Richmond Hill’s Sikh community celebrates unveiling of street co-naming signage

Gurdwara Street
Courtesy of Councilwoman Adrienne Adams Office

Councilwoman Adrienne Adams and Assemblyman David Weprin joined Sikh members of the Richmond Hill community on Nov. 30 for the unveiling of Gurdwara Street at 97th Avenue between 117th Street and Lefferts Boulevard. 

The street co-naming ceremony celebrated the contributions of the Sikh community that remain a part of the fabric of Richmond Hill. 

Harpreet Singh Toor, former president of the Sikh Cultural Society, said the co-naming of Gurdwara Street was held within the most auspicious timing — the birthday of Baba Nanak, who founded Sikhism and is the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus. 

“This acknowledgement of the historic inception of the first and largest Gurdwara on the east coast, which established the first place of worship for the Sikh community is a welcomed inclusion to our celebration of the birthday of Baba Nanak,” Toor said. 

Rajwinder Kaur, a member of the District 28 Community Education Committee, said it was indeed a spiritual day for the Sikh religion. 

“Today we celebrate Guru Baba Nanak’s birthday. The basic motives of Guru Baba Nanak were to shine and rise and give the light of hope,” Kaur said. “A ray of hope to the whole world conveying that we are one and we are equal. As the co-naming was bestowed upon our community on this significant day, we’ve expressed to the people the belief of oneness, despite our color, race, class and creed.” 

Last December, Adams’ proposal to co-name Gurdwara Street was approved by the New York City Council. 

It was a long overdue recognition for the contributions of the Sikh community both locally and throughout the city, Adams said. 

“It is important that New York City’s diverse communities see themselves and their varying cultures represented in the historical landscape,” Adams said. “There was no better day to celebrate the co-naming of Gurdwara Street than on the birthday of Guru Baba Nanak, one of the most celebrated Sikh gurus.” 

Weprin thanked Adams for her efforts in reaching the significant milestone. 

“Our city thrives from the cultural, civic, and business enterprises that the Sikh community has established in Richmond Hill and beyond,” Weprin said. “I am thrilled that 97th Avenue between Lefferts Boulevard and 117th Street is now formally recognized as Gurdwara Avenue.”