Maritime Sikh Society

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The Maritime Sikh Society 10 Parkhill Road, Halifax, NS, Canada, B3P 1R3 Ph : (902)-477-0008 Gurdwara Sahib- Sunday Kirtan - 11.15 am www.maritimesikhsociety.com/ - email : [email protected]

Maritime Sikh Society (MSS) was founded in 1968 to serve a small community of Sikhs in Halifax. The foundation stone of the first Gurdwara building was laid on June 4, 1978. The Gurdwara was formally opened to the worshippers on Sunday, November 19, 1978 as part of Guru Nanak’s birthday celebrations. With the arrival of more Sikh families in Nova Scotia, it was felt that this gurdwara was somewhat small for their needs. The Gurdwara was expanded and renovated; the expanded Gurdwara building was reopened on Feb 2, 1997. The MSS is an organization of volunteers. There is no paid employee, or a priest, or a ragi (musician) or a langari (cook). Each member contributes voluntarily according to his or her capacity, qualifications, or skills. Volunteers take turns in preparing and serving food in the langar. Executive is elected every year and has always been elected unanimously. The women members participate fully in all affairs and activities of the Society. They are treated at par with the men in holding positions or performing ceremonies in the Gurdwara. They sing hymns, share Akhand Path duties, make speeches, recite Ardas and Vaak, organize walkathons and picnics,etc. In 1992-93, Mrs. Gurdip Kaur Toor was elected president. In fact, all the elected members of her executive were women. This is the first time that a women executive was elected to run a Gurdwara in North America, or perhaps in the entire Sikh world. In 1993-94 and in 1997-98 also, Sikh women were elected presidents.In December 2009, the members of the society once again selected an all-women executive team to manage the Sikh temple.

The Society has been holding regular classes for teaching the Punjabi language and shabad kirtan to the children. The Gurdwara also provides a platform for children to hold Bhangra and Giddha practice and training there. The MSS library has a rich collection of books on Sikh religion, history and culture, both in English and Punjabi languages. The Society welcomes people of all communities to the Gurdwara,in keeping with Sikh traditions. Hindu families are often seen at the Gurpurb celebrations and on other important occasions. Some Hindu families, not only attend regular congregations, but also offer Langar (food) service It is the only Gurdwara for Sikhs east of Montreal in the Maritimes. Twice a year, once on Guru Nanak’s birthday in November, and a second time on Baisakhi celebrations in April, the MSS arranges shabad Kirtan of Professional ragis (musicians) from Toronto or elsewhere. The society members are kept informed about local and Sikh world news via an efficient email service.

Maritme Sikh Society : www.maritimesikhsociety.com - MSS in the news : www.maritimesikhsociety.com/news.htm