Butterworth Sikhs are all set to welcome their spanking new gurdwara building, the fourth for the local community whose gurdwara history trails back to the 1920s.
A three-day programme starting from Jan 19 (Saturday) has been prepared for the opening ceremony of the new home for Gurdwara Sahib Butterworth (GSB) at Lot 5702, Jalan Todak, Seberang Jaya, Seberang Perai Tengah in Penang.
Among the events planned are kirtan darbar, akhand path, amrit sanchaar and dental checkup.
The programme will begin with an Asa Di Vaar at the present gurdwara building starting 4.30am on Jan 19. At 7am, a 4km nagar kirtan will be held the present building to the new building.
At 12.30pm on Jan 21 (Monday), GSB president Narinder Singh will unveil the commemorative plaque.
The gurdwara website has this to say on its history:
By the beginning of the 20th Century, there were a few Sikhs employed as watchmen by the Straits Trading Company Ltd. in Butterworth. These Sikhs and their families were provided with living, quarters in the ‘Sikh Lines’ near the vicinity of the company’s smelting works along what is now known as Jalan Pantai.
In the 1920’s, the British management of the company allowed one of its quarters in the Sikh Lines to be used by the Sikhs as a place of worship. This small Gurdwara Sahib was able to accommodate the Sikhs and their families during prayers. There were no regular Granthis, and as such, the Sikhs managed the Gurdwara Sahib by rendering voluntary service.
In 1934, a piece of land, was purchased along Chain Ferry Road. The Sikhs built a Gurdwara Sahib building, a single storey brick structure with a tiled roof, which was completed by the end of 1934. Gradually, the Sikh sangat started to grow and this Gurdwara Sahib could not accommodate everyone. Finally in 1968, this Gurdwara Sahib was demolished to make way for a new building.
In 1968, building plans were approved to construct a three-storey Gurdwara Sahib building. The foundation stone was laid by the then Chief Minister (Ketua Menteri) of Penang, Tan Sri Wong Pow Nee on 3rd October 1968.
On 12′ December 1971, the new Gurdwara Sahib building was officially declared open by the then Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister, Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud (presently the Chief Minister of the State of Sarawak). This Gurdwara Sahib is an imposing landmark for the Sikh community of Butterworth.
Butterworth gurdwara hearse to serve Sikhs in Penang, Kedah (Asia Samachar, 20 Feb 2018)
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