Science and Religion Blogger Easy Nash
On Friday, October 20th 2017 my wife, our son and I attended the SOS Children’s Village Charity Gala held at the exclusive Granite Club a bit north of the Toronto French School on Bayview Avenue in midtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. A good number of members of the diplomatic corps, a whose-who of the corporate world, government ministers, leaders and representatives from all three levels of government, Federal, Provincial and Municipal and patrons from many parts of the United States Of America, Canada and the United Kingdom attended this gala event in support of SOS Children’s Villages established and operating in 134 countries around the world:
The guest of honour at this Charity Gala event was the International Ambassador of SOS Children’s Villages Princess Salimah Aga Khan, who graced this sold out event and which was filled with great food, great music, a silent auction and an electrifying and passionate speech by the Princess about the organization she represents. I could not help but reminisce about her fierce, consistent and longstanding determination to help the neediest orphan children in the world. Two events over a 30-year time span(last night’s Toronto Gala in 2017 and a visit she made to McMaster University, my alma mater, in Hamilton, Ontario in 1987) highlight her commitment to do whatever it takes to engage with and better the lives of the neediest children who, through no fault of their own, lose all the anchors of stability in their lives. Last night’s charity gala brought to light Princess Salimah’s very first encounter in 2002 with the neediest children from many different islands in the French Polynesian Archipelago in the mid to southern Pacific Ocean and how they inspired her as much as she inspired them. In 1987 Princess Salimah Aga Khan(then known as the Begum Salimah Aga Khan) visited McMaster University at a time when the Ismaili Imamat and this venerable Canadian University were putting together the finishing touches on a formal agreement for McMaster University to provide comprehensive assistance and support to the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan in the development and nurturing of its very first professional faculty, the Aga Khan University School of Nursing. On a sightseeing tour of McMaster’s spectacular Health Sciences facility provided by university officials Princess Salimah requested a visit to the Pediatrics Department where she discovered that this department was in great need of a Children’s Recreational Center where very sick children could go to play and momentarily set aside the mental and physical burdens of their illnesses, many of which were very serious and some even terminal. She decided to pledge a substantial amount of material resources to bring this center to fruition and, once built, the center really helped to better the lives of vulnerable children passing through McMaster University’s Pediatrics Department. Princess Salimah Aga Khan’s commitment to ameliorating the lives of disadvantaged children represents a longstanding trait in her.
One of the many government dignitaries she met was Progressive Conservative Member of Provincial Parliament Patrick Brown, the Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition in our province of Ontario. My son is currently the Chief of Staff to Patrick Brown and has also held senior political staff positions with former Federal Prime Minister Stephen Harper and two of his former senior Federal Cabinet Ministers, Jason Kenney and John Baird. Mr Brown tweeted about his meeting with Princess Salimah thus:
“Honoured to meet and converse with Princess Salimah Aga Khan at the SOS Children’s Village charity gala in Toronto. #onpoli
The SOS Children’s Village Charity Gala at the exclusive Granite Club on Friday October 20th 2017 was a resounding success and this organization received many new members, supporters and raised a substantial amount of money for their programs. You could not find a better and more worthy International Ambassador on behalf of this organization than Princess Salimah Aga Khan!