Source: The Link & The Voice
Byline: Gian Singh Kotli
Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan stressed upon love of mankind while addressing the houseful Sunday gathering at Gurdwara Ross Street on January 7, 2007. Paying obeisance to Guru Gobind Singh he said in Punjabi, â€œGuru ji da kathan hai- jin prem keo tin hi Prabh paaeoâ€ (Guru says, only those who love others, obtain God.)
Speaking on the birthday celebration of Guru Gobind Singh, the Mayor said in his nicely prepared Punjabi speech, â€œI am very pleased to be here in the holy congregation. On behalf of Vancouver City and the members of City Council, I extend my warmest greetings to Gurdwara Khalsa Diwan Society and the entire community on the auspicious occasion of the birthday of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Guru Gobind Singh created Khalsa and gave the message of love, doing good deeds and oneness of human race. Guru Ji sacrificed his all for the sake of righteousness. His message of love is for the well being of the whole human race. Guru says, only those who love others, obtain God.â€
Reiterating his interest in learning Punjabi and Sikh religion the Mayor said, â€œI am trying to learn Punjabi and Sikh religion and Gian Singh Kotli is my teacher.â€ President Gurdip Singh Gill, Jarnail Singh Bhandal, Gurbux Singh Bal, Kashmir Singh Dhaliwal and others welcomed Sam Sullivan on behalf of the Gurdwara management.
Appreciating Sam Sullivanâ€™s interest in learning Punjabi, assistant secretary Kashmir Singh Dhaliwal said, â€œSam Sullivan is the first Punjabi speaking Mayor in Canada. He is a well wisher of our community. He helped us a lot in opening Guru Nanak Elementary School here.â€ Kashmir Singh also brought to the notice of Mayor the longstanding demand of the local people to erect crossing lights at the dangerous intersection of Ross Street and 57th Avenue among other demands.
Head Granthi Giani Lakhvir Singh honored Sam Sullivan by presenting him a shawl and Gurdip Singh Gill presented him a copy of the Souvenir of 100th year celebration of Gurdwara Khalsa Diwan Society.
Channel M TVâ€™s prominent anchor Dilbar Kang highly appreciated Mayorâ€™s interest in learning Punjabi while interviewing me in his evening news bulletin. Dilbar said, â€œMany people settling abroad are going away from their culture, heritage and language. But on the other hand such persons are there in the mainstream of this country that are drawn towards our culture, especially Punjabi language. And one such person is Sam Sullivan the Mayor of Vancouver who is earnestly learning Punjabi from Gian Singh Kotli. I highly appreciate the venture of Sam Sullivan. I also urge all to speak Punjabi, read Punjabi, write Punjabi and listen Punjabi.â€