Registration number: 004-387 NPO

 

 

Front seating from left to right - Pushpaben Juta (T), Dr PL Patel (T), Judge CN Patel (T), Sudhir Pragjee (PPr), JM Mavjee (Pr), Jerrry Magjee (DPr),

Ratilal Gordhan (T), Champakbhai Soni (P), KT Manjee (T) & Deenash Garach (Tr)

 

1st row standing - Suren Kooverjee (T), Sunita Bhoola Ramjee (M), Ekta Gandecha (M), Netal Patel (M), Dhanlilaben Narsi (M), Saroj Jamnadas (M),

Dhunluxmi Desai (M), Asha Parekh (M), Pravin Parekh (T), Bharti Lakhani (Tr), Jashvant Ranchod (M) & Ramnik juta (GM)

 

2nd row standing - Hetesh Daya (M), Avnish Ramjee (M), Vinay Daya (M), Mahesh Gandecha (S), Percy Patel (VPr), Harish Narsi (VPr),
Himat Jamnadas (VPr), Dilip Popat (S) & Hitesh Gangaram (M)

 

3rd row standing - Hemantbhai (RP), Ajit Desai (M), Mahesh Ratanjee (M), Hemendra Soni (M), Rajesh Parshotam (M), Shailesh Ranpara (M), Girish Valjee (M),

Keshavlal Soni (M), Lux Gordhan (M), Jay Magan (T) & Rajen Bhikha (KGRH M)

 

Not Present - Ushaben Desai (T), Jaysook Valjee (T), Dhillan Kalyan (M) & Suresh Parbhoo (M)

 

T - Trustee.  PPr - Past President, Pr - President, DPr - Deputy President,  P - Patron,  Tr Treasurer, M - Management, GM - General Manager

VPr - Vice President, RP - Resident Priest, S - Secretary, KGRH M - Kendra Garden Retirement Home Manager

Rangili Shaam 2016

 

This year Rangili Shaam was one of its kind!  A beautiful journey that started 13 years ago still continues with the same enthusiasm.

 

This Wonderful evening filled with vibrant colourful costumes; variety of music and performances; tears and joy; delicious food as always and an evening filled with our ever so enthusiastic and cheering audience, was celebrated on 23 July 2016.

 

The evening provided platform for kids from 8 years old to seniors of 80 years old. Rangili Shaam is a perfect example of moving with time yet not forgetting your roots.It produces very high quality entertainment for the community at no cost. It now also provides a platform not only to the Gujarati community but also to the broader Hindu community to be part of the event and to showcase their talent.

 

The audience enjoyed a variety of performances. Kendra’s Divinity Diva, all the Moms prepared a very unique Garbo  “Divinity” with all their hard work. Divinity really mesmerized the crowd and it was also performed at the Durban Diwali Festival and was appreciated by everyone. There was a traditional and energetic tabla solo  performances by Niven and also Jugal Bandhi by Shirvan and group.  There were highly professional items from Nateshvar Dance academy and  Ekta Parshotam and her school.  Modern Bollywood dances were performed by youth and kids. Ekta Parsotam, an amazing choreographer, trained Kendra’s little champs with a special item – her own performance and her choreography for kids was amazing.

 

The highlights of the show being Mari Ladki –which was a special item performed by 14 dads and their daughter, which left everybody feeling nostalgic,  choked with emotions and tears rolling down their cheeks. This unforgatable performance was one of the best tribute to father / daughter relationship. The Natak – Dikranu Ghar was one of the best plays that was performed by Kendra staff and residents of the retirement home, in Rangli Shaam over 13th years. It touched everyone’s heart and received a standing ovation from the crowd.

 

The stage was also graced by our very own Umita Kalyan, Shalini Makan and of cource our Bridal fair stars Pavishen Paideya and Priyen Naidoo. All in all, at this year’s Rangili Shaam we witnessed lots of different rangs (colours) of performances and it was a visual treat for our audience and an amazing  memory for the participants because after all life is a big celebration!                                        Khushboo Parekh

 

First African to be Inducted as Master by the American College of Rheumatology

 

UKZN’s Head of Rheumatology, Professor Girish Mody, joined an esteemed group of Rheumatologists when the designation of Master was bestowed on him by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) at their annual congress in San Francisco in the United States. Mody is the first African Rheumatologist to receive this honour.

 

The Kendra wishes to congratulate Professor Girish Mody on this unique achievement.

 

Legal Eagles

 

Each of the above three Attorneys have been in private practice for at least 40 years. The KwaZulu-Natal Law Society presented each of them with a plaque in recognition of 40  years of continuous and dedicated practice as Attorneys. In further recognition of their service, the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society has conferred upon them life membership of the Society. The Kendra extends its congratulations and warm wishes on their achievements.

KENDRA BUSINESS FORUM

 

KBF hosted a women’s workshop on 10 September 2016.  The aim of the forum was to empower women with knowledge and mentorship by succes

sful women in society.

 

The event was well attended.  The guest speakers were Usha Maharaj (on Leadership) and Sarah Levy (on Economic Literacy).  The KBF Women’s Forum plans to organise more events of this type in future.

 

THE KENDRA SENIOR CITIZENS

 

The Kendra Senior Citizens have attended numerous meetings in the past 5 years.  Meetings are held on the first Sunday of every month.  The age respondents of attendees to these meetings are between the ages of 42 years to 82 years old.  Mr Chottubhai Gokal Soni, who is the convenor of these meetings, has established an excellent relationship with all Senior Citizens and the community.  He ensures valuable information sharing and knowledge sharing at these meetings, by mobilizing specialists in various disciplines to give talks at these meetings.  He hopes for more people to attend this social gathering and educational talks.

 

Since January 2016, various specialists took time to attend these meetings to inform and educate the meeting members.  Specialists such as Dr Bijay Garach (Bone Specialist), Prof Dilip Garach (CA), Anila Rajkumar (Physiotherapist), Purvi Naran (Sociology), Amar Gokal (Pharmacist), Samir and Shalini Kara (Insurance Broker) have addressed the group. On the 4th September 2016 Jyothi Govind (Relexologist) spoke on the importance of the feet.

On 6th November 2016 Mr Lux Gordhan lectured on living your life to the full. He played an interesting video of a 93 year old man who is in perfect health. On the 13th November 2016 A trip to Albert Falls with 60 senior citizens was a resounding success.

 

These specialists attend on a voluntary basis helping our community to keep abreast with current trends and also helping them to take care of themselves.  We sincerely thank all Specialists who have attended these meetings for their expertise and excellent advice. Future talks will include yoga activities, reflexology and other exciting talks.  Discussions at these meetings also include planning of various activities such as holidays to South African and International Destinations at a fraction of the price.  These outings have become exceptionally popular because of its affordability and more importantly the fun they have at these destination of choice.  The Senior Citizens look forward to these trips and they are promised a fun-filled experience on every trip.

 

We encourage our community to attend and support these interesting meetings on the first Sunday of every month.

2016 – ANOTHER FRUITFUL YEAR AT KENDRA

 

 

As 2016 draws to an end we reflect on the activities of the Kendra this year.

 

The Kendra continued its religious and cultural activities and some of its highlights included the ever-popular Rangili Shaam, the 17th Annual Sunday Times Eastern Bridal Fair as well as the 20th Annual Navratri festival (which included the Pre-Navratri Bhajan evening as well as the most enjoyable Antakshari evening), with the talented musicians from India.  We also introduced the Randal Mata Pooja as well as the Diwali fireworks in addition to the approximately 40 other annual events.  Some of these events are jointly hosted with the Surat Hindu Association, Shree Saptah Mandir, Patni Social Club and the Gujarati Mahila Mandal.

 

The Gujarati and Hinduism Classes continue to grow and the 2016 examinations have just been completed and the awards evening will be held on Monday, 5 December 2016.  This year’s annual excursion took parents and children to the Brahma Kumaris Ashram in Effingham.  The children of the school participate in numerous cultural and religious Kendra events like Holi, Rangili Shaam, Janmashthami, Navratri and the Diwali dinner.  The youth committee also assists in a variety of programs of the Kendra.

 

The Retirement Home reached full capacity in occupancy by 90 residents in April, this year, and the waiting list now numbers 15 people.  We recruited a house-mother, Deepaben Maharaj to support the activities of Ramnikbhai Juta and Rajenbhai Bhikha.  She assists residents with individual attention and guidance.

 

Whilst there are delays caused by Town Planning approvals from City, we are hopeful of completing construction of the planned 7 additional rooms in 2017.  We have recently installed a mechanical goods hoist, at the rear of the Main Hall, to assist service providers who load décor and crockery to the Main Hall.  This hoist will now avoid their use of the main front stairs and the elevator at the front of the building.  This main elevator will be renovated in the new year.

The Social Responsibility Programs continued through the year with highlights being the Medical Day, Winter Warmth, Diwali Hampers as well as Christmas Cheer for children in various hospitals.  It is always pleasing to give back to the needy in the broader society.

 

This year the Communications sub-committee sent out 51,000 sms messages for Kendra events and funerals. The Samachar newspaper is now in its 25th year and reaches 2,200 homes.  Email communications are also sent out.  We have found that the format of the attached 2017 calendar is very popular and have enlarged the size from last year to make easier reading. The Kendra financials for 31 March 2016 were audited by 31 May 2016 and the Biennial General Meeting was held on 1 August 2016.  The details of the new committee under our President, Jay Mavjee are included in this issue of the Samachar. The Senior Citizens Committee organises monthly meetings at Kendra on the first Sunday of each month and also embarks on numerous excursions.

 

The Kendra serves numerous organisations and the performing arts and remains a hub of activity throughout the year.  We have often described the Kendra as operating 3 ventures, viz:  A “function venue” like City Hall with our 3 Halls;  A hotel with 75 rooms that provides meals, laundry and cleaning services; and it also operates a vibrant religious and cultural organisation.

 

We thank Parmatma, the community, our supporters, our most hardworking staff of 40 as well as our committees and volunteers who all make the Kendra what it is today. We can say 2016 was another fruitful year for the Kendra and onto 2017.

 

 

Navratri

Kendra celebrated its 20th Navratri festival in association with Surat Hindu Association and Patni Social Club from 1 to 10 October 2016, with International artistes, Baba Sohel and Group from Surat, India.

 

The Pre-Navratri bhajan evening by the India group was very well received.  Over 350 people enjoyed the bhajans with an international class of music which was  followed by meals.

 

The Navratri program is a large project and requires months of planning and preparation.  The Kendra Cultural and Religious Committees work tirelessly to co-ordinate this function. Our “Happy Hour” was the daily evening aarti, despite adverse weather, we noticed a great number of people attended the evening aarti.  Maha aarti was the climax of the whole program where 400 people participated in a large circle and it was a divine experience to be part of this blissful Maha aarti.  Daily Garbas/Raas were very popular and was well appreciated by community. Local singers sang alongside the International artists. We had an increased number attending our Daily Garba and Dandiya Raas.  Devotees enjoyed playing Garba and also listening to international musicians and singers.  Prepared Garba items by  Kendra’s Little Champs and Kendra’s Mom Group was wholeheartedly appreciated.

Shree Ashwinbhai Trikamjee conducted the daily morning and evening puja, Chandi Paath readings and the Maha Yagna which was performed on Durgastami.  This was streamed on social media and was well appreciated by devotees around the world.

 

The festivities ended with the popular Antakshari which was co-hosted with the Gujarati Mahila Mandal.

 

The Kendra thanks all the DONORS as their contributions, in cash and kind, are sincerely appreciated.                                                                                                                                             Jai Ambe

5 Worthy recipients of this year’s awards

 

 

 

As a country and community we have embraced the changes in our environment and adapted accordingly. This could not have been possible without the strong leadership in our midst.

 

The persons honoured this year have been strong contributors to our society. The recognition given is a sincere appreciation by Kendra for their vision, effort and contributions.

 

The recipients of this year’s awards were given to 5 persons

Rathilalbhai Dwarkadass Gordhan

Prabhakantbhai Lalloobhai Patel

Champakbhai Naginbhai Soni

Bhanuben Sookha

Jasodaben Bhoola

 

Rathilalbhai Gordhan was appointed the first President and Prabhakantbhai Patel was the first deputy President. Prabhakantbhai also served as the second President of the Kendra.  The success of our organisation today is because of the vision, strategy and values that both these gentlemen created and the legacy that these two leaders left for their successors to continue with.

 

Rathilalbhai Gordhan was the President of the Kathiawad Hindu Seva Samaj, when he took leadership of the Kendra. He helped with the drafting of its constitution, and provided an environment of free expression of ideas and concerns, transparency and accountability.

Prabhakantbhai Patel’s background is well known to all of us. He is a popular physician in our community. He is also a Fellow of the Royal College in London.  He served as an examiner for Specialist Physician exams. He was formerly a member of Board of Governors for the University of Natal Development Foundation and President of the Natal Medical Graduates Association. His special interest was always the Gujarati Language and literature and Hindi. He is the former President of the Natal Gujarati Parishad and was the  Chairman of the Interim Executive Committee of the Surat Hindu Association.

 

Champakbhai Soni needs no introduction. His presence in all Gujarati organisations and his contribution therein was always noted. In 1963 he joined the Saptah Mandir and thereafter joined the Surat Hindu Association in 1965. He joined the Mission of Eternal Religion as a Trustee and joined the late Guru Deva in their teachings.

He became associated with other religious societies such as Divine Light Mission led by Sir Guru Maharajji, Swami Narayan Movement, Ramchandra Mission, Brahma Kumaris and Art of Living. He is currently the Patron of the Kendra.

 

Jasodaben Bhoola received her formal education locally and then furthered her Gujarati at the University of Durban-Westville, by doing Gujarati 1, 2 and 3 under the tutelage of Pandit Nardevbhai Vedalanker. She taught at the Surat Hindu Gujarati School for 52 years. In the 1960’s  there were approximately 1000 learners at the school.

Many of whom have become professionals in their chosen fields. Her dedication in the pursuit of the Gujarati Language is commendable.

 

Bhanuben Sookha obtained her matric in Gujarati, as an extra subject in London, after studying at the Bharat Sharda Mandir in Johannesburg. She commenced teaching at the Surat Hindu Gujarati School, from 1990. When the Department of Education introduced vernaculars at the state schools, Bhanuben taught at St. Anthony’s Primary School and Gordon Road School for Girls. She also taught Gujarati at the Kendra from 2002 to 2012. She also qualified as a Pandita through the Arya Prathinithi Sabha.

 

It is stalwarts like all of  these awardees, who are role models and the community looks upon them for guidance, progress and inspiration.

 

We wish them all a very healthy and well deserved retirement.

 

 

Front seating from left to right - Pushpaben Juta (T), Dr PL Patel (T), Judge CN Patel (T), Sudhir Pragjee (PPr), JM Mavjee (Pr),
Jerrry Magjee (DPr), Ratilal Gordhan (T), Champakbhai Soni (P), KT Manjee (T) & Deenash Garach (Tr)

 

1st row standing - Suren Kooverjee (T), Sunita Bhoola Ramjee (M), Ekta Gandecha (M), Netal Patel (M), Dhanlilaben Narsi (M),
Saroj Jamnadas (M), Dhunluxmi Desai (M), Asha Parekh (M), Pravin Parekh (T), Bharti Lakhani (Tr),
Jashvant Ranchod (M) & Ramnik juta (GM)

 

2nd row standing - Hetesh Daya (M), Avnish Ramjee (M), Vinay Daya (M), Mahesh Gandecha (S), Percy Patel (VPr),
Harish Narsi (VPr), Himat Jamnadas (VPr), Dilip Popat (S) & Hitesh Gangaram (M)

 

3rd row standing - Hemantbhai (RP), Ajit Desai (M), Mahesh Ratanjee (M), Hemendra Soni (M), Rajesh Parshotam (M),
Shailesh Ranpara (M), Girish Valjee (M), Keshavlal Soni (M), Lux Gordhan (M), Jay Magan (T) & Rajen Bhikha (KGRH M)

 

Not Present - Ushaben Desai (T), Jaysook Valjee (T), Dhillan Kalyan (M) & Suresh Parbhoo (M)

 

T - Trustee.  PPr - Past President, Pr - President, DPr - Deputy President,  P - Patron,  Tr Treasurer,
M - Management, GM - General Manager

VPr - Vice President, RP - Resident Priest, S - Secretary, KGRH M - Kendra Garden Retirement Home Manager

Registration number: 004-387 NPO

Prabhakantbhai Patel’s background is well known to all of us. He is a popular physician in our community. He is also a Fellow of the Royal College in London.  He served as an examiner for Specialist Physician exams. He was formerly a member of Board of Governors for the University of Natal Development Foundation and President of the Natal Medical Graduates Association. His special interest was always the Gujarati Language and literature and Hindi. He is the former President of the Natal Gujarati Parishad and was the  Chairman of the Interim Executive Committee of the Surat Hindu Association.

 

Champakbhai Soni needs no introduction. His presence in all Gujarati organisations and his contribution therein was always noted. In 1963 he joined the Saptah Mandir and thereafter joined the Surat Hindu Association in 1965. He joined the Mission of Eternal Religion as a Trustee and joined the late Guru Deva in their teachings.

He became associated with other religious societies such as Divine Light Mission led by Sir Guru Maharajji, Swami Narayan Movement, Ramchandra Mission, Brahma Kumaris and Art of Living. He is currently the Patron of the Kendra.

 

 

Jasodaben Bhoola received her formal education locally and then furthered her Gujarati at the University of Durban-Westville, by doing Gujarati 1, 2 and 3 under the tutelage of Pandit Nardevbhai Vedalanker. She taught at the Surat Hindu Gujarati School for 52 years. In the 1960’s  there were approximately 1000 learners at the school.

 

Many of whom have become professionals in their chosen fields. Her dedication in the pursuit of the Gujarati Language is commendable.

 

Bhanuben Sookha obtained her matric in Gujarati, as an extra subject in London, after studying at the Bharat Sharda Mandir in Johannesburg. She commenced teaching at the Surat Hindu Gujarati School, from 1990. When the Department of Education introduced vernaculars at the state schools, Bhanuben taught at St. Anthony’s Primary School and Gordon Road School for Girls. She also taught Gujarati at the Kendra from 2002 to 2012. She also qualified as a Pandita through the Arya Prathinithi Sabha.

 

It is stalwarts like all of  these awardees, who are role models and the community looks upon them for guidance, progress and inspiration.

 

We wish them all a very healthy and well deserved retirement.