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The Sikh Center was established in 1972. Then there were about a dozen Sikh families who had just made Houston their home. These early pioneers felt a void for their religious and spiritual needs. They decided to fill that void by holding a monthly meeting in a volunteer family’s home for a session of Gurbani Keertan. Soon they realized that holding monthly Diwans was not a practical solution for their needs, finally they decided that they needed to have a community place of worship. That led to the decision of having a Gurudwara, so the designated volunteers started scouting for a piece of land. The lot on 8819 Prairie Drive was selected and the fledgling community decided to build the place of worship in August 1973. These professionals could only muster evenings on weekdays, and the weekends for construction. The modest wooden Gurudwara building was inaugurated in November 1973 on Parkash Purab of Guru Nanak, founder of Sikhism.

We are now celebrating golden jubilee of this modest vision of the early pioneers, which has grown over the period and with the recent modifications cum upgrades completed in 2019, makes it a beautiful worship place that provides spiritual and body nourishment to the worshippers. The managing committee of The Sikh Center drew up a calendar of events to commemorate this major milestone as under:

October 14, 2023, Saturday: Interfaith Seminar 

November 5, 2023, Sunday: Amrit Sanchar

November 19, 2023, Sunday: Blood Drive 

November 24, 2023, Friday to November 26, 2023, Sunday: Morning Akhand Paath Arambh, evening Kirtan Programs: Special invitee was Dr. Gurnam Singh Jatha & Local Jatha performed. Nishan Sahib Sewa was performed on Sunday followed by the children’s kirtan performance.

November 27, 2023, Monday: Guru Nanak Dev Ji Gurpurab (Actual Day), evening Kirtan & Katha by The Sikh Center Jatha.

November 28, 2023, Tuesday evening: Kirtan: Local Gurdwara’s Kirtan Jathas

November 29, 2023, Wednesday to December 02, 2023, Saturday: Daily evening Kirtan by Sant Anoop Singh Unawale & Sikh Center Jatha. Arambh Akhand Paath on December 01 morning.

The culmination of the celebrations was on December 03, 2023, Sunday which started with the Paath Bhog. This was followed by the Kirtan of Sikh Center Jatha. After the Center Jatha the special invitee Jatha of Sant Anoop Singh Unawale enthralled the devotees with their melodious Kirtan.

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It was followed by a speech by Dr. Sukhmander Singh, 84, Co Assoc. Dean School of Engineering from Santa Clara University and an original pioneer of The Sikh Center. He shared with sangat about the historic challenges the fledgling community endured in the early days of Houston’s growth.

After his speech Bobby Singh introduced Judge Manpreet “Monica” Kaur, who further introduced Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. Next Bobby Singh introduced Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis. 

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Commissioner Ellis and Mayor Turner expressed their desire to wear a turban. They also presented framed Proclamations. Amrik Singh Nijjar, President Sikh Center thanked Mayor & Commissioner. Both the dignitaries were presented with a beautiful pictorial book titled Golden Temple by Patwant Singh.

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This was followed by Katha by Bhai Kuldeep Singh, speech by Dr. Kanwaljeet Singh and the final conclusion of the program. All present, founder family members were given gifts of The Sikh Center History Book & Souvenir Book plus 50th Anniversary celebration T-shirts.

    

Acknowledgement:

Pictures- Jaswant Singh Jassi  

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