December 21, 2011 issue

Community Connection

Christmas treat for H.R. Lawson's kids from Kaieteur Lions Club
Members of Kaieteur Lions Club and volunteers at this years Christmas party at H.R. Lawson Residence

By Arti Panday
Now in their twentieth year as an organization, the Kaieteur Lions Club came together to celebrate the holiday season with a deserving group of children at the H.R. Lawson Residence.
As a respite facility for children with intellectual disabilities, H.R. Lawson caters to children from two to 21 years old, providing a resting area where the children are able to partake in the many activities they offer at the facility.
"As a part of Community Living Toronto kids get involved through schools and other organizations through an intake process," said Kim Priestley, the Program Supervisor for the Children's Respite Program.
Dedicated to serving the community and contributing to a better social atmosphere, the Lions Club has been collaborating with H.R. Lawson for the past 19 Christmas seasons in order to bring joy to the children there.
Approximately 18 children attended the Christmas party along with a few family members and, of course, the Lions Club. After having lunch, the children received a wonderful visit from Santa, who came bearing presents tailored to each child's interests.
Treasurer of the Lions Club, Anand Rupnarain and his family has been sponsoring the event for the past five years. "My daughters, Amanda and Davina, organized the party on behalf of the family," said Rupnarain.
Besides holding events to support the community, the Club is raising funds for the rebuilding project taking place at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Guyana. They will be presenting a cheque for $1000 at the upcoming Guyana Christian Charities event.
Currently consisting of around 18 members, the Lions Club also contributes to other areas in the Toronto community, including transporting fresh meals to seniors in the GTA through the Trans Care organization.
Already getting set for the 2012 Christmas season, the Lions Club will be hosting their next children's Christmas party on December 2, 2012.


Jamal Deen new Academy of Sciences Director at RSC
Emeritus Prof. Dan Smith of the University of Alberta, past Division Director (R) and Prof. Jamal Deen of McMaster University,
current Division Director

Indo-Guyanese academic and engineering science scholar, Prof. Jamal Deen was just elected as the Director of the Applied Science and Engineering Division of the Academy of Sciences within the Royal Society of Canada.
His appointment started from the Annual general Meeting of RSC held on Sunday, 27th November 2011. The Royal Society of Canada, founded in 1882, is the oldest "institution devoted to recognizing excellence in learning and research, as well as recognizing accomplishments in the arts, humanities and sciences". It is the "the senior national body of distinguished Canadian scholars, artists and scientists". As Canada's national academy". The RSC exists to "recognize academic excellence, to advise governments and organizations, and to promote Canadian culture."
As Division Director for 2011-2013, Prof. Deen's responsibilities will include chairing of Division meetings; preparing the Division's annual report; chairing the Division's Committee for the Selection of New Fellows; attending the Annual General Meeting of the RSC and the Induction and Awards Ceremony; welcoming New Fellows on the day of the Induction and Awards Ceremony; and initiating and overseeing programming for the Division. In addition, he is expected to play an active role in the senior leadership of the Canadian Society in order to fulfil one of the mandates of RSC, and to furnish government and the public with an authoritative source of independent scientific advice.


Muslim leader urges Pope to encourage religious tolerance
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad

The Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has sent a direct message to Pope Benedict XVI calling for the Pope to use his influence to encourage religious tolerance and the establishment of human values in the world.
The message was delivered personally by the President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Kababir, Muhammad Sharif Odeh, who met the Pope as part of an official delegation of renowned Israeli religious scholars.
In his message, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, spoke of the perilous state of the world.
He said: "It is with regret that if we now observe the current circumstances of the world closely, we find that the foundation for another world war has already been laid. As a consequence of so many countries having nuclear weapons, grudges and enmities are increasing and the world sits on the precipice of destruction.
"I believe it is essential, that we urgently increase our efforts to save the world from this destruction. There is an urgent need for mankind to recognise its Creator as this is the only guarantor for the survival of humanity." Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad also said that the world should judge religions on their true teachings, not on the misguided acts of individuals or groups.
According to the Ahmadiyya President, "If a person does not follow a particular teaching properly whilst claiming to subscribe to it, then it is he who is in error, not the teaching.
"From cover to cover, the Holy Qur'an teaches love, affection, peace, reconciliation and the spirit of sacrifice. Hence, if anybody portrays Islam as an extreme and violent religion filled with teachings of bloodshed, then such a portrayal has no link with the real Islam."
Speaking about the role of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said: "The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community practises only the true Islam and works purely to please God Almighty. If any Church or other place of worship stands in need of protection, they will find us standing shoulder to shoulder with them. If any message resonates from our mosques it will only be that of Allah is great and that we bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Him and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah."
His Holiness concluded by praying for world peace and urging all other parties to play their respected roles for this all important pursuit. He said:
"It is my prayer that we all understand our responsibilities and play our role in establishing peace and love, and for the recognition of our Creator in the world. We ourselves have prayer, and we constantly beseech Allah that may this destruction of the world be avoided."


Another class act by
Saaz-O-Awaaz students

Students of Saaz O Awaaz Music School performing at their year end program on December 11. Picture at left shows seven year old Vivek Persad Sitahal and Ravi Narain playing the tabla; at right on harmonium are Suraj Prashad and his sister Kirtie Prashad. Pix by Manshad Mohamed.

By Manshad Mohamed
In a brightly lit room, fully decorated for the Christmas celebration, songs from India wafted through the corridors of the Chris Gibson Recreation Centre at McLaughlin and Queen Street in Brampton on the evening of December 11 as students of Saaz-O-Aawaaz entertained their parents and well wishers.
Seven year Vivek sat behind the tabla and could barely be seen because he is so small, yet the sounds he produced on the instrument while accompanying Arti Mahadeo singing "Hamko hame se churalo" was awesome.
A generous amount of audience participation was noted as Andy Ramgobin and Adrian Persaud offered "Mere Man Ki Ganga". Some in the audience appropriately chipped in with "Nahi, Nahi" and "Hoga, Hoga."
Loud cheers rang out as Ravi Doobay rendered "Amala Pagala Diwaana". But the icing on the cake was when some of the more experienced students got on stage, among them, Jaya Panday and Christina Raykha accompanied by the proficient Michael Raykha on the tabla. Only Dev Bansraj Jr. was able to top this act as he played for Robbie Rai, Ashley Debysingh and Shri Dev Bansraj Ramkissoon.
Prominent Lawyer Dhaman Kissoon, in addressing the audience, paid tribute to the Saaz-O-Aawaaz organisation and commented positively on the high level of singers and tabla players produced by the school.
CEO of Saaz O Aawaaz Mrs. Ann Ramkissoon commented that the performers "gave you joyful music that will remain in your hearts for a long time."


Ravi waited long for Benita...and she finally showed up

Ravi and Benita Misir exchanged marriage vows according to Hindu rites on November 26 last at the Woodbine Banquet Hall under a beautifully decorated 'mandap'.
The wedding was immedately followed by an elaborate reception. Almost 700 friends and relatives were there to witness the ceremony and participate in the celebrations.
The wedding ceremony was performed by Pt Ganesh Persaud assisted by the bridegroom's brother Pt Jaiwant Misir of New york.
Ravi is the son of Pandt Sirju Misir and Mrs Dalia Misir while Benita is the daughter of Mr Khemraj Singh and Leila Singh. In response to a query Ravi told the guests that he "waited this long for Benita to come along".


Olive Tree 's grant to help young Somali dropouts

The Olive Tree Foundation announced that it will provide a grant to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto (BBBST) for the project 'In-School Mentoring for Somali youth.'
The project will provide support, on the school premises and during the school day, to Somali elementary school children aged 10 - 12 (grades 5 and 6). The goal of the project is to mitigate the alarming High School drop-out rate that the Somali community is experiencing.
A group of Somali high-school mentors ('Bigs') will be matched one-to-one, with a child from their local elementary school who, for various psychosocial reasons, may be at risk of dropping out of school prematurely.
"The Olive Tree Foundation's support will help us bring Youth Mentoring to the Somali community in Toronto's Weston-Mt. Denis priority neighborhood," said Shauna Klein, Director of Fund Development and Marketing of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto.


Sachin cops silver at World Tap Dance Championships
Sachin Beepath doing a solo at the World Tap Dance
Championships in Germany
Fourteen year old Sachin Beepath was a member of the Canadian National Tap Dance Team that competed at the International Dance Organization, 2011 World Tap Dance Championships held in Riesa, Germany between 28th November - 3rd December.
Sachin is a double silver medalist.
He won silver for his Solo, Junior Male and silver for Junior Team Formation.
At this level it is a very uncommon sight to see someone of Indian origin doing Tap dance.
Sachin is a Grade 9 student at Pickering High School, Ajax. Has started dancing five years ago at Durham Dance Centre, Pickering and continues to attend this dance studio. He also performs with his twin sister, Ariana.
Sachin has competed and won numerous awards at Dance Competitions in Ontario and the USA. Tap dancing apart, Sachin is on the Honor Roll in School, has a Blackbelt in Taekwondo, plays soccer and volley ball, and is a member of high school cross country team.
He is the son of Paras Romey Beepath formerly from Mahadeo Trace, Debe and Indira Monica Ramphal formerly from Mohess Road, Penal.
Shoreham Seniors treated for Christmas
Felicitating the Seniors: From left, Rudy Lochan, Bhoj Seecharan and Shanta Chhangur distributing gifts to the residents of
35 Shoreham Dr.
Adit Kumar Pix.
Over 100 residents of the Seniors Home at 35 Shoreham Drive in North York were treated to a sumptious Christmas Dinner in their party room last Saturday. The event, now in its 20th year, brought joy and happiness to them as evidenced by the expressions on their faces and the overall spirit of goodwill that prevailed.
A live adhoc band ushered in the Christmas spirit by rendering popular Christmas songs and carols much to the delight of the residents.
In addition to a lovely dinner, the residents were presented with gifts donated by sponsors. The event was organized by Bhoj Seecharan with the support of the business community and individuals.
Most of the residents are from Guyana and the Caribbean.
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