By Alauddin Hemraj
“I have been impressed by recent studies showing the activity of voluntary institutions and not-for-profit organizations in Canada to be among the highest in the world. This Canadian spirit resonates with a cherished principle in Shia Ismaili culture- the importance of contributing one’s individual energies on a voluntary basis to improving the lives of others…” Excerpt from Mawlana Hazer Imam’s Address to The Canadian Parliament – February 2014
On September 23, 2018, The Ismaili Muslim community in Brampton, Ontario, Canada celebrated 2nd annual Ismaili Civic event at Northhampton Park adjacent to Brampton Jamat Khana. Seniors and youth volunteers joined hands in cleaning up the Northampton Park to a sparkling finish.
Before the programme commenced a group photo with the Dignitaries, Leadership of Brampton Jamat and other Guests and Members present was taken in front of Northampton Park Adopted by the Ismaili Community last year.
The programme started with the singing of Canadian National Anthem by bright and active Brampton Ismaili youth volunteers.
The Master of Ceremony role was performed by Danyal Chong who with his cheerful oratory brought joyous smiles on participants’ faces, and as we understand, Smiles are Allah’s greatest Blessings. Sincere thanks indeed, Danyal!
Leadership of Brampton Jamat warmly welcomed the Mayor of Brampton, Her Worship Linda Jeffrey, the Federal MP for Brampton Honourable Ruby Sahota, Ontario MPP for Brampton North Mr Kavin Yarde, Ontario MPP for Brampton East, Mr Prabmeet Singh Sakaria and Ontario MPP for Brampton West Mr Amarjot Sandhu. The Leadership then gave details of activities of Ismaili Civic, since its inception on the day our great nation Canada had celebrated its 150th Birthday, i.e. July 2017. He stated that the annual 1 million hours target pledged by Ismaili Community countrywide for 2017/2018 had been surpassed greatly and in fact reached 1.5 million hours, of which 47% of services were contributed by Ismaili Muslim Volunteers in Ontario. Among other activities besides maintenance of public spaces, he mentioned Care for Elderly, building homes, mentor ship, and services at Food Bank, breakfast tables and much more by ever ready active volunteers. He thanked our great Nation for providing facilities to grow and providing effective means ensuring security and peace for all its citizens.
Mayor of Brampton and all other dignitaries present commended highly of Ismaili Community’s act of volunteerism and the concept of giving back. The Mayor also mentioned of impending opening of University of Ryerson Campus in Brampton for which the City had made persistent efforts. Now students in Brampton may not have to go far away to other Universities, she said amongst loud applause.
The Federal MP Honourable Ruby Sahota thanked the Ismaili Community for its involvement in bettering the lives of fellow Canadians. She underlined unity and progress of nation to be of paramount importance.
As sign of their presence, the Brampton Jamat Leadership presented mementos to the dignitaries who had graced the occasion, despite their heavy schedules. Also present amongst the community leadership were members from the Regional Council and Ismailia Tariqah and Religious Education Board for West Sector.
This memorable event ended with entertainment at which the Mayor, Federal MP and Ontario Legislature MPs mingled freely with seniors, youths and children to make the event more meaningful and enjoyable. It was certainly a day which will be cherished by Muslim Ismaili Community in Brampton forever.