During the Jubilee year many new projects will be launched, which will impact the material quality of the life of Ismailis and indeed of many others, in the fields of health, education, housing and rural development, particularly in the Third World.
Why then should today’s simple ceremony on the periphery of Vancouver, in Western Canada, be so significant to so many members of my community and to me? In the past 24 years, many hundreds of Ismaili Jamatkhanas have been built around the world. I have only very rarely attended the foundation ceremony of a Jamatkhana, and I have never travelled so far to do so.
But this is the first project to be launched during this Jubilee year and it is very important that it is a place of worship.
Burnaby also has a particular significance since it was here, as has already been mentioned, that the first congregation of my community was established in Canada.
The significance of this ceremony is further enhanced by the fact that this is the first Jamatkhana to be built in North America – in Canada, a country of the New World which has extended the hand of friendship to countless peoples from all over the world, including Ismailis, welcoming them when turmoil, racialism, bigotry or envy were destroying their lives.
–Excerpt from the Speech by Mawlana Hazar Imam – At the Foundation Ceremony of The Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre, Burnaby – Monday, 26 July 1982. Click here to read.
Image Source: The Ismaili – Ismaili Centres