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Speech by H.H. The Aga Khan at the luncheon at Vancouver Hotel during the foundation of the Burnaby Jamat Khana 1982-07-26

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Event - 1982-07-26
Monday, 1982, July 26
Calgary Crescent (Chandraat publication) by Ismailia Assoc for Canada
1982 Vancouver.jpg
Aga Khan IV (H.H. Prince Karim)

July 26, 1982

Your Honour,
The Honorable Senator Perrault,
The Honorable Mrs. Grace McCarthy,
Deputy Premier of British Columbia,
His Worship, The Mayor of Vancouver,
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
One of the advantages of coming at the end of a long list of speakers is that everybody wants you to stop speaking.
One of the disadvantages is that just about everything you would wish to say has been said, but it is My genuine privilege to be able to express to all the honored guests today, to all the authorities, all the citizens of Vancouver who are here, the very deep gratitude of the members of my community, of My wife and Myself for the kindness, the courtesy, the warmth that you have extended to us since the first Ismailis came to Canada.

On the occasion of the foundation ceremony of the first Jamatkhana in Canada, I would like to underline that Canada’s concern for man, for the honour of man does not stop at her frontiers and this is a sign to Me of world greatness.

Not to look inwards, not to be hypnotized by one’s own small issues, although I recognize that there may be very serious ones, but to have the generosity of heart, to look further afield. Members of the Ismaili community, institutions which are connected with the Imamat, have benefitted in recent years from Canada’s generosity, from her wisdom, from her understanding of her own international role.

I would like to mention here the Canadian International Development Agency, I would like to mention McGill University, I would like to mention McMaster University, institutions which are participating with Me in health programmes in the Third World, in education programmes in the Third World and really participating in the most creative manner which I can think of, that is helping man help himself.

Too often the spirit of initiative is destroyed by political instability, by lack of credibility, by people in their governments in the Third World and this private initiative which after all is something which I think Canada represents in its best form, is something which must be encouraged in the Third World because if the individual does not contribute to society, it is not the government which can replace that and I think this is one of the great lessons of Canada.

I do not want to go into detail about what CIDA, McGill, McMaster and other institutions in Canada have done, are doing and hopefully will continue to do in the support of the improvement of the quality of life in the Third World, but I do want to tell you without giving you the details, that I think it is a matter of which every Canadian can be deeply proud and in that sense, I can simply say ‘thank you’ and express to you all My gratitude and all My respect.

Thank you.

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