Welcome to GTB AGM of 2018. This is the 17th year of our existence. Our last AGM was on November 27, 2016 .
Last year, our long cherished dream came true! We ceremoniously moved to our own temple, on November 24, 2017. That was also a sad day for me as I had to announce the retirement of my dear and trusted friend and mentor Bhaskaran Menon from the Board of GTB , for personal and health related reasons. This is the first AGM at our own temple and the first one without Bhasi who is now living in Dubai . Unfortunately we will never have a separate meeting or event hall as we had dreamed and only because we yielded to pressure and hoping to reduce cost, decided not to build the basement! In retrospect it was a “no brainer” decision and I am also to be blamed for not fighting this proposal effectively!
The beautiful temporary Sreekovil that you see in our new temple was designed, planned and executed under the able leadership of Sushil Parapurat in consultation with our Thirumeni and along with Reghuraj, Rajeev and many others. They worked hard several long days and nights, all after their usual work schedules, to finish it to our Thirumeni’s satisfaction and paid for most of the materials from their own pockets. A special thanks to all of them and their dear spouses and children for sacrificing many days of their quality family time and companionship. May the LORD bless them all for their dedication, commitment and amazing talents.
With unconditional support , dedication and hard work every one of you helped me and the Board to raise a total of 2.76 million and change as loans from devotees. Most of it is interest bearing at 4% and some interest free. This in part and the bold personal financial Guarantees from a few of us helped to secure a construction loan of 2.4 million from Ontario Wealth Management Corporation (Owemanco) at 8.75 % interest.
We received building permit on August 12, 2015, signed the letter of intent with Everstrong Construction limited on October 17 , broke ground on October 22 and officially started Phase 1 in late 2015. Shadadhara Prathishta took place from April 15 to April 18, 2016.
Total Cost of Phase 1 was $787,000.00. We officially completed phase 2 construction and got occupancy permit on November 10, 2017
Total Cost of Phase 2 was $2,804,100.00. We are holding back about $20,000.00 pending completion of a few remaining bits and pieces of work. Rest of the payments have all been made and we are up to date in payments. We have never defaulted in any payments so far. Thanks to you all!
RK Padiyath , our secretary and Executive Director will be presenting the financial details in his report
A special thanks to Mr. Jagadish Nair , our able and dedicated Project Manager for a job well done. I want to remember with gratitude the services of all the members in the Building Committee under the chairmanship of Mr.Murali Menon. They paved the way and created the foundation frame work for the construction and had recommended Mr.Jagdish Nair as the Project Manager. After completion of phase 1 and phase 2 Jagdish wanted to step down and the Board appointed Mr. Anil Ambat as the Project Manager for Phase 3. Anil was also part of the previous Building Committee and he is doing an excellent job in managing the Artisans form India and implementing the requests and recommendations of the Interior Advisory Committee within the Bilding Guidelines of the City of Brampton. And often adapting o their changing whims and last minute suggestions of the committee. I salute Anil Ambat on your behalf at this time. We have engaged a local contractor , Sukhjinder Singh Alias Bobby of BAWA Construction Inc to supply materials and equipments to our Artisans for the construction of the Sreekovils and also to complete other minor bits of work around the temple and related to Phase 3. He was known to and recommended by Jagdish. Many of you have met the talented and gifted four young Artisans from Kerala. Some of you did meet their Leader Shanmughan Thirunavaya who had to return after a few days. I want to thank all of you devotees who have taken pains to feed and entertain these artisans from time to time. They have not been home sick because of your affection and comradery. Please keep it up. Phase 3 works are progressing well. Quoting Mr.L.Girishkumar I told you once before that only once in several decades, a lucky generation like ours gets this good fortune and golden opportunity to build a new temple! The beneficial effects of such blessings received will last for generations to come. An ordinary devotee who is not a priest will never get an opportunity to see the interior of a Sanctum Sanctorum once it is completed and functional Therefore I urge all of you devotees to take advantage of the fact that we are here and fortunate to witness the construction of our temple. Please feel free and go inside and be blessed as and when time permits and see for yourself the meticulous details, with which we are building this temple.
We still need money for phase 3 basic completion and subsequent beautification and ornamental works only which will add the Kerala touch to our temple. Do not relax in your fund raising activities. We need loans, monthly pledges and sponsorships. We have medallions to be sold and Udayasthamana Poojas to be booked. The more we generate now less we need to borrow.
Namajapam and Narayaneeyam recital continue every Sunday mornings. Geetha Krishnan Unni has been the catalyst in mobilizing our women leaders and energizing them all on a regular basis. She has organized many one of a kind and new activities like KOTI Archana in the temple attracting very large crowds and providing us with exposure in other communities. She has been significantly instrumental in raising monthly pledges and devotee loans also. It is indeed a pleasure to see our dedicated sisters conducting the Narayaneeyam recital and Namajapam every Sunday without fail in spite of the unfriendly weather at times!
Other special events and activities worth mentioning are: Maha Sudarsana Homam ( during relocation of the Charaprathishta to the new temple), Koti Archana and Hanuman Jayathi. These events were outstanding and did attract very large crowds and were greatly appreciated by devotees. These occasions provided an opportunity for exposure for Guruvayurappan Temple Activities among many non Malayalee and non Keralite groups. Other usual and special poojas and other recurring and seasonal celebrations have continued as in previous years. Over all our temple attendance and income have increased
As every thing in the past, all our dreams and plans have had to wait and be delayed, some by several years for reasons beyond our control. Our Thirumeni always consoled me saying that this is the way the LORD plans! It is happening again. We had hoped to complete the Full Prathishta in the first half of 2016! Well it seems the LORD will not make it happen until the first half of 2019! I am hoping that the LORD will keep me alive and kicking till then! Every day, I am praying to the LORD for grant me an opportunity to witness that day and be part of that Glory!
We are working hard as we speak and hoping to secure a conventional mortgage up to five million dollars (sufficient to pay back the construction loan and return all the interest bearing loans). Many routes and venues are being followed and tested by many, to obtain the best deal for the temple.
As I mentioned during last AGM we have to pay 50% of the cost of constructing the road that goes around the temple and so far we have paid $280,355.00. An additional $181,102,00 will have to be paid later when final application of asphalt takes place, This will bring the total cost of our share for this small segment of the road to $461,457.00!
In due course, we will also be entitled for refund from Site Plan Application deposit of $280,100.00 and $357,340.00 paid in advance to the Area 48 Land Owners Group.bAs in the past we will manage savings well and be careful with expenditure!
With temple income complemented by other fund raising activities and donations I hope that all of you, the new and young leaders will be able to make this temple debt free within five years if not sooner! I have faith in all of you and the Lord will be with you!
I want to thank KALA , OHM , SOPANAM Canada, “Friends of GTB ”, NSS, SNA, Amma Foundation, Chinmaya Mission, Canada Tamil Sangham, many Bhajana Groups and Dance Schools and Kala Kendras for their continued support to GTB. I hope that I have not left out any one! As we are all members and office bearers in each other, we are one and the same! We are one entity. GTB will remain an “UMBRELLA FOR ALL”. I want to thank Madhurageetham and its leaders Vijay Sethumadhavan and Mridhula, Malayala Mayooram and its leaders Kurian Baby, Sreekumar and Seema as well as Bala Menon and the Voice for providing us media exposure on numerous occasions since last AGM. We plan to use their goodwill and generosity in the months and years ahead. May the Lord Bless us all.
KALA is planning two big fund raising events in June this year. VANDE JANANI a tribute to Motherhood (which is the ultimate form of Womanhood) by Divya Unni on June 2, and Kannaki ( by Preetha Kandanchatha ; written and directed by Subha Kalathil ) on June 30. The proceeds will be passed on to GTB fund raising. Thanks to Sushma who works with Rajendran, Satish , Sushil and others.
MONTHLY PLEDGES: In January 2015 we had only $5087.00 monthly donations involving 195 transactions every month. Today I am proud to announce that we have more than $17000.00 per month involving close to four hundred transactions
MEDALLIONS: We had sold only 309 medallions till the AGM of 2015 and today the number stands at 354. That means we still have just over 1100 medallions remaining!
UDAYA ASTHAMANA POOJA: Only 25 poojas were booked at the time of 2015 AGM and today the number stands at 47. There are 53 more poojas available for the reduced promotional rate of $2500.00 each. After the first one hundred, Udaya Asthamana Poojas will cost $5000.00 each.
SPECIAL THANKS to all the members in all the committees of the Board. To save time and to avoid unintentional omissions and errors, I will not mention the individuals by name. All of you have worked hard and helped me and the Board to build and manage this temple. The members of various committees who are present here today please stand up when your committee name is called
- Members of the Management Committee
- Digital and communications Committee
- Religious and temple Activities Committee
- Interior Construction Advisory Committee
- Lata Menon is working on restructuring the temple corporation by creating a “TRUSTEE BOARD” and has been instrumental in organizing political support for the temple at times of need
- Viji Vattompadam and Vinitha have worked hard to find volunteers and fill in the gaps.
- Office Management Team – Appukuttan Nair, Sasi Gokuldas, Presannakumar, Simi, Jayasree and Aparna and other volunteers who manage the office when needed
- Dr. Sundararajan continues to provide his reputed tuition in Physics,Chemistry and Mathematics for Grades 10,11, and 12 during summer. It continues to be popular among students and parents! We thank Dr. Sundararajan for his dedicated services.
I have no words to thank you all enough! I want to thank every all of you from the bottom of my heart
Please visit the temple regularly. Bring your friends. Most of your pooja needs can be met at this temple in the most authentic way. Please visit our web site www.guruvayur.ca. for updates, notifications and other temple activity details. Poojas can be booked and paid for on line. We are taking bookings for Udayaasthamana Pooja which we will start conducting as soon as the temple becomes fully functional. We are a registered charity and we can issue tax receipts for all your donations. Significant portions of your payment for the Medallions and Udayasthamana poojas are also eligible for tax receipts! Please promote monthly pledges amongst your friends.
This is a genuine and sincere request. I am getting older and temperamental. I cannot say that I am growing old with grace or dignity! I am loosing my cool and getting angry and impatient! Having said all that, all of you have put up with me and have asked me to stay for another year. Are you sure? I can not ignore your love, respect and trust. If I am not reciprocating to your gestures adequately, please pardon me. It is not intentional It must be my age! I am here to SERVE THE LORD and I would rather drop dead at his feet serving him and you all. I have decided to offer myself at your service once again. We, I and the members of the Board need your continued trust, support, guidance and involvement. Of course we need new blood and new leaders. Please take over the leadership when you feel comfortable and confident. Do not wait too long! Many of us need extension of our VISAS to stay in this world longer! Please introduce our temple to all your new acquaintances and bring them over. Be an AMBASSADOR of the temple. Let the LORD be in your thoughts in every breat.
As I have said for many years, Our temple must be futuristic, adaptive, friendly, caring and welcoming. Let this temple be a shining model to all places of worship in this universe and become an umbrella and asylum for all, irrespective of their country of origin, color or faith. That is our motto. Let this temple be a symbol of Sanathana Dharma, promoting universal brotherhood, love and world peace.
Let me take this opportunity to thank each one of you once again for allowing me to be your president. You have worked hard all these years, putting up with me but giving all the credits to me, making me look and feel good. I want to express my special gratitude to our Thirumenis Divakaran Namboothiri and Manoj Namboothiri for their guidance and blessings. Both of them work really hard (for much lower pay than they deserve) and at the same time have contributed very generously to our building funds.
If I have offended any one of you, in any way, knowingly or unknowingly, during execution of my duties as your president I take this opportunity to beg your pardon. I pray to the lord for forgiveness!
OM NAMO NARAYANAYA. MAY THE LORD BLESS US ALL
Dr. P. Karunakaran Kutty
President, GTB 21st of April 2018