Sunset Indo-Canadian Seniors’ Society is a harbinger of social harmony based on diversity

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By Zile Singh

The Sunset Indo-Canadian Seniors’ Society, housed at 6810, Main Street, Vancouver, boasts of a group of very amazing experienced seniors. They are physically as active and mentally as sharp as any youth in his twentieth and thirties. What else can one expect when seniors aged 80, 90 and hundred recite a page -length of poetry by memory and can talk on Gurbani extempore without taking help of a written script.  

Some are adept at describing religious and political matters. Others excel in cracking civilized jokes and meaningful stories related to life. 

In July 1977, Mrs. Hemi Dhanoa, a social worker, got the Indian seniors group registered under the name of “ Hindi-Punjabi Senior Men’s Group’. In June 2001, the Group was renamed as “ The Sunset Indo-Canadian Seniors Society, Vancouver, BC”. Today, it can claim to be a secular and senior seekers’ society. It proudly bears a tag of non-religious, non-political, non-regional, and non-profit making. 

Though it is a registered society with the BC government, it is capable of running its day-to-day affairs without any government grant. It is truly a harbinger of social harmony based on diversity. 

Anyone can join it who has attained the age of 65. Any topic under the sun, without hurting anybody’s personal sentiments is the area of discussion every Thursday from 12.00 noon to 2.30 p.m. 

Members of the society include farmers, teachers, preachers, businessmen, civil servants, ex-servicemen, lawyers, bankers doctors, and even a retired diplomat. The members of its Executive Committee are elected unanimously every two-year. Its General Body meeting was held on June 22, 2023. The income and expenditure statements were passed en masse. 

 It has proved to be a useful platform for politicians of different hues at city, provincial and federal levels. In the recent past, Mr. Michael Lee, Member Legislative Assembly of BC United Front addressed the Seniors hitting the health, housing, and education policies of the ruling New Democratic Party. Some time back, Mr. George Chow, ex-Minister of the NDP visited the Society. He spoke about his party’s policies. 

Prominent visitors from Punjab and other parts of India also have visited the Society. Last week’s address by Mr. Jaswant Zafar, a retired Chief Engineer from Punjab Electricity Board and a writer of high esteem needs to be highlighted as a befitting analysis of the present situation of Sikhs settled abroad. He, without mincing words, said that the Sikhs in Punjab do not need any outside propaganda. The Sikhs in India are capable of looking after their interests on their own. 

He pinpointed the lacunae of the Sikh diaspora as far as Sikhi tenets are concerned. Today, the rituals and superstitions are eroding the basic values taught by Guru Nanak. His book, “Bhagat Hamare Guru” exhorts the sectarian Sikhs to a large extent. To him, the hymns of Bhagats of lower castes are no less authentic and important. Zaffar elaborated on some other hymns of Bhagat Sain, Baba Farid, and Ravidass.  

For more information about the Society please click www.indocanadianseniorssocietyvancouver.ca