Hotel Vancouver
Vancouver, British Columbia,

April 22, 1983

(During Hazar Imam's Silver Jubilee visit to the Canadian Jamats, a banquet was held in His honour in Vancouver. A plaque was presented to Hazar Imam by the Deputy Premier which "symbolized the love and support and the appreciation of the citizens of British Columbia." The Mayor of Vancouver in his welcome address also announced that this day had been declared "Ismaili Day")

Hazar Imam then made the following speech.

Honourable Senator, Honourable Deputy Premier, Honourable Ministers, His Worship the Mayor, distinguished ladies and gentlemen,

Speaking after the honourable senator, deputy premier, the Mayor, President of my Council, is a difficult task; there isn't much left to be said. But I do want to take this occasion, to say here this evening - because it's the first occasion I have had to say this publicly - how deeply grateful I am to the government, the people of Canada, for the most generous, kind, and warm welcome that they have received my wife, my brother and me on the occasion of my Silver Jubilee. And I think that tonight the best thing that I can do, is to say that my rejoicing at this welcome is not limited to 1983. I think that this relationship, which I think Canada and the institution which I represent share, this relationship is best embodied in the growing relationship between Canadian institutions and the new Aga Khan University in Pakistan.

For an institution or a community, such as mine, to embark upon building a major, international centre of higher learning, is a long-term commitment to the improvement of education, which will be difficult to fulfil. And I am honoured and proud that two Canadian institutions, McMaster University and McGill University, are key collaborators in this endeavour and already today I can say that what they have brought us has enabled us to make a mark in a number of developing countries and for that I think we will be grateful, not only in 1983, but for many, many, many years ahead. Therefore, tonight I simply want to say thank you for what you have done in the past, thank you for what you are doing at present and thank you for what I am sure you will be doing for us in the future.

Thank you.