History

A short journey down Memory Lane.
 
 
1. One day almost half a century ago, Pandit Gian Chand Ji Shastri (a priest from Kenya). while passing through Toronto casually asked his friends from Kenya “so how is it going? “Ah …..What is going on? …..there is no Ved Vaani to listen to! ….. no place to go for a Bhajan Sandhya or Satsang or listen to Pravachans”, “well ! said Pandit ji. “gather some people and let us set up an Arya Samaj”. After a couple of days of planning around, Arya Samaj Toronto was formally established on October 20, 1974, at 1:30 pm.
 
2. With an enrolment of 55, the first General Body Meeting was held, and elected Bauji Jagan Nath Ji Chopra as their first President. The other office bearers were Surendra Shahi as First Vice President, Sarla Bedi as Second Vice President, Krishan Sharma as Secretary, and Kewal Sethi as the Treasurer. The seedling looked like standing on its own by spreading its roots into the grounds of Toronto.
 
3. It was named Arya Samaj Toronto at that time, and the name was changed to Arya Samaj Markham when it was agreed to build the Vedic Cultural Centre jointly with a group of Arya Samajis from Guyana because the name of their institution was Toronto Arya Samaj, and our Samaj decided to change its name to Arya Samaj Markham, to avoid any confusion.
 
4. Initially the Havans were performed at the homes of our members before we started renting space at the Flemingdon Park Community Centre in Don Mills. From there it moved to W.A. Porter Collegiate and later on to Agincourt Collegiate Institute in Agincourt.
 
6. Bauji Jagan Nath Chopra remained the President until 1982, at which time he was also the registered priest for our Samaj, which he did on a purely voluntary basis. Due to ill health,  he asked Amar Chand Erry, a young and energetic teacher and devout Arya Samaji from India,  to take over as the President in 1983.
 
7. The Vedic Cultural Centre at its present location #4345 – 14th Avenue Markham, was completed and the grand opening was performed on  Sunday, August 18th, 1996, to coincide with the Independence Day of India. Today, it is a majestic building considered to be one of the best Arya Samaj Mandirs in the world.
 
8. Continuing with the first set of pioneer office bearers, other Presidents, who carried the torch forward with sincerity and utmost dedication include (late) Amar Chand Erry, Dr. Rajendra Kashyap, Sat P. Chopra, (late) Ajit Wadhwa, (late) Sudershen Beri, Sneh Sachdev, and the current President, Yash Kapur.
 
                  ” Mein akela hee chala thha zanibe manzil. Log milte gaye aur caravan banta gaya”