A Brief history of Golden Triangle Sikh Association

Gurdwara Sahib, Kitchener-Waterloo
The history of the establishment of the gurudwara's in Ontario started at Pape Avenue in Toronto, where the first Gurdwara was planned and purchased in 1969, on the day of Guru Nanak Dev Ji's birthday in April 1969. Just after that, a few of the members who were living in the Kitchener-Waterloo area decided to celebrate gurpurbs, in this area to find out if there might be enough interest in the community, and see if they would be willing to co-operate for this project.
    The members used to go to Toronto every Sunday to attend prayers and to meet newcomers, taking with them a few University of Waterloo students. After a few meetings, after a few meetings the members of the community assured that they would like the responsibility of sharing the work during the celebration.
    In the beginning they started sharing different Sunday's to get together in each other's homes to keep the Guru Ji's message closer to them and their children's. It did not take too long to realize that interest was rowing, so the congregation started looking for a place where they could meet monthly. They got in touch with Waterloo County Board of Education and soon after they started using King Edward Public School on Agnes Street at King Street intersection in Kitchener, for their weekly congregation.

    All the families who were in this area were very co-operative and helped in doing sewa, in setting up and cleaning at the end of the day. Slowly attendance increased as new immigrants and refugee's started attending to meet new people so that they would not feel so alone. Being a small community of new comers, offering help and asking for help was not a problem. Sometimes it was difficult to ask members of the community to take over responsibility in the managing of the congregation, but everyone co-operated when help was needed. Even during the absence of founding fathers of the Kitchener-Waterloo area, the activities kept going on by the devoted and committed members of the community.

    There were many families in Kitchener-Waterloo, too many of them to mention by name, who were always helpful and participated the community activities. Some of them are no longer around , but their co-operation and sincere help will never be forgotten.  May Waheguru bless their souls.

    After a year or so, the congregation moved to Sunnyside Public School for Sunday Diwaan. In 1977, there became a great desire to find a location where the community could have a permanent place of their own, where they need not to carry all the necessary equipment and other paraphernalia every designated Sunday.

    The search  for suitable sites and the inquiring of different real estate people began.  One owner of a farm on the Petersburg road was referred and the vendor was pursued through real estate agents.  After a long negotiation they were all able to work together with the landlord and applied for severance of some portion of the farmers property.  Many meetings took place in the Wilmot Township office in New Hamburg, about three times with the landlord, and a lawyer also attended once to be involved in the discussion.  The severance of the farm was a slow and lengthy process.  Thank God it was successful and the deal came to a close.   Though the members of the congregation had very little money in their coffers, some were determined to go ahead.  The offer was signed and everything went through smoothly.

    The families who co-operated all along compelled that the planning of the type of building should begin, keeping in mind the population at the present and possible growth in the future. There were many that helped and guided the members in finding a reliable and experienced contractor to start on the foundation for the building. The help of an Architect at the University of Waterloo was also acquired, through a professor member of our community. Most of the planning meetings were carried out in the university's facilities.
    For the building permit, one must have the soil tested to decide what kind of foundation would be needed to meet the requirements of the city and the congregation. After waiting for a few years in 1980, the community members spent whatever money they had on pouring concrete in foundations and making the entrance to the property.
    Due to small size of the community of many new people, there was another period of a few years of waiting before any further plans could be made. The members were determined to start building, so they made appeals for funds whenever they got the chance. The members travelled to every city, including Windsor, Chatham, London, Brantford and of course Toronto for their fund-raising and got great responses. This was the first Gurdawara which was built in Ontario right from scratch as a gurdwara and as per the plans of the congregation members.
Although the community couldn't yet pay for the entire building, the enthusiasm of all the people compelled them to start the buiding anyway. With God's blessing, people started offering their names and committments so that the congregation could satisfy the mortgage demands. they were so genorous and signed the committment and promised to be responsible until gurudawara's mortgage is paid in full. Those people who stood by every committment - with devoted Seva Bhaav will be honoured forever.
Building began again in 1983 and the first Devan was celebrated in it on the evening of November 17th when the hall was prepared for the opening ceremony of Arambh of Akhand-Path on Nov 18th. On Sunday Nov 20th, the Bhog of Akhand-Path was celebrated with great enthusiasm and excitement. After Kirtan (devotional singing) there were speeches and introduction of honoured guests. After that, Guru Ka Langar was served and everyone ate together on this very memorable day. the whole project was such a great achievement for such a small community of mostly newcomers.
    The living memory of the past is what you all are witnessing today as the extension of the old building has already taken place. It is a sincere hope for the younger generations coming behind to maintain, keep and grow on it in future.