QUEEENS, NY — The New York Mari-Amman Koil (NYMAK) held its Holiday Fund Raiser and Awards Ceremony at the elegant Liberty Palace Banquet Hall on Sunday December 9, 2018. The glittering affair was well attended by the Temple’s membership and relatives and friends of the four honorees.
This Kovil (Temple) is in Rosedale, Queens, and caters to the Devi form of worship practiced by the growing Tamil (Madrassi) immigrants from Guyana, the Caribbean ad India, who have settled in the NY Tri-state region. The Kovil/Temple dedicated to the worship of Mari-Amma, the much-loved Goddess of nature, Amma meaning Mother.
The Executive Board & Trustees of the organization decided to recognize and honor four stalwart Tamil leaders who have worked tirelessly to promote the Tamil culture, and some who have selflessly served the Queens Kovil over the years.
Heading the list of honorees were two leaders who made tremendous contributions to the Tamil Community internationally, and who achieved the status of Gurus in these communities. Chinapa Virasawmi paid glowing tribute to the contributions of the late Pusari James (Paploo) Naidu whose award was received by his son Errol. Then it was time for Karna Singh to introduce Chinapa Lloyd Virasawmi to receive his award for distinguished leadership in the Tamil community for more than 50 years. Karna’s tribute chronicled the contributions of this researcher, Guru & leader over the years.
The third honoree was Bhajandas Beto Gurcharan who hails from Rose Hall Town and was the first elected Secretary of the Organization in 2002. Beto continues to serve the Kovil as one of the most reliable and hard-working devotees of the Goddess. The fourth honoree was another exemplary devotee and worker of the Kovil, Kawall David Chandr. Kawall made vital contributions in developing the Kovil’s buildings during the early stages of its establishment and continues to serve in the everyday needs of the Organization.
Each honoree was presented with beautifully designed plaques, and with citations from NY State Senator, Joseph P. Addabo, Jr whose community outreach personnel were in attendance. The Board of the Kovil was presented with a citation by Romeo Hitlall on behalf of the State Senator.
After the award ceremony, the two hundred plus guests continued to celebrate the event until late evening. They were treated to an excellent session of tapu drumming, followed by toe-tapping tassa drums, and a scintillating dance performance by the talented and graceful Oma Dei Somai.
The Board of the NYMAK humbly extends thanks and gratitude to all those who supported this event and made it such a grand success!