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WHAT THEY SAID

!!! WHAT THEY SAID !!!

The. Rt. Hon. Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara GCMG,KBE - Prime Minister

"I said on the occasion of Deepawali some twenty years ago that what I hoped for and believed in for Fiji was not a dull, enforced homogeneity, but all the wealth of diversity, with each culture retaining its individuality, and all blending together to form a varied pattern to enrich the whole.

I still hold that view and therefore congratulate the Sangam on the significant contribution it has made towards that end through the promotion of education and culture in our country. I trust that contribution will be enhanced in the future."

..........Source 1987 Convention Magazine -Lautoka

Mr. T.P. Sreenivasan - Ambassador of India

Inaugural Address at Convention RakiRaki "India takes pride in the fact that even after a century of separation, the people of Indian origin in Fiji cherish ancient human and spiritual values of India and continue to maintain their strong sentimental bonds with India. This relationship between you and India does not conflict in any way with the fact the you are a citizens of Fiji Your future lies here and your fortunes are inextricably linked with the fortunes of this nation. Today the Sangam is faced with new challenges, but these are no greater than the challenges faced by your forefathers in their time. Like them, you too shall be able to deal with adversity and emerge victorious because, like them, you too possess the fortitude, the vision and the moral strength inherited from rich and ancient culture."

..........Source 1989 Convention Magazine -Suva

HE Mr. B W P Absolum - New Zealand Ambassador

"The history of Indian people in Fiji has been a history of endeavour. Endeavour on the one hand to be seen and accepted as an integral part of Fiji, with all that Implies In terms of res~ect and. recognition. But endeavour on the other hand to maintain and promote a sense of cultural Identity. And In both a!eas of endeavour, particularly the second, the Then India Snamarga Ikya Sangam has played a constructive and significant role. Indeed it has focussed on the three thin~s that are per.haps most central to the Integrity and sense of identity of any people, that is; language, education and worship ..

..........Source 1992 Convention Magazine -Lautoka

Mr. John Trotter -Australian Ambassador (Chief Guest 1992 Convention)

"The Sangam is not a political organisation, but promoting educational, cultural and religious activity, it supports some of the core freedoms that have been recognised by the International Community as inalienable: Specifically, freedom of expression and freedom of Culture, Language and Religion. History shows that progress, which is gradual, is the more likely to be long lasting. We see that in the development of the Sangam, it its evolution from very simple beginnings to what we see around us today."

..........Source 1994 Convention Magazine -Sa

H.E. Mr. Tim J David -British Ambassador (Chief Guest 1994 Convention)

"The Sangam is, by any yardstick, an astonishing organisation. You are characterised by a commitment to service -service to youth, service to the community and service to the nation. And you realise this commitment principally in three fields -education, culture and worship."

..........Source 1995 Convention Magazine -Suva

The. Rt. Hon. Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara GCMG,KBE, CF, KStJ, MSD - President

"The beneficiaries of Sangam's contribution have been largely the rural people of Fiji as Sangam ensured that most of its schools were built in rural areas where the need could not be met by others including Government of the day. In the new Millenium with growing demands to be placed upon the country its people, there will be expectations of Sangam as an organisation with nationwide network to shoulder greater responsibilities and there is no doubt that Sangam will stand up to the challenge that will be imposed on it."

..........Source 2000 Convention Magazine -Suva

Ambassador Osman Siddique -American Ambassador to Fiji

"Anyone who cares about his or her institution and its mission wants it to succeed. But success is a function of many things, including hard works, good management and sound leadership. The Then India Sanmarga Ikya Sangam is a success story built around those principles. The fonder and life-long President of Sangam Sevaka Ratnam Sadhu Kuppuswamy would be proud of all of you today. You have honoured his life and legacy. Change is constant. As we marvel at the changes of the last hundred years, we dream of what changes the next thousand will bring. And as powerful as our memories are, our dreams must be even stronger. For when your memories outweigh your dreams, you become old, and it is the eternal destiny of mankind to remain forever young, always reaching beyond, always making things happen. Do not fear change. Instead welcome it, embrace it and create it."

......I have learned of the origins of the Sangam in the 1920s in the selfless and dedicated efforts of Sadhu Swami and his early followers and supporters. I have learned that the Sangam is now one of the biggest socio-cultural and educational organizations in Fiji, and that it manages not only religious and cultural centres but also funds and manages 21 primary and five secondary schools, two vocational training centres and a Nursing School in different parts of the Country.

And what is more impressive, if I may say so, is the fact that your educational institutions have been structured to cater, not just for Sangam members, but for students of all races, religious beliefs and ethnic backgrounds.

In reflecting on what I have learnt about this venerable organization, I think there are some lessons to be drawn from its history. ....Source 2000 Convention Magazine -Suva
...................so said HE James Batley the Australian High Commissioner in his Inaugural Address at the Nadi 2007 Convention.



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