President’s Report – April 2018

Dear Friends,

Dr. Karunakaran Kutty

Dr. Karunakaran Kutty, President

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

  1. Members of the Management Committee
  2. Digital and communications Committee
  3. Religious and temple Activities Committee
  4. Interior Construction Advisory Committee
  5. 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
  6. Viji  Vattompadam and Vinitha  have  worked hard to find volunteers and fill in the gaps.
  7. Office Management Team – Appukuttan Nair, Sasi Gokuldas, Presannakumar, Simi, Jayasree and  Aparna  and  other volunteers who manage the office when  needed
  8. 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

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