4 Gujaratis honoured with Queen’s Platinum Jubilee award for community leadership. Four community leaders of Gujarati origin are among the 70 proud recipients of Queen’s Platinum Jubilee awards. The awards were given away for a range of categories on December 11 in Winnipeg, Canada.
The Gujarati-origin award recipients include Hemant Shah, Ash Patel, Kirit Thakrar and Himanshu Patel. The four were recognized for their socio-cultural contribution and community leadership. Terry Dugaid, federal Member of Parliament from South Winnipeg, conferred the awards.
The awards were announced by six of Canada’s 10 provinces to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to throne in 1952. Hemant Shah, one of the recipients and director of Canada-India Trade & Marketing at Overseas Friends of India, Canada, said that he considers the award an honour for the Gujarati community that has made Canada home.
“We as a community are getting recognition for our public life and contribution to the society. More importantly, the honours were decided based on nominations and not political suggestion,” he said.
“It would encourage the community members to give their best and inspire the new generation of social leaders,” he added. The recipients are associated with various socio-cultural organizations in Canada, said Shah.
A native of Kutch, Shah’s journey to Canada via Mumbai is dotted with several recognitions and awards, the latest being honours from Canadian Hindu Chamber of Commerce based in Toronto.
“Over the years, the Gujarati population has increased in Canada as many students have settled here after studies. We have carved a niche for ourselves in the society, and every individual is an ambassador of the community,” he said.
The Gujarati community in major Canadian cities form a thriving sub-culture of Indian diaspora that gather for occasions such as Diwali and Navratri apart from social get-togethers and social causes, the community members said.