincerely regrets the inconvenience to the members of the Sangat who were inconvenienced in their regular Gurdwara attendance; we kindly request those minority of persons whose inappropriate language and behaviour led to the police being informed and attending to reflect on their actions and also those who post one sided views on the media prematurely as this brings the image of Sikhs into disrepute. The management will continue to follow closely Akal Takht Maryada in the best interests of the Sabha.
The executive committee thanks sincerely all those who contributed to the resolution of the issue; there are lessons to be learned by all. We pray Waheguruji grants us the wisdom to undertake Sewa for ‘sarbat da bhalla’ with renewed fervour and humility and grants us the true spirit of GurSikhi.
Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh]]>