Central Saanich Hindu Parishad looking for more space

Board members are looking for land or an older church within a 10 minute drive from Saanich.

Deputy Chief of Central Saanich Police Derren Lench

Operating in a Central Saanich converted church since 1995, the Victoria Hindu Parishad and Cultural Centre has grown. The temple, which saw 50 families in its beginning, now sees around 200 families — or up to 800 people.

With its growth comes tight space in the current building on Cultra Avenue, so board members are looking for land or an older church within a 10 minute drive from Saanich, where most of the members live.

President of the Parishad Hari Sharma said they are constantly working to take part in various community initiatives but they are growing so much that people have to stand in the corners at times during service.

“As we are growing, we want to complete almost two to three times the hall (size),” he said, adding that this will also allow more people to gather for some more cultural programs too.

Trustee of the Parishad, Suresh Basrur added the temple was adequate until early to mid-2000, but that now with the membership growing with a newer generation of 30 to 50 year olds, they are on the search for land.

“So the whole complexion has changed in terms of the number of members and activities and so on,” said Basrur, adding, “so that means providing more programs, requiring more space… because there are occasions where we don’t have enough space for all the attendees inside.”

It was seven years ago when they started thinking of finding a bigger place but he said that requires a lot of lead time, money and availability of land.

“We’ve developed a bunch of criteria based on our member feedback,” he said.

One of the points was to find out what the members’ are looking for along with where the new place is in terms of the distance from members homes.

They’ve been raising money, and are almost ready should a piece of land become available. They have approached municipalities for options.

Sharma said they hope to have the land acquired within a year.

Coming up, the senior group at the Parishad will hold a garage sale on May 14, with all of the members donating various items to the temple. The sale will take place at the Parishad on Cultra Avenue from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For information, visit victoriahindutemple.com.