Syed Mukarram Nazeer, Canada Correspondent
Canada Day celebrates the anniversary of the formation of the Canadian confederation, which took place on 1 July 1867. On this day, three colonies of Canada united into a single Dominion named Canada, within the British Empire. Originally named Dominion Day, the day was renamed Canada Day in 1982.
Traditionally, Canada Day is celebrated with patriotic zeal across Canada. The celebration ceremonies are held all day long with live performances, stalls, activities for children, and food for all. Fireworks in the evening bring the day to an end. The largest event of such kind is held in national capital Ottawa, where the governor general of Canada and the prime minister of Canada address the attendees. After two years of subdued celebrations due to Covid-19 restrictions, Canada was ready for its traditional celebrations.
Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Canada celebrates Canada Day with full patriotic zeal in its own way. Thus, the events were held in all major jamaats and imarats across Canada including Brampton, Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton, Montreal, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Toronto, Vancouver, Vaughan, and Winnipeg to name a few. The local dignitaries including councillors, mayors, MPs (Members Federal Parliament), MPPs (Members Provincial Parliament), federal ministers, provincial ministers and the head of police attended and delivered their messages.
One such event was held jointly by Brampton East Imarat and Brampton West Imarat. The flag hoisting ceremony started the day and the formal event started with a recitation from the Holy Quran and its English translation. The land acknowledgement statement was read, recognising the rights of Aboriginal people on the land of Canada.
The Canadian national anthem was sung by two groups of young children. One was in English, while the second one was in French. The opening remarks were delivered by Naib Amir Jamaat Canada, Farhan Khokhar Sahib. He commented on how peaceful Canada was, and what a beautiful life we led here. He was followed by the mayor of the City of Brampton Patrick Brown, who echoed the naib amir’s sentiments and thanked the Jamaat for holding this event. He also announced the naming of a city park as “Ahmadiyya Park”.
The federal minister accompanied by her fellow members of parliament appreciated the efforts of the Jamaat in serving Canada. They were followed by a number of members of the provincial parliament of Ontario. In addition, senior members of the local police, fire and emergency services, media personalities, and Rotary Club office-bearers also had a chance to share their thoughts.
Amir Jamaat Brampton East Imarat, and Amir Jamaat Brampton West Imarat jointly thanked all guests for attending the event.
Naib Amir Jamaat Canada, Farhan Khokhar Sahib led the silent prayer and the event thus ended.
An estimated 400 people attended the event with 60 of them being non-Ahmadis.