Dear devotees and supporters of GTB,
This is a land mark event! Fruition of our long-cherished dream! Our own Temple has become a reality! Construction is complete short of completion of the Sanctum Sanctorums. We have the occupancy permit and our charaprathishta is moving to the new location on Friday the 24th November when we also vacate the current rented facility.
I am ever so grateful to the more than one hundred devotees who loaned us just over 2.6 million dollars for the temple construction. This along with the loan of 2.4 million from a private lender has helped us to complete Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the construction so far. Phase 3 construction or completion of the Sreekovils will need approximately another half a million dollars. Some of this will be covered from refund from the City and area 48 land owner’s group. At least one devotee has pledged to bear the cost of construction of the main Sanctum Sanctorum. I feel confident that other devotees also will come forward and we will have sponsors for all the Sreekovils in due course and that we will manage without any more loans.
Now is the time for your Board to secure a conventional mortgage for 5 million dollars so that all our debts including the devotee loans can be paid back in full. To be eligible for this mortgage we need to show a cash flow of about 25000.00 per month. At present, we have pledges totaling just under ten thousand per month. I am looking for another one hundred donors who can pledge monthly donations of two hundred dollars for five years. We may not need it all and the duration could be less than five years. All the donations are eligible for charitable donation receipts at year end. As soon as the Prathishta is completed the temple will be engaged in fund raising activities to pay back the mortgage. Our aim is to make our temple debt free in five years. We need to find another one hundred donors within the next two weeks. R.K. Padiyath (Secretary and Executive Director of the Board), Praveen Ravindranath (the Finance Guru), Lata Menon (the Law Supremo), Gopi Menon (Vice President, GTB) and Unni Oppath (the All Rounder) are all spearheading this drive with me. Of course, we have all the old and new committee members under our wings. I am counting on your support and generosity. Please help us in any way you can. This temple is for our children and for generations to come! We have built a safe and fairly large facility. It is modern and futuristic. We have room for development and growth. We envision having a community centre just outside the temple but within the temple land. This will help us to get some government grants and to serve our children, seniors and others in need better.
We will make this a temple of tomorrow, open to all, moulding the minds of our children to be better citizens of the world. We will uphold universal brotherhood in every sense of the word! Every penny you spend to build this temple will make this world a better place to live. That is a promise not only our dream!
We have planned four days of celebration at our now temple site. The details have been mailed to you separately. As usual, day one is for purification of the grounds and the new facility. Countless of volunteers under the leadership of Sushil Parapurath have worked hard day and night to build our temporary Sreekovil. The meticulous efforts and artistic craftsmanship of Raghuraj and Rajeev deserve special mention! See it to believe! It looks marvellous and has made our Thirumeni very happy! I want to thank everyone in this team for their skill and dedication. I want you to know that these volunteers have willingly paid for most of the supplies needed for this project from their own pockets!
Jagdish Nair, our Project Manager has delivered what he pledged to do in spite of countless and many unforeseen difficult situations and short falls in planning. It has not been easy dealing with contractors and subcontractors as well as tough and rigid building inspectors of the City of Brampton. Thank you Jagdish for all the hard work day in and day out and putting up with us all! We grant you the well deserved break! Now we have Anil Ambat becoming the Project Manager for Phase 3 and Jagdish will be there to help him when needed.
Now that we have five Artisans from Kerala, under the leadership of Shanmukhan Parekkudath, here on work permits and all the preliminary documentations are completed, the interior works for construction of the Sreekovils has started this week. The interior work scope and plans are being worked out. Drawings and measurements are checked and updated as necessary. This will also include construction of the Thidappalli. We have engaged Sukhjinder Singh (Bobby) of Bawa Construction Inc. to help the Artisans in procuring materials and also to provide other support and assistance in the interior works.
Landscaping and Parking lot works are completed. Our temple exterior looks really nice and clean as you can see. Signage works, inside and outside, are underway. We have the elevator installed and working. This is for exclusive use by patrons and devotees with special access needs. Security work is completed and we have 24 hour fire and burglary alarm monitoring in place. B and B alarms are our contractors. Electrical, Climate control as well as audio-visual and telecommunication installations are in place and some are functional. Some fine tuning and final installations are pending. Some supplies are yet to arrive and to be installed. Please bear with us if some of these are not completed fully at the time of our move this week end!
Wash rooms, for Ladies, Gents and those with access needs are located underground and completed. Only a few small installations are to be completed. Shoe Racks and Coat Hangers will be installed before we move in. Permanent signs will be in place very soon.
There are many other arrangements that are necessary and waiting to be completed. Garbage collection and disposal, Snow clearing and Landscaping as well as finding and engaging cleaners for the temple interiors and wash rooms are a few examples. Trissur Viswanathan, one of the directors has volunteered to head these activities. He needs your support, input and assistance in these matters. We need a small panel of devotees with technical knowledge, strong physique and good health to provide emergency technical support.
The simultaneous construction of the New Temple and running the Old Temple at the current location have been challenging often and for numerous reasons. I want to thank the devotees and public at large for being patient and understanding during these difficult times. I want to express my appreciation and thanks to the Office Staff Sasi Gokuldas, Simi, Jayasree and Nikhila and the many more volunteers who have managed the temple office on a day to day basis during these busy and short staffed days. I am ever so grateful to our beloved volunteer co-ordinator, Viji Vattompadam for her commitment and dedication. She has never failed to respond and deliver to the last minute calls for help from all of us! Our temple Accountant Prasannakumar and temple Manager Appukuttan Nair deserve special thanks. They are in the office working most weekends and have had to sacrifice their office space and chairs almost every day for the countless and often last minute meetings of various committees and the Board. Now seeing how spacious our new temple is, I wonder how we survived in our present location all these years!
I have no words to thank our Thanthri and Guide Kariannurmana Divakaran Namboothiri and Assistant Priest Manoj Erayoor Narayanan Namboothiri and their families for their gracious and masterly guidance and leadership. In spite of the difficult times they have delivered their services meticulously and to the fullest satisfaction of our community. We are indeed blessed to have them as our religious leaders, advisors and mentors.
Now we only have the Religious committee, Interior Work Committee and the Management Committee helping the Board to run the temple, complete the construction and raise funds! As usual a few of you have been wearing multiple hats but delivering goods as one team. I will be show casing “MY TEAM” this week end at the new temple. I am not mentioning any names in case I forget some! We have more women engaged in weekly activities at the temple and outside. Hopefully their leadership will continue in a more vigorous and sustained way in the New Temple for years to come. This year was a good start.
I am excited to report that Mr. Vallikkannan Maruthappan, President Canada Tamil Sangam (CTS) , his family and some friends visited our new temple a few week ago. They liked what they saw. CTS has pledged its unconditional support for the construction and development of our temple. They have already arranged a fund raising “Musical Night 2018” in support of GTB for the 4th Feb 2018 at Scarborough. I would like to invite all the members of CTS and other members of the Tamil community to the inaugural activities in our temple at the new location this week end. Come to OUR temple and take it to NEW HEIGHTS. I want to thank Unnikrishnan and Deepa Sivaraman for bringing Vallikkkannan and CTS to us and making this new introduction. This means a lot to me personally and to our temple at large. May Lord Guruvayurappan bless us all!
When we started this dream in mid 1990s, we were five directors in the Guruvayur Corporation, Bhaskaran Menon, Gopinathan Menon, Trissur Viswanathan, Ram Vattompadam and myself. As I have told you before we were looking far and wide for an affordable land to build our temple . It was Gopi Menon who spotted an advertisement in the paper for sale of this 10.4 acre parcel of land which we bought for the asking price! We expanded the Guruvayur Corporation to include twenty four other share holders. Baskaran Menon was the brain behind our activities and the leader administrator for this project. We all agreed to donate two acres of land for the construction of the Krishna Temple. As always for us Keralites Krishna is Guruvayurappan! I was only a pretty face, unfamiliar and an amateur in a business venture! They made me the President and kept me there, I do not know why. As I have always said in public Bhaskaran Menon, Bhasi for me, has been my mentor and Guru. He has kept me in the right track, prevented me from making mistakes and protected me like a brother, never taking or claiming any credit for doing so. He and all the other directors have worked hard and made me look good and pretty! Credit goes to them all and not me, for what we have achieved today.
I am sorry to report that Bhasi’s health has been gradually failing particularly in the last couple of years. He has decided to step down from the directorship of Guruvayurappan Temple of Brampton. His letter of resignation was received on the 17th November even though we knew for a while that it was going to happen. It was with extreme sadness that the Board at its meeting on the 18th November, accepted Bhasi’s resignation. We will never be able to replace him. But he and Lalitha need a break. This temple was Bhasi’s brainchild and would not have become a reality without him. The Board has thanked him on behalf of all of you devotees and the community at large. We are fortunate that he is here to celebrate with us when we move to the new location. We have planned a brief but very special event at about 11.30AM on Saturday the 25th November at the New Temple just before lunch. Bhaskaran Menon has been a legend in our community and not only in the Guruvayurappan Temple circle. He has served the Indian Community in numerous ways and capacities for many years. I would urge all of Bhasi’s friends, well-wishers and temple devotees to be present for this event, to thank him personally and pay your respect and to wish him well.
A WORD OF CAUTION! When you all come to our new temple this week end BE CAREFUL. The Phase 2 construction is completed and we have walled off the Phase 3 construction area. The temple has been cleaned well. Still there could be moisture or water. Take care of your dear little ones. Do not let them slip or fall. Do not enter walled off areas. Keep our temple clean. Leave your footwear only in the designated area in the basement. Please do not try to adjust the thermostat or touch any of the other panels or controls. There are some final installations to be completed. Ask for help if needed. The elevator is only for use by people with special access needs!
Hope to see you all at our new temple this week end. Your presence means a lot to us!
OM NAMO NARAYANAYA
Dr. P. Karunakaran Kutty
21 November 2017