Blessings for new Sikh site in Live Oak

Oak,Wis, USA: Five Sikh religious leaders dressed in bright orange traveled from India to offer blessings during a groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning for a new $4 million Sikh temple in Live Oak.

“It is a very exciting day,” said Sikh Live Oak Councilman Lakhvir S. Ghag, 58. “Our community and Live Oak are growing, and we feel the need for an improved place to worship.”

Roughly 100 people sat in an oversized tent and listened to blessings and readings from the Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, prior to the groundbreaking.

Giani Iqbal Singh, one of the five from India offer blessings, said he was happy to come and hopes the new temple will help grow the religion.

The 25,000-square-foot complex, which will be the area’s largest, will include three structures on nearly 11 acres in the 10400 block of Larkin Road.

The main hall will be about 10,000 square feet and the dining and multipurpose areas will each be around 7,500 square feet.

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade are also expected to be taught on site.

Gurnam Singh Pamma, 63, who farms 1,600 acres in the area, donated the dusty, empty and level lot.

“God has given me the opportunity to do something in God’s name that will serve the community,” he said.

Pamma said that members of the Sikh faith have already stepped up and committed $1.5 million toward the project he believes will cost close to $4 million.

The bidding process will start soon and subcontractors will then be hired to do the work.

“We are hoping to finish in one year, but I think it will take at least two years to build,” Pamma said.

The temple, which is expected to have multiple gold-colored domes, will replace the Live Oak temple in the 9900 block of P Street.

About 200 families from Live Oak and Gridley frequent the P Street temple, said temple president Piara Singh Gosal, 63.

“When I first came here (in 1967), the closest temple was in Stockton,” said Gosal, of Live Oak.

Now there are two temples in Yuba City and one in Live Oak.

“It is a historic day for us,” Gosal said.

Source: Appeal Democrat.com

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