It’s been a solemn month for the Clearwater Sikh community after the death of one of its longtime members and also having to close the doors on its local temple after more than three decades.
Sowaran Heer, whose son Narinder said was the community’s “main guy”, died last week at 100 years-old.
Heer was born on Feb. 23, 1918 and a funeral service will be held for him on Sept. 22 in Delta.
Less than a week after Heer’s passing, the Sikh community of Clearwater closed the doors to its temple of 36 years in a ceremony that saw the final lowering of the community flag on Sept. 15.
“It’s so sad; after 36 years we didn’t want it to close, but what can you do,” said Narinder.
“There was nobody left, it’s only four or five of us—one family from Vavenby and four from Clearwater. Most of us are retired now, I’m retired and we can’t afford to run it anymore.”
During Saturday’s ceremony, which had Sikh members come to Clearwater from Kamloops and as far off as Vancouver, the flag pole was lowered, its saffron covering was removed and Narinder noted the building had already been sold.
He added the Holy Scripture is being moved from Clearwater to Kamloops where the local community will now travel for ceremonies and gatherings.
“It’s too bad we had to close it.”