28th March, 2014
Sydney’s Indian community gave a touching farewell to Indian Consul General in Sydney, Arun Goel and his wife Alka Goel, on Friday, 28th March, 2014. Approx 150 people attended the event, held at the newly opened event Centre, The Grand Marion, Harris Park, NSW. The gathering included Hon David Clarke MLC (Parliamentary Secretary, NSW Gov), Geoff Lee (State MP for Parramatta), Hon John Robertson (State Opposition Leader) and Lord Mayor Clr John Chedid (Mayor of Parramatta).
The organising committee included Balvinder Ruby, Harry Walia, Sukhvinder Rajput, Dr Bharathi Reddy, Thiru Arumugam, Venkata Prasad Ragipani, Padmanabhan Karamil and Dr Yadu Singh, who super-headed the committee in multiple ways.
Dr Yadu Singh and Hemu Negi produced and presented a short video (see above) about Consul General, which was very touching, and was appreciated by everyone. Comments were made in lighter tones about the talent of the leading member of the organising committee, Cardiologist Dr Yadu Singh, who can easily dabble in script writing. Dr Singh conducted the event as the Master of Ceremonies, and conducted the event with his signature spontaneity, flair and flamboyance, thus entertaining and endearing everyone.
Electric Korma band, comprising of 3 Anglo-Saxon guys singing some beautiful Bollywood songs, The band was definitely a novelty. There were few dances too.
Catering was done by Mahidhar Raval of Celebrations Sydney Restaurant. He and his team did a wonderful job.
The owners of The Grand Marion (TGM), Sanjay and Manish Patel of Patel Brothers did not leave any stone unturned in providing the best facilities at the Event centre. Decoration, ambience, facilities including Audio-Video system were all superb. This has established TGM as a landmark event centre.
The most important features of this event were the facts that organisers grouped themselves individually, without using or promoting the names of their associations, and presented the event as an event of the whole community. This was appreciated by all. This was definitely a new trend and an attempt by the organisers to unite the community.
Consul General spoke about the achievements during his tenure in Sydney, and wished for some further work towards unifying the community. He lamented about the division in the community, which is not helping the progress of the community. This was echoed in the comments by Dr Singh too, who said that community associations and community leaders have become a problem in the path of the community’s progress. Dr Singh felt that the word “Community Leader” has become a word of abuse. There is a real need for consolidation of community groups.
A memento was presented on behalf of the community to Consul General, and Bouquets of Flowers were presented to him and his wife. Wishes were made for their future endeavours.
Everyone enjoyed the ambience, fun, Flair, Food and songs.
It was a hugely successful event, delivered beautifully by the community in the honour of popular, down to Earth and helpful Consul General.
Report was compiled with the inputs from several people who attended the event.
Sydney/7th April, 2014