Christmas Cheers filled the air at Grace Anglican Church on December 10th, as “Halton Gujarati Seniors Samaj” hosted their Christmas Gala Party.

This initiative was conceptualized and executed by HGSS’s Secretary Hassu Bihari, who brings with her invaluable experience working several decades in the health care sector. Mrs. Bihari felt that it should be a senior’s led event as they showcase their efforts to bring joy for their grandkids through celebration of this event.

Mrs. Hassu Bihari, arrived in Canada as a refugee from Uganda, East Africa in October 1972, with her husband Bihari and her three months old daughter Beena Sthankiya. They rented an apartment in Stratford, ON, where Hassu was treated as a daughter by their neighbour Mr. & Mrs. Harrington Morris & Winifred. For their first Christmas, Mr. Harrington dressed in a Santa Claus suite, delivered gifts to their family. These humble gestures made deep impact in Hassu’s heart and ever since the legacy of Christmas celebration has been carried out by them. Mrs. Bihari Says “Christmas is a time when the oneness of humanity is seen despite any culture or race. We are all one and the true Joy only comes through sharing and caring”.

Through Halton Gujarati Seniors Samaj, Christmas tradition continued where Santa Claus came through the front door with a red bag full of gifts for the grand kids. She said we entertained them and gave them whatever we can afford with love filled in our hearts, Mrs. Hassu Bihari with the HGSS’s Committee has been organizing Christmas celebrations for the community for last three years. Their main goal is to entertain their grand kids and teach them through this experience that it is only by sharing and giving, the true joy can be achieved. Celebrations included Santa Claus singing Christmas carols, children giggling and with sparkle in their eyes brought out the spirit of Christmas joy and the seniors became kids again, seeing their childhood in their grandkids eyes.

There was live Music and each kid had a chance to dance with Santa. “While seeing the kids having lots of fun with dear Santa Claus, we also danced and had a best time” says Hassu with a big smile.

After Santa left, sneezy the clown took over the entertainment, including a scavenger hunt. Sneezy the Clown or my own word Milton’s favourite, Rolly-Polly Clown was just Amazing!!! She also entertained our members just like little kids and made our Christmas Gala party so memorable.

She says “I strongly believe that every faith should celebrate this Holiday Season as this is a perfect moment to unite the families and the communities. The Christmas Gala party, under one roof had three generations which bonded the families as they left with cheerful memories.

Mrs. Bihari expresses her immense gratitude to Councillor Rick Di Lorenzo, of Milton who attended the event with his family despite his busy schedule. He lighted the candle with the committee members with the prayers of Peace and Prosperity for the New Year 2018. She also with the certificate appreciated the support of Lorette Shermet, of Grace Anglican Church for the space.

Hassu invites the community to come forward to support the Halton Gujarati Samaj of Seniors in making their celebrations bigger and joyful in 2018.

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Photos by: Suresh Padia & Denise Cooperwhite

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