The Sikh community in the North Thompson (Canada) has sold their Gurdwara property and has donated all of the proceeds to local organizations.
Members were at the District of Clearwater’s council meeting yesterday to announce they will be donating all $184,000 from the land sale where the Guru Tegh Sikh temple stands, which will go to nearly two dozen groups.
“I was not the only grown man in the room to get a tear in their eye. It is such a heartfelt, generous gift, with no strings attached,” Clearwater mayor Merlin Blackwell tells Radio NL. “Some of these clubs and organizations have been struggling for years, especially a few of them like the ski hill that didn’t open this year.
“The first Sikh pioneers came to the areas in the 1960s, mostly working in the lumber industry… With the downturn of the lumber industry and aging population, the decision was made to sell the property as there are only a handful of families left,” a news release from the temple’s president Narinder Heer says. “The Sikh community felt it was important to give back to the communities in the North Thompson where generations of families have lived and enjoyed for many years.”
The largest donation will be $30,000 to the Clearwater Secondary School. The Sikh community has also given $15,000 to the Clearwater Ski Club and $14,000 to the District of Clearwater to buy playground equipment at Weyerhauser Pioneer Park.
Ten-thousand-dollar donations have also been made to the Clearwater, Blackwell and Vavenby fire departments, as well as the Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, the Raft River Elementary School and the Raft Mountain Skating Club. Several other groups also were donated between $2,500 and $5,000.
The Sikh community also donated $10,000 each to two Sikh temples in Kamloops.
“The public outpouring online and around town has been overwhelming,” Blackwell says. “One of the comments from a member of the public was ‘thank you for showing us how to give again.’ And I thought that just said it all.”