Bhartiya Mandir, the oldest temple in New Zealand, celebrated 25-years of its glorious existence in a high-octane event attended by the who’s who of the Indian community, parliamentarians and highly regarded priests of other temples in the city.
The event was attended by Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, Leader of National Party Simon Bridges, Honorary Consul of India Bhav Dhillon, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Ethnic Communities and MP for Mt Roskill Michael Wood and he also represented Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who just started her maternity leave.
National List MP Kanwaljit Bakshi, Dr Parmjeet Parmar, Melissa Lee, Labour List MP Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Honorary Consul of Fiji Harish Lodhia, Puketapapa Local Board Member Shail Kaushal and representatives from different Indian community organisations were also present.
As Bhartiya Mandir has strived to become one of the most visited temples in the country given its two and half decades of existence and serving the extended Indian community in several religious and community events, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi sent his gracious wishes to the temple acknowledging and applauding the efforts of the temple’s previous and current management for making this feat and creating history.
President of Bhartiya Mandir Trust, Hemant Prashar narrated the history of the temple, on how a small idea back in 1986 led to the sowing the seed of the temple which has now become a premium institution for the community.
Honorary Consul of India Bhav Dhillon opened the sealed envelope sent by the Indian Prime Minister’s office and read Prime Minister’s message and wishes for the temple and the community.
Mayor Phil Goff, National Party leader Simon Bridges and Michael Wood representing Jacinda Ardern conveyed their greetings to the community and lauded the hard work, time and efforts invested by the volunteers and temple staffs and trust in shaping the temple and its activities for the community members.
President of the Mandir, Mr Prashar also spoke of different activities conducted by the temple trust for the betterment of the community such as waste management in conjunction with Auckland Council, gardening, holding Hindi and Sanskrit classes, library services, special prayers on festivals, tours for devotees and so on.
Representatives from Auckland Indian Association Inc., Shri Radha Krishna Temple, New Zealand Indian Central Association, Indian Association of New Zealand and other temples attended the event.
The temple also released a souvenir on the occasion of its silver jubilee through Mayor Phil Goff and distributed a copy to each of its guests, devotees and attendees at the event.
Another highlight of the event was acknowledging the volunteers, priests, donors, and other members of the temple for rendering their selfless efforts and contributions for years, and over a decade for a few at Bhartiya Mandir. The volunteers and members were offered with a memento to recognise their contribution to the temple and its growth over the years.
“It is important that we recognise the works, efforts and support of the volunteers and temple members who came made their selfless contributions in running the temple,” President Mr Prashar said.
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