A Brief History of Sri Guru Singh Sabha (The Sikh Association of Sydney)
The Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Sydney was founded at its first meeting at Campbelltown, Dr Joginder Singh’s surgery on the 7th November 1976. The following members were present:
Dr. Joginder Singh Sekhon, Charan Singh Kooner, Ajit Singh Kalra, Balwant Singh Chadha and Amrik Singh Pala. The meeting focussed mainly on the establishment of a Gurudwara in Sydney. A constitution of the Sabha was written and registered (a copy is attached) with Department of Fair-trading.
The first General meeting of Sri Guru Singh Sabha was held on 9th January 1977 at the Sydney Grammar High School Sydney. The following office bearers were elected:
President Charan Singh Kooner
Vice President: Udam Singh Singhota
Secretary Ajit Singh Kalra
Asst Secretary Dr Joginder Singh Sekhon
Treasurer Bawa Singh Jagdev
Members Jagdish Singh Atwal and Sadhu Singh Sunner.
The task, to this team was given mainly to establish a Gurudwara Sahib in Sydney. We visited a number of Real Estate Agents in Sydney to find out a place for the Gurudwara which should be bought. The Church building 14 The River Road was listed for $35000 and the property was listed for auction. No buyer offered the listed price. This property was owned by Sydney City Mission. We approached them and explained that we wanted to buy for our community and we explained to them that it would be used only for Sikh community as Gurudwara (Sikh Temple). The Sydney City Mission agreed to sell it for $33000 to trustees of SGSS.
To raise money we passed a resolution that any member who paid $1000 be the TRUSTEE of Sri Guru Singh Sabha. The following members donated $1000 each and became trustees:
Charan Singh Kooner, Ajit Singh Kalra, Dr Joginder Singh Sekhon, Udam Singh Singhota, Bawa Singh Jagdev, Sadhu Singh Sunner, Dr Jagir Singh, Dr Bhagwant Singh, Dr Hardial Singh Khosa, Davinder Singh Passi, and Jagdish Singh Atwal . A Trustee deed was prepared by the solicitor and was registered with Fair Trading Department. The property 14 and 16 The River Road Revesby was bought on 31-3-1978 from Sydney City Mission in the names of the above-mentioned trustees.
The first meeting of the executive committee was held on the 9th of April, 1978 at the then new Gurudwara complex.
The first function held at the Gurudwara Sahib was Baisakhi under the guidance and assistance of Giani Teja Singh of Woolgoolga. Sikhs and well-wishers from all over Australia paid their respect to Sydney’s first Gurudwara Sahib.
The Gurudwara Sahib was officially opened by Hon. M.J.R. Mackellar (Federal Minister for Immigration & Ethnic Affairs at the time) on 19th of November 1978. This was the first Gurudwara established in Sydney.
The kitchen complex was built in 1979 -1980 and its cost was paid for by Ms Pritam Kaur Panesar.
Since its inception the Sabha had been actively involved in fulfilling its objectives Regular Diwans were held every Sunday and Punjabi Language was taught in morning before the Bhog ceremony. In November 1982, the Sabha bought the adjoining property, 18 The River Road Revesby for $60,000.
The Sabha had been very enthusiastic in Sikh Cultural and Sporting activities, it had been a regular participant in Sikh National Games held during the Easter Holidays annually.
In 1988 another property adjacent to the Gurudwara Sahib, 9 Victoria Street , was bought for $110,000 to solve the parking problems.
All the properties were in the name of the eleven trustees.
Since 1988 the properties of the Gurdwara in the name of the members of the associations. Many able committees came and worked hard to establish
New building for Guru Ghar (temple). Also number of houses adjoining with the Gurdwara were bought by SGSS. Credit goes to those members who continuously do the Sewa in the Guru Ghar.
For the last a few years many improvements have been made for the Sangat especially for the old Sangat such as building of new kitchen, lift extension of Panjabi School.
There are three houses in the compound of the Gurdwara belong to Australians. Our plan is to buy them and may be converted into old people’s home.