It was an emotional and a unique scene at the Mahatma Gandhi Centre on Sunday, June 26, 2016, as three Centenarians and 17 nonagenarians were honoured by the Auckland Indian Association.
The event, attended by more than 350 men and women was a solemn occasion to pay tributes to their vision and service to the society, pray for their continued good health and wellbeing and seek their blessings for sustaining a world that has room for love, compassion and community spirit.
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The three Centenarians honoured were Jerambhai Ravjibhai and his wife Gangaben Ravjibhai, who marked 81 years as husband and wife, perhaps a global record and Gajaraben Merai, who recently celebrated their 100th birthday.
Jerambhai and his wife reached the ‘tender’ age of 100 respectively in May and June this year. All three of them received special letters of commendation from Prime Minister John Key.
Some of the nonagenarians are in the pink of their health, enjoying their retired lives with their extended families, one of them accounting for 105 children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Many recounted their early days in India and New Zealand and their association with Mahatma Gandhi and his Freedom Movement in India. One 94-year-old man said he goes for regular walks and drives his own car.
The certificates and letters of commendations were presented to the recipients by Members of Parliament Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Dr Parmjeet Parmar (National), Phil Goff (Labour) and Mahesh Bindra (New Zealand First).
Following is the full list of Indians honoured at the Ceremony: