You may not know it, but Golden holds a special significance to the Sikh community as the site of possibly the first Gurdwara in North America.
Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone came to Golden last week to join community members and Sikh leaders to unveil a new Stop of Interest sign that recognizes the community’s early Sikh pioneers and the role they played in Golden history.
The Province is erecting new Stop of Interest signs all over B.C., and Golden was one of the first to be unveiled. It can be found at the viewpoint off of Golden View Road.
“This new Stop of Interest recognizes the important contributions early Sikh settlers made in Golden and throughout the Interior of B.C.,” said Stone. “This is a good example of the Stop of Interest signs we want to add across the province, to tell the stories of how B.C. was shaped through the contributions of many different ethnicities and cultures.”
B.C.’s Stop of Interest signs were first installed in 1958 to commemorate the Colony of B.C.’s centenary and recognize significant historical places, people and events. The ministry is refurbishing existing signs in need of repair and updating language where necessary.
Golden’s Sikh community came up to the highway to be part of the unveiling, and hosted a lunch at the Sikh Temple before the event.
There were also former Golden residents who came back to town to be part of the unveiling, including Shiv Singh Jaswal who now resides in Alberta.
“It’s very nice to be here, and witness this honour,” said Jaswal.
“We acknowledge the Gurdwara in Golden as the first in B.C., and quite likely the first in North America,” said Pyara Lotay, on behalf of the local Sikh community. “We thank the B.C. government for recognizing Golden’s Sikh pioneers and their place of worship with this Stop of Interest.”
Golden’s Mayor Ron Oszust also spoke at the unveiling, and said how proud he was to be part of a community that is woven together with such diversity.
“The story of our community’s Sikh pioneers is one of hard work and determination,” he said.
“This Stop of Interest means a lot to our present-day Sikh residents, and highlights an important chapter in the rich history of our region, of which we’re all proud.”