The brand new NESSC, Inc Gurdwara Sahib in Westborough, MA
On Saturday October 14, 2017 amidst much fanfare the New England Sikh Study Circle, Inc officially opened the brand new 21,000 square foot gurdwara located at 168 Flanders Road, Westborough, MA.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Worcester attended and graced the occasion. Governor Baker unveiled the foundation plaque and inaugurated the new gurdwara. The Worcester County Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis was also present for this special event.
Not only did Governor Baker bow in front of the Shri Guru Granth Sahib but was at complete ease by sitting cross-legged with rest of the sangat. Everyone at the gurdwara sincerely appreciated Governor Baker humble demeanor and the sangat was very thankful for his presence.
The Governor spoke about the inclusive nature of the Sikh Faith and the belief in one another.
Dr.Manohar Singh Grewal presenting a ‘kirpan’ to Gov. Charlie Baker at the Gurdwara
“Your particular faith,” Gov. Baker stated, “sits comfortably with so many others that aspire to be about equality, about virtue, about community, about work, about faith, and about a commitment to one another.”
The Governor was presented with a shawl and a beautiful engraved ‘kirpan’ by Dr. Manohar Singh specially made by Jot Singh Khalsa of Khalsa Kirpans.
Dr. Manohar Singh Grewal is one the original founding members of the NESSC when he came to Boston as a student in 1967 to study at MIT. While talking about the advantage of large modern gurdwara in reference to spreading awareness about the Sikh Faith, Dr. Manohar Singh Grewal stated, “It will help us spread the word and let others outside the community see what we’re all about,” as Sikhs have been a regular targets of discrimination because of their distinguished turbans and beards.
The New England Sikh Study Circle opened its first gurdwara, in Milford, in 1991. Currently there about 200 Sikh families who regularly attend the new gurdwara. Construction on the gurdwara began in March 2014. The gurdwara is one of four in the state and cost about $6.5 million to construct which covers about 34 acres of land.
The gurdwara has 14 classrooms, as well as office, a library, and a community meeting room. It can also serve as an emergency shelter, able to feed and shelter about 1,000 people which is unique.
NESSC President Malkit Singh Gill estimates there are around 500 regular attendees from the Sikh community. The response from neighbors and local community members has been positive in reference to the new gurdwara.
Governor Charlie Baker addressing the congregation at the gurdwara sahib [Photo/Jim Marabello]
U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern said he found inspiration in the values of the Sikh Faith.
“What you believe in is what all of humanity should believe in,” he said. “We need to respect one another, and we need to help one another; we need to care about one another and reject violence in any form, anywhere.”
Today many selfless sewadars are really happy about the culmination of years of effort to make the new gurdwara a reality.