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December 2004 - January 2005
Queen visits Hounslow Gurdwara
A moment in history was witnessed by the congregation of Hounslow Gurdwara when Queen Elizabeth entered the sacred premises of the Gurdwara without her hat and shoes to inaugurate the magnificent temple in the west London Borough of Hounslow. Mr. GS Chhatwal, the President of the Gurdwara, in his ever-calm demeanour, greeted the Queen by garlanding her.
The plaque was then unveiled by the Queen accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the 1st Prakash installation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib at Harminder Sahib Amritsar in 1604 AD and to mark the 25th anniversary of the formation of Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha. This was also the occasion to open the Gurdwara’s phase 2 development that is going to cost more than £1 million.
The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, met Sikh war veterans, singers of religious hymns and other elders of the community.
Mr. Mohan Singh Nayyar, general secretary of the Hounslow temple, said the visit of the Queen had made the Sikh community very proud and happy. “One of the reasons why the Queen came in the first place was because of the many activities we have at his Gurdwara in partnership with local organisations which benefit not only the Sikh community but the local community in Houslow as well”, said Mr. Nayyar.
Mr. Chhatwal, the President of the Gurdwara, described the phase 2 development of the Gurdwara as ‘dream come true’ for him. He and his colleagues had been working tirelessly to collect funds from the community for this dream project. This indeed was an historic moment for the Sikh community in Britain. The Queen’s visit showed that how much she appreciated the contribution and loyalty of the Sikh community to multicultural Britain.