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Vaisakhi at Queensborough Middle School (QMS), New Westminster

Los Angeles, May 08, 2023 Sanghera
Ramesh/ A.Gary Singh

From left: Rajinder Singh Pandher, Sukh Rai, John Lekakics , Balwant Sanghera and Deep Singh Sangra

In view of the South Asian /Sikh community’s contribution, the government has declared April as the Sikh Heritage Month. This has given added significance to celebrations like Vaisakhi. Consequently, the Nagar Kirtans in Vancouver and Surrey this year (after the pandemic) proved to be very popular. In addition to these Nagar Kirtans, Vaisakhi celebrations were also held in various other places and a number of schools. Queensborough Middle School in New Westminster (QMS) is one such school that has been celebrating Vaisakhi with a great deal of pride since 2005. This school has been a good model for Punjabi. For many years.  the Punjabi classes there  under the very capable leadership of senior and veteran teacher  Mr. Deep Singh Sangra have been flourishing at a fast pace. This has been possible only with the support and co-operation of the school board, district administration, school administration, staff, students and parents of QMS.

 On behalf of Punjabi Language Education Association (PLEA) I would like to commend Mr. Sangra, who has made the success of the Punjabi program at QMS one of his top priorities. For many years, Mr. Sangra has made the celebration of Vaisakhi as one of his top priorities. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, this celebration had to be put on hold for couple of years. Last year, QMS celebrated Vaisakhi with a great deal of enthusiasm. This year, the students, teachers  and parents at QMS were even more excited and enthusiastic to celebrate Vaisakhi on Wednesday, May3. Close to 80 parents and a number of community leaders took the time to join in the festivities.

This year, QMS celebrated Vaisakhi and Sirjna (Creation) of the Khalsa on Wednesday, May 3.  Since early morning, the entire school was buzzing with enthusiasm. Students were welcoming and greeting guests at the main school entrance. Few minutes before the start time, teachers ushered in their students to the gym. Within minutes, as Principal John Lekakics and vice principal Sukh Rai gave the signal to start, students sprang into action. A wide range of performances  relating to Vaisakhi  put on by students were very impressive and enjoyable. Even the teachers seemed to have a lot of fun by participating in the festivities. At one point the students were leading the teachers in a beautiful performance.

The students  did an excellent job in displaying their skills in Bhangra. Speeches in English and Punjabi by students about Vaisakhi and Khalsa’s Sirjna Divas were also very impressive  . This writer was honoured to bring greetings from PLEA and congratulate the students, staff and parents for putting on this celebration. Later on, staff, parents and invited guests enjoyed socialization and light refreshments hosted by Mr. Sangra in his classroom.. Vice Principal Sukh Rai thanked the students, teachers and parents for a great celebration of Vaisakhi at QMS  . On behalf of Punjabi Language Education Association (PLEA) I would like to congratulate the students, teachers, administration and parents for a wonderful celebration.

Happy Vaisakhi!
Balwant Sanghera,
President, Punjabi Language Education Association (PLEA)