⟵ Back to Articles

Journey to The Gur Sikh Temple

"Resilience, Unity & Devotion”

Friday
,
4
August
2023

Journey to The Gur Sikh Temple

"Resilience, Unity & Devotion”

Friday
,
4
August
2023
Sikh History
Guru Wisdom
⟵ Back to articles

Journey to The Gur Sikh Temple

"Resilience, Unity & Devotion”

Friday
,
4
August
2023

The article explores the captivating journey to The Gur Sikh Temple (Gurduara) in Abbotsford, BC, a revered National Historic Site.

The article explores the captivating journey to The Gur Sikh Temple (Gurduara) in Abbotsford, BC, a revered National Historic Site.

It recounts the struggles of Sikh settlers who arrived in Fraser Valley in 1905 and embarked on building the gurduara with unwavering commitment, despite facing legal and social barriers. The touching story of how they carried lumber after grueling workdays demonstrates their love and dedication.

The article highlights the temple's profound significance as a symbol of unity, devotion, and sacrifice. It calls on readers to cherish this legacy of love, drawing strength from the past to navigate life's challenges with faith and determination.

Fifty Sidakers and I embarked on an unforgettable journey to The Gur Sikh Temple (Gurduara) in Abbotsford, BC, a hidden gem that has stood the test of a century. This place holds historical significance and embodies the spirit of love, commitment, and strength that resonates with every fiber of my being.

As I stepped into the gurduara, the weight of its history enveloped me. Designated as a National Historic Site in 2002, this gurduara carries the stories of struggling settlers who arrived from Panjab in the Fraser Valley in 1905. They were men who toiled in lumber mills, but their hearts were set on creating a sanctuary that would stand as a testament to their faith.

In 1908, they acquired a piece of land, nestled slightly higher than its surroundings, to establish their beloved gurduara. The determination and resilience of these men knew no bounds. I was moved to tears when Dr. Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra, the historian at Parks Canada, shared the touching story of how they asked their boss for lumber. With permission to take whatever they could carry, after an exhausting eight-hour workday, they carried the lumber back to the gurduara, covering a distance of half a kilometer. My heart swelled with awe and admiration for their unwavering love, dedication, and strength.

However, amidst celebrating their triumph, I couldn't overlook the challenges that my fellow Sikhs had to face. Legal and social barriers stood as harsh obstacles in their path. In 1914, the Komagatu Maru ship, carrying 376 would-be Indian immigrants, was heartbreakingly denied entry into Vancouver harbor. Cheers from the shores of British Columbia added insult to injury as these hopeful individuals were sent on a grueling journey back to India.

Yet, despite the hardships, the Sikh community persisted. After the First World War, the Canadian government gradually lifted restrictions on Sikhs, allowing families to reunite and build a better life together.

As I sat there, enveloped by the sanctity of the gurduara, I couldn't help but reflect on its profound lessons. The spirit of those early settlers, their unyielding commitment to their faith, and their resilience in the face of adversity inspire us all.

In our fast-paced world, it's easy to forget the essence of love and sacrifice that forms the foundation of our communities. The Gur Sikh Temple (Gurduara) is a timeless reminder of the power of unity and devotion. It calls us to cherish our roots, respect our past, and honor the efforts of those who came before us.

As we stand on the shoulders of those who endured and persevered, let us not forget the lessons of their struggles. In our lives, we may face insurmountable challenges, but we must draw strength from the stories of our ancestors. Their courage will empower us to overcome obstacles and navigate life's trials with unwavering faith and determination.

Let us cherish this legacy of love and remember that it lives within us. May we carry forward the spirit of those who built this gurduara, sharing love, compassion, and unity with everyone we encounter.

As I left the gurduara, my heart overflowed with gratitude for the opportunity to witness this living testament to love. The Gur Sikh Temple (Gurduara) honors the past and ignites a fire within us to embrace its profound teachings. It inspires us to lead lives filled with purpose, compassion, and a deep connection to our roots.

Thanks to the remarkable historian, Dr. Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra, from Parks Canada, the history of this gurduara truly came alive during our visit.

Revised:

This Content has been made available for educational purposes only. SikhRI does not make any representation concerning the completeness of the Content. This Content is not intended to substitute research or a deeper understanding of the topic. SikhRI encourages readers to read multiple authors to gain a complete understanding of the topic.

The Sikh Research Institute recognizes its responsibility to correct any factual, minor, or significant errors promptly. Please contact us via email to request a correction if you have identified one.

Suggest a correction →
No items found.
No items found.
No items found.

Written By

Creative Director

Inni Kaur is Creative Director at the Sikh Research Institute (SikhRI). She has served SikhRI in several capacities since 2010, including Chair of the Board, and most recently as CEO. 

View profile ⟶

Share on Social Media

Latest Articles

Tuesday
,
4
June
2024

Why Was Bhindranwale There?

Sant Jarnail Singh Khalsa Bhindranwale is a pivotal figure in the events of 1984. There is much consternation and confusion over his actions and choices in the lead-up to the June 1984 Ghallughara.

Sant Jarnail Singh Khalsa Bhindranwale is a pivotal figure in the events of 1984. There is much consternation and confusion over his actions and choices in the lead-up to the June 1984 Ghallughara.

READ More ⟶
Tuesday
,
9
April
2024

Whispers of the Beloved

Whispers of the Beloved: Reflections in Spring is a poetic odyssey intertwining the beauty of nature's awakening with the seeker's quest for spiritual connection.

Whispers of the Beloved: Reflections in Spring is a poetic odyssey intertwining the beauty of nature's awakening with the seeker's quest for spiritual connection.

READ More ⟶
Tuesday
,
26
March
2024

No More Blue Stars

In recent years, diasporic Sikhs have been moving to consciously avoid using the terms Operation Blue Star or Holocaust and instead use terms like the Battle of Amritsar, genocide, or Ghallughara when speaking about June and November 1984.

In recent years, diasporic Sikhs have been moving to consciously avoid using the terms Operation Blue Star or Holocaust and instead use terms like the Battle of Amritsar, genocide, or Ghallughara when speaking about June and November 1984.

READ More ⟶

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay informed with our weekly updates, important events and more at SikhRI.

Thank you! Your submission has been received.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.