A group of seniors that enjoys each other’s company

Indian Seniors Group ”“ Hornsby (ISG) has been in existence for the last 12 years. It started in Hornsby and then moved to Epping Leisure and Learning Centre, off Pembroke Street, under the Library, near Railway Station for the last 8 years.

Says its president, Dave Passi, “ISG has been trying to empower the seniors in a variety of ways so that they can be happy, healthy and confident enough in this foreign land to make their own decisions to lead a purposeful life. This is done by conducting two major events every month.”

The ISG seniors meet on every third Sunday of the month at 1:00 PM till 4:30 PM when they have activities such as singing, dancing, playing games and more

“We get guest speakers from the fields of health, yoga, religion, centre link, etc. to keep their knowledge and information up to date for their well-being.”

“On the last Wednesday of last week of every month we take the seniors to different destination in excursions in our own mini-bus, to the places of their choice.”

“The ISGH also conducts in January (Indian Republic Day & Australia Day), in March (Seniors Festival), and in August (Independence Day) in which we encourage participation by all,” Says Dave.

In addition to the regular monthly activities, Indian Seniors Group (ISG) decided to do some extra activity. Dave, who hails from Punjab convinced the team to stage a Punjabi concert on top of the normal regular activities. ISG took a plunge to organise a Punjabi function two years ago and branded it as Shan-e-Punjab 1. Shan-e-Punjab 2 was organised on August 6 this year.

Dave who participated himself and also was the Master of Ceremonies, said, “The program was based on folk melodies and Bhangra songs of legend singers of Punjab, namely Jagjit Singh, Asa Singh Mastana, Surinder Kaur who are not with us anymore. Also, Punjabi songs of Mohamad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar Bollywood singers, Noor Jahan a popular Pakistani singer and Runa Laila Bangladeshi singer were included. The lead singers were Vinod Kumar Rajput, Seema Bhardwaj, Amrita Kohli and Surinder Singh.  The music was provided by North Shore Band Baajaa.”

Dave and his wife Kanchan, who always prepare a dance item and entertain the seniors had on this afternoon, prepared a team of ladies dressed in beautiful Punjabi outfits, and presented the folk song and dance ”˜Jago Aaiye’ which was the highlight of the Shan-E-Punjab concert. The Jago team performed fantastic Bhangra dance on the tune of “Jatta jag bai aa hun jago aai aa” sung by Vinod Kumar Rajput and his band.

Vinod Kumar Rajput and his team sang some popular songs such as “Balle Ni Punjab Diye Sher Bachiye”, “Mele Nu Chal Mere Naal Kude”, “Suhe Ve Cheere Waleya  Main Kehni Aan”, “Pyaar De Bhulekhe  Kinne Sohne Sohne Kha Gaye”, “O Channa Kithan Guzari Aai Raat Ve”; “Lambi Judaai” and “Dam Dum Mast Kalandar”, and many more old popular songs.

Dave migrated to Australia 45 years ago from India, when there were only few Indians in Sydney including Gurcharan Singh Sidhu and Shan Ruprai, who attended the program on the day. Dave remembered how their team of three used to perform together and the very first dance they did in the main hall of Opera house at its inaugural function in 1975.

All singers and volunteers were honoured for their work and presented with certificates and presents. Also 78th birthday of Pushap Lata Sharma was celebrated by cutting the cake and refreshment served along with hot tea.  The day wrapped up in great spirits as Dave announced that next year another Shan-E-Punjab will take place.

For more information on ISGH, please contact: President.ISG@hotmail.com or 0413 760 300

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