4 - First Sikh Temple
Early Sikh migrants came to pre-Federation Australia as free settlers when there was no restrictive immigration policy. They were adventurist male sojoumers who left their family behind and came to make their fortune. Some of them did return, but the majority developed a love for Australia and its people and remained to lay the foundations for the Australian Sikh community.
The First Sikh Temple in Australia
1968 opening plaque
A Punjabi Sikh Community in Australia
Rashmere Bhatti (née Arkan) conducted a number of interviews during 2000 and early 2001 with people living in the Woolgoolga-Coffs Harbour area and elsewhere about the Punjabis when they first came to this area. You can read at this site the responses she received regarding Marjorie Hedges, Peter Newman, Peter's wife, Berril Newman, Earl Richards, Vivian Thomas Slater, Janice O'Connell, Harry Gale, Robert John Laugher, Frederick George (Dood) Unwin, Iris Unwin (Dood's wife), Jean Robinson and Harbhajan Kaur Bains (the granddaughter of Baba Ram Singh who died in 1983, aged 106 years).
Laying of foundation stone for new temple on same site, May 2012. Expected completion date November 2013