Auckland, April 1, 2021
The official opening of the impressive, 5.6 acre Sports Complex within the Sri Kalgidhar Sahib Gurdwara in the South Auckland suburb of Takanini on Sunday, March 21, 2021 marked another resplendent chapter in the history of Sikhs in New Zealand.
The multi-million dollar facility, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the presence of her Cabinet colleagues, Members of Parliament, community leaders and ordinary New Zealanders, made a bold Statement: That it was not only the fulfilment of an ambition that spanned some 15 years but also established a unique landmark in the Southern Hemisphere, rivalling the best in the world.
About 25,000 men, women and children are reported to have attended the Opening Day festivities throughout the day.
Multiple Games Complex
The Supreme Sikh Society, which owns and manages Sir Kalgidhar Sahib Gurdwara, had completed the Sports Complex Project about a year ago but held back the inauguration because of Covid-19 and its resultant lockdown.
The Society’s Spokesperson Daljit Singh said that the Sports Complex has a large Soccer field which has been approved as of international standard by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), which means that major events can be held here.
“Our Sports Complex can host many other games, including Hockey. Our facilities include Basketball, Netball and Volleyball Courts, four Running Tracks, Two Cricket Pitches, Kabaddi grounds and much more. The entire field has floodlights and an in-built sound system. As well as parking space for 200 cars (in addition to 250 car park facility on the other side), the Complex has ten-metre high mesh fence and two water bores with treatment plants,” he said.
The current seating capacity is limited but the Society is shortly commencing work to build a grandstand that can seat up to 2000 people.
Hard-work pays well
The sprawling Sports Complex is the result of the sweat and toil of a small group of people with large hearts, reaching out to a large number of people with equally large hearts; and the union of minds and deeds giving birth to an impressive and function-built facility.
We were there, as always, lending a hand of support to the people of the Sikh community, for, together, we have strived to foster its goal of communal harmony and peaceful co-existence through goodwill and understanding.
In her inaugural speech on March 13, 2005, Ms Clark said, “Sikhs have always been known for their pursuit of peace and harmony and the Gurdwara proves that belief. This Gurdwara will become a source of pride and convenience to thousands of members of the community.”
Partners in Progress
Those sentiments were reflected by her successor John Key, during his visit to Sri Kalgidhar Sahib on March 8, 2015 to mark the Tenth Anniversary.
‘Sikhs have been partners in the progress of New Zealand for more than 100 years. The members of the Sikh community, with their huge support and involvement in various activities, are a source of inspiration to others wherever lived,” he said.
And on March 21, 2021, Prime Minister Jacinda Arden endorsed those sentiments.
“New Zealanders have always been impressed by the involvement of Sikhs in the local communities round the world. Their successful participation in the farming sector initially in the Waikato area is well known,” she said.
Read related story in this Section. Pictures Supplied by Supreme Sikh Society.
The above article has been sponsored by