West Remembrance Day

West Area held a Remembrance Day on Sunday 8th March 2020 at the Shakti Centre. On the day all the immediate and close members of the eleven families came together to remember their dearest elders who had departed. The purpose was not just to remember their loved ones but to also celebrate their special lives and how they had touched and enriched all and rejoice in their lasting legacy, each in their own unique way.

The family members began arriving and were ushered to their designated seats. Everyone was emotional at the sight of the photographs of their beloved placed on the podium amid the background of floral décor, candles and Divas.

The afternoon started with Urvashiben welcoming everyone which was followed by the chanting of Navkar Mantra prayer three times followed by a minute’s silence to remember the loved ones. Then Chunibhai addressed the gathering for the need and purpose of holding a Remembrance Day in our community and to be able to have such a moment together as a family.

Next to follow was the lighting of the candles placed in front of the photographs. As the names were read out, two members from each of the families came up and lighted the candles. This was done one family at a time so that it could be carried out peacefully and everyone got a chance to pay their respects.

We had printed copies of booklets which were shared with the families. These booklets were put together with a dedication of stavans, poems, (in Gujarati and English), etc underneath the photograph of the loved ones which were provided by the families. These stavans and poems were then sung by the Singing Mandal interspersed with recitals of poems from some of the families themselves. Everyone came together and joined in with the singing of the stavans which was a very touching.

This extremely emotional experience was then followed by a gentle session of meditation to focus and reflect, remember the memories and to pray for the everlasting peace for the loved ones.

To round the afternoon off, the volunteers had put together a very delicious dinner befitting the occasion and was enjoyed by everyone. The whole afternoon was appreciated by all the families and went away with a cherished commemoration.

Our sincere thanks to the Remembrance Day sub-committee Pritiben Sailesh, Dipakben Shantilal, Jyotiben Jayshukh and Jinitaben Mukesh for organising the event and to Pushpaben Jayantilal Shah, from the North East Area, for her assistance and guidance. This event took nearly a year in preparation and we are glad they were able to deliver this event to our members.

Khub Abhar to our wonderful volunteers who helped with cooking of the food to setting up the hall, through the dinner service and clearing up at the end. A great heartfelt thanks to you all. It was great to see so many people of all ages attend this event the youngest being only a few months old. As always, the members always come forward in everything from putting chairs away, serving and washing up. So great to see this has been passed down through the generations. Have a look at the pictures in the gallery to see whom you recognise.

A huge thank you to the families for their ‘Khushi Bhet’ towards the event which was warmly welcomed.

We as a committee are only sorry we could not do it on a bigger scale due to the capacity of the hall, but on a lighter note we should be able to organise this event BI-YEARLY as the Oshwal Centre holds it BI-Yearly too. However, we can do the alternate years to the OC.

To see more pictures, click here.