June 8, 2005 issue

Community News

Riding coast to coast to save lives

By Manshad Mohamed
On May 5, four cyclists dipped their bicycle wheels in the Pacific Ocean off British Columbia on their way to riding 8,000 kilometres across Canada to St. John in Nova Scotia. This trip, the brainchild of Ryan Richards, is expected to take three months. The other riders are Cyrus Salek, Shael Zelunka and Travis.
Ryan is currently finishing his third year at the University of Western Ontario and has dedicated this trip in honour of his mom, Robbin, whose fight and struggle is that of every woman who has had to suffer from breast cancer.
His friend Travis described this arduous trip as "one filled with bumps, hills, flat tyres and mosquitoes, to say the least.”
Cyrus Salek, sees this as "an opportunity, as small as it may stand in the grand scheme of things, to do something about breast cancer."
And Shael Zelunka said his thoughts went immediately to the accomplishments of Terry Fox, how difficult it must have been for him and "how much easier for us, being able-bodied and on a bike."
This project is being supported by Kelvin Goldthorp, C.E.O. of Sunnybrook and Women’s Foundation who described this as "inspiring to us all."
On May 5, 2005, this foursome left Fort Langley, B.C and by May 11, had reached Kamloops, B.C. They traveled along the Fraser River and up to a 1234 meter elevation to the Koquihalla Summit, and then to Merritt. By May 20, they had entered Alberta through Banff. The next stop will be Winnipeg. However, the grand total amount raised so far is a paltry $2400.
This noble effort to help equip the hospital to meet the needs of breast cancer patients cries out for more community support. In order to make your contributions go to the website :www.robbins ride.ca. Cheques may be sent or credit card information given to Sunnybrook & Women’s Hospital, 2075 Bayview Av., Toronto, On. M4N 3M5 or telephone 416-480-GIVE or by www.sw.ca/foundation.

Saaz-o-Awaaz graduation
The Saaz-o-Awaaz School of Music held its 14th Graduation exercise on June 5 at the Holiday Inn Select in Brampton.
To mark this special occasion, 13 items of songs and music were performed by the students. Among the singers were Randy Ramawad, Raquel and Randall Mahadeo Allan, Amanda Reshmi Dyal, Indra Natasha Doobay, Arun Kamat, Andrew Bemaul, Seema Khumbkarran, Sharmila Gobin, Purendra Ronald Doobay and Christina Raykha. Tabla players included Vishal Ramawad, Gautam Salwan, Michael Raykha, Danish Mohammad and Davindra Akalu. Among the ragas performed were Asavari, Bhupali, Hameer, Yaman, Tilak Kamod, Jai Jaiwanti, Durga and Malarani. There was a wonderful tabla recital with Gautam, Michael and Vishal playing in Teen Taal, Dadra and Keharva.
In an address to the audience, Mr. Surujdeo Mangaroo, Program Director of the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC) of Trinidad and Tobago, paid tribute to the parents who had the foresight to enroll their children in the Music School. He offered as a special gift to the most outstanding student, chosen by the instructor, to visit and perform at the NCIC's Diwali Nagar celebrations, all expenses paid.
"We do not have such quality performances by students in Trinidad and Tobago. What we have is what I call Chutney rag," Mr Mangaroo lamented.
Toronto Lawyer, Mr. Dhaman Kissoon reminded the audience that there were "many young people in jail right now" and that many are also involved in drugs, violence and alcohol. So the Music School was "not only helping to build the community but the world at large."

T&T 50 Plus and Seniors gather for Indian Arrival Day
By Manshad Mohamed
If you were born in Trinidad and Tobago and you are now 50 years old or more, then you should know that you are not doing enough to ensure a comfortable retirement in a Seniors Home that will be able to satisfy your needs. This message was made very clear by Marcelle Campbell who spoke to an Indian Arrival Day gathering initiated by the Trinidad and Tobago 50 Plus and Seniors Association of Canada at the Birkdale Community Centre in Scarborough on May 29.
Together with Stella Pinnock, Campbell is a member of the Seniors’ Forum at Toronto’s City Hall and they volunteer to discuss the needs of the Seniors in the entire community.However, Campbell reported that her working committee gets no complaints from those who come from Guyana or Trinidad and Tobago.
"There are no issues to be heard from these groups of Immigrants. You are waiting quietly, as lambs to be slaughtered," she cautioned.
Campbell suggested that there is help for Seniors who are "unable to mow their lawns or prune trees on the boulevard which belongs to the City in the first place." Other needs like snow removal are also catered for and access numbers will be made available to T&T 50 Plus and Seniors.
But the main item is to provide a retirement home located close to schools, stores and public transit, for the Seniors of Trinidad and Tobago right here in Toronto.
The Fifty Plus and Seniors Ass’n of Canada is made up of cross-cultural members and they celebrate events that are recognized in Trinidad and Tobago, hence Indian Arrival Day.
Association President Farouk Hydal welcomed the members and visitors. Rasheed Sultan Khan, founder of the group, praised the efforts of the early Indian immigrants who worked under great pressures to keep their families comfortable. It was their vision, he said, that led to so many of their children becoming educated and this in turn helped them to further migrate abroad.
The program comprised live Indian music by keyboard virtuoso Karamchand Maharaj who provided popular selections including "Suhani Raat", "O Sajana" as well as a few of his innovations. One of his items also included a performance on his guitar and keyboard with recorded background music which was truly enchanting. As well, three students from the Janet Naipaul School of Dance did their interpretations of modern dances mixed with a traditional flavour. The students were Roshni and Darshani Jodha and Alima Ali, a niece of Janet Naipaul. Mr. Rudy and Mrs Deedee Naipaul continue to guide their family as grand daughter Alima is learning her dance routines quite well following in her aunt's footstep. Mrs Naipaul was presented with flowers for her dedication and devotion to her daughter Janet’s dance school. Refreshments of curried channa and roti as well as fresh fruits were served.
In spite of having to pay a rental fee of close to $190 per session (4 hours) for its once a month meeting, the Trinidad and Tobago 50 Plus and Seniors Ass'n carries on its work of welcoming new members, helping visitors from Trinidad and Tobago who arrive here seeking medical procedures, as well as providing information about pensions for seniors both here and in Trinidad and Tobago. Volunteers continue to help the membership in the same spirit as the Jahajis did when they crossed the turbulent waters over 160 years ago. This is indeed commendable work undertaken by the members and their astute leaders, especially the visionary, Rasheed Sultan Khan.

Markham community welcomes Sai school's Walk for Values
Organized by students of the Sathya Sai School, the 4 kilometre third annual Walk for Values in the violence-affected Malvern community in east of Toronto was led by Superintendent Tony Warr of the 42 Division.
Residents of the Malvern community enjoyed the peaceful and fun filled walk through their neighborhood. Many stood on the sidewalk or waved from their windows. Participants and City Councillor Cho handed values flags to the by-standers and area residents. Police officers with their cruisers and bikes were lined along the route to ensure smooth movement. Many of the officers too were carrying the values flags as a sign of solidarity. Smiling faces were seen all along the route.
Supt Warr, on behalf of the Toronto Chief of Police, congratulated the participants on joining a very symbolic event which aims to restore peace and order in the neighborhood that has witnessed violence, gangs and drugs recently. He urged parents to remember that “Your children will become what you are, so be what you want them to be.”
Guyana Awards Night
The Guyana Awards marking the 39th Anniversary of Guyana's Independence took place on the evening of May 28 with a gala dinner at the Pine Valley Conference Centre. Awards recipients represented various categories such as Leadership (Guyana Flood Relief Committee, Canada), Outstanding Businessperson (Ken Singh, Atlas Int'l Freight), Outstanding Community Organization (Guyana Canada Cultural Association, Calgary), Outstanding Individual (Kissoon Narine), Youth (Sabrina Singh), Media (Ron Fanfair), Special Achievement (Bryan Mackintosh) and Exemplary Contribution/Service (Hon Jim Karygiannis, Health Partners Int'l of Canada, City Pulse News and Human Concern International -HCI).
In picture above Consul General Mr. Danny Doobay (at right) makes presentation Mr Farooqui Baksh of HCI (2nd from left) with Mr Tallim Bacchus and Ms Connie Smith of Health Partners present.
Since 1980, HCI has contrubuted over Cdn $40 million towards facilitating sustainable development in developing countries. During the recent flood relief program, HCI facilitated the procurement and shipment to Guyana of more than Cdn $1.5 million in drugs and medical supplies.

NAAC to the help of YWS
The Naparima Alumni Association of Canada (NAAC) will be holding its annual 5 km Fun Run/Walk to raise funds for Youth Without Shelter (YWS) on June 11 at Esther-Lorrie Park, between Kipling and Martingrove off West Humber Blvd in Etobicoke.
YWS is a short-term emergency residence and referral agency serving homeless youth, aged 16 to 24. YWS provides temporary shelter and is committed to diverse, client focused services in a safe environment. To keep this going, YWS must have a budget of at least $400,000 a year. NAAC has chosen to help in this cause and is appealing to members, their relatives and friends, to participate in this activity.
Last year NAAC donated $2000 to this cause. It is hoped to increase this amount with public support. To get application forms or to send cheques, please contact Ras Shreeram at 416-743-1331 or email ras.ras@rogers.com

Picnic Schedules
Canal No 2/Patentia
July 2, 2005 at 11:00 a.m. at Thomson Park, Brimley Rd S, between Ellesmere & Lawrence. Phone 416-284-7157.

Bush Lot (W.C.) and Environs
July 17 at 1pm at Morningside Park, Ellesmere/Morningside.
Call Raj (905)-420-2433 or Sam at (905) 840-4823.

Vreed-en-Hoop and Surrounding Areas
June 18 from 12 noon at Milliken Park, Area 'B', McCowan/Steeles. Call Raj 416-630-0825, 905-276-8942 or 416-757-6635.

July 16 from 12 noon at Milliken Park, McCowan/Steeles. Call 416-267-9980.

Mahaica Picnic
Sunday July 24 at the Milne Dam Conservancy Park, Markham (Hwy 7/McCowan). Contact 416-292-3313 or 416-464-9974.

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