The City of Pickering, Ontario is celebrating its Bicentennial Year in 2011. Myriad related activities have been organized throughout the year. As part of the celebrations, the accomplishments of 12 prominent resident families have been recognized in a presentation by the Historical Society of Pickering and Pickering Public Library.
Titled ‘200 Years of Pickering Families’ is a one-of-a-kind display which features among others, soldiers, doctors, businessmen, political personalities and a writer. As part of the Library’s Bicentennial activities, the Local History Room at the Pickering Central Library is the site of an ongoing display. South Asian-Canadian Jawaid Danish and his family are among the families featured in this program. Playwright and Poet Jawaid Danish, has published more than 12 books and is well-known in literary circles, especially among theatre lovers, as an ambassador of Eastern values and culture. A two-time City of Pickering Civic Award winner, Jawaid Danish is actively involved in the local community. His many accolades, trophies, medals and photographs were on display in the Pickering Public Library for the entire month of December 2011.
A colourful brochure giving details of Jawaid Danish published on this occasion is available to the public. An official function was organized by the City on December 5, 2011, to present Jawaid Danish’s family with this honour. The Mayor of Pickering Hon. David Ryan inaugurated the event. City councillors David Pickles, Peter Rodrigues and Deputy Mayor Doug Dickerson also attended the program. The Guest of Honour was Visiting Professor Akhtarul Wasey, Head of the Department of Islamic Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi-India. Prof. Wasey is in Toronto by the invitation of the World Leaders’ Inter Religious Seminar on HIV–AIDS. He is also presenting his paper in a seminar at McGill University, Montreal. The president of the Historical Society of Pickering, Dr. John Sabean gave a speech at the occasion in which he recognised the works of Jawaid Danish, notably in the field of Theatre, and his contribution in the diverse community of Pickering. He also stated that in 1811 the population of Pickering was a mere 110 people, and currently it is almost 100,000 and with the changing demograph the need is to celebrate and recognise the mosaic of our multicultural community. He also thanked Jawaid Danish to be a part of this celebration. Prof. Akhtarul Wasey said he was delighted to be a part of this historic celebration. He also congratulated the committee to recognise Jawaid Danish. In his speech he said “Jawaid Danish is not only my friend from Aligarh University but also an internationally renowned Urdu playwright and poet, well known in India and abroad”. He also stated that “India is also multi-faith and multicultural like Canada, but in our vase each flower has its own unique fragrance and beauty, I wish the same here in Canada”. Jawaid Danish thanked the Mayor, the Councillors, the Historical Society, Dr. John Sabean and Becky George, the Genealogy Librarian for the wonderful evening organized in his honour. He also emphasised the need of an Arts Centre in Durham region for various cultural and theatrical ventures. ‘200 Years of Pickering Families’ featuring the Danish Family will be on display during December 2011 on the second floor outside the Local History Room of the Pickering Central Library located at One, The Esplanade, Pickering, ON, L1V 6K7 Ph:905.831.6265.