Dignitaries included Mission Mayor Sophie Weremchuk and Dewdney MLA Norm Jacobsen for the Mission Sikh Temple’s groundbreaking ceremony held December 4th, 1988 featuring Panj Pyare ( the five beloved ones ). Mission Legion Pipe Band let the procession to a large tent structure on the muddy soil. Weremchuk and Jacobson told the crowd that the construction of the temple was a milestone for the Community.
Almost 50 companies were involved in the construction of the $2.8 million Mission Sikh Temple. The Construction of the 19920 square-foot temple began in the Spring of 1988. The Board of Directors team raised more than $1 Million dollars in donations door knocking Sikhs all the way from British Columbia, Alberta and the USA.
Mission Sikh Temple opened Saturday November 18th, 1989 with more than 1500 people in attendance. The temple was dedicated with blessings from highly-regarded priest Sant Baba Meehan Singh the high priest of Nanaksar Sikh Temple on Westminster Highway, and an official flag raising complete with fireworks. Respected Sikh priest and historian Giani Manni Singh also helped during the temple opening which featured a two-hour service of prayers and hymn singing. When the day was over more than $200,000 in donations was placed before the temple alter.
They came by the hundreds, the young and the old, with a sense of purpose and pride. Many people believe the dedication of a Sikh Temple in Mission on Saturday helped make the this community whole.
No longer will Missions’s Sikh community be spread throughout the Lower Mainland to worship, to marry, to celebrate life, to grieve death. Generations of Sikhs have called Mission their home for several decades, they shop here, pay taxes here, educate their children here. With the completion of a temple-they can be a congregation here.
In the Sikh religion, a temple is far more than a place of worship- it’s a cultural centre.
In 2005 Mission Mayor James Atebe and Council dedicated the frontage road to Rai Ave which runs east-west in front of the Sikh Temple from Wren St to Hurd St, in honour of founding member Major Singh Rai for his community contributions, and for bridging the gap between the Indian and non-Indian communities.