Mukarram Nazeer, Canada Correspondent
Canada Day is the occasion of celebrating the anniversary of Canada’s independence. 1 July 1867 was the day when three colonies united into a single country, free from the British Empire. Originally named Dominion Day, the day was renamed Canada Day in 1982. The 152nd Canada Day celebration was held on 1 July 2019 and by the grace of Allah, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya celebrated this important day across Canada to show their love and loyalty to the country.
Celebrations were held in 65 chapters of the community where local dignitaries, including mayors, MPs and MPPs attended the events. Members enjoyed activities such as free BBQ, henna application, kids show, bouncy castle, cake cutting ceremony, glass mosaic and Canadian flag hoisting to honour Canada. Below are highlights of the events held across Canada.
The event started with hoisting of flags. City of Vaughan Mayor Hon Maurizio Bevilacqua hoisted the Canadian flag and MPP King-Vaughan Hon Stephen Lecce hoisted the Ontario flag followed by silent prayers led by Amir Jamaat Canada, Malik Lal Khan Sahib. Young children dressed in Red and White colours of the Canadian flag recited the national anthem. Many people in the audience joined the children with enthusiasm and pride.
Recitation of the Holy Quran started the formal portion of the ceremony followed by translation. Young children gave short presentations on what Canada means to them. City of Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua, Member Parliament of Canada Julian Fantino, regional councilors, and city councilors spoke on Canada Day and appreciated the efforts of the Ahmadiyya Community in building a better Canada. Amir Jamaat Canada, Lal Khan Malik Sahib gave the concluding remarks. Approximately 5,000 people attended this programme.
In Western Canada at the Baitun Nur Prairie Winds Park in Calgary, Alberta, the Jamaat hosted a successful Canada Day celebration with the theme of “Loyalty to Homeland is Part of Faith”. Thousands of Calgarians from all walks of life attended, including several dignitaries. These included the premiere of Alberta, mayor of Calgary, provincial ministers, MPS, MLAs, city councilors, and community leaders.
The dignitaries recognised the Jamaat’s leading role in promoting peace and harmony. A free BBQ, children’s games, activities for families and a flag hoisting ceremony were all part of the celebrations. A conservative estimate puts attendance at 10,000.
In Cumberland Village, Ottawa members of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya held their Canada Day celebrations. Various celebratory events included free BBQ, henna application, kids show, bouncy castle, cake cutting ceremony, glass mosaics and hoisting of Canadian Flag.
In the township of Oro Medonte, about one-hour north of Toronto, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was the official partner for the first time at the local Canada Day Celebrations 2019 held at the Maryam Mosque. There were lots of family fun activities and free BBQ for all attendees. Over 270 people attended the event including Mayor of Oro Medonte Harry Hughes, Attorney General Ontario/MPP Doug Downey, various township councilors and many community leaders.
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan is located in Central Canada where the Jamaat celebrated Canada Day at Baitur Rahman Mosque. The activities included a flag hoisting ceremony, singing of the national anthem by Atfal and Nasirat, a few speeches and cake cutting ceremony. The Mayor of Saskatoon, Mr Charlie Clark attended the ceremony.
Similar programmes were held in Brampton, Durham and many other chapters.
Loyalty to our country is part of our faith. May Allah enable us to continue to follow this beautiful teaching and work towards a better future of this country and the world. Amin.