‘If you are going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased’.
Maya Angelou’s words resonated with me as I recently attended the opening of the grand Swaminarayan Complex spearheaded by Farm Cove residents Dr Kanti and Ranjna Patel.
After months/years of uncertainty and delay that cost them a fortune during Covid, the state-of-the art, sprawling community complex in Papatoetoe was officially inaugurated by Minister Michael Wood, National Party Leader Christopher Luxon, Act Party Leader David Seymor as well as politicians including Winston Peters, Melissa Lee and Jenny Salesa.
Everyone was visibly moved as Patel’s journey veined with sacrifice, passion, drive and humility unfolded at the event.
In a heart-rending speech, the philanthropic doctor thanked New Zealanders for being so inclusive, as he traced his journey from humble beginnings of a young immigrant, setting up practice in Otara with his better half, a third generation Kiwi-Indian.
Years later, the power couple worked hard to ingeniously build East Tamaki Healthcare with innovative systems in place that won many awards. Soon they proved to be the largest, privately owned Primary Healthcare Group in New Zealand providing low-cost healthcare to all ethnicities, gender and race.
Now called Tamaki Health, Dr Patel retired to focus his energies on the Swaminarayan Temple and the adjoining complex with sprawling conference and dining facilities—a hub for people of all cultures and ethnicities.
Listening to dignitaries and saints speak of Dr Kanti’s precious gift to the community, it struck me that each one of us is capable of rising above the rubble to achieve a purpose that is far greater than ourselves…and leave a legacy.
We’ve all been gifted a block of marble and tools to shape it. We can either drag the untouched piece of marble behind us; pound it into gravel; or shape it into a glorious gift for the rest of the community.
The Swaminarayan Complex is testimony to carving a present for future generations.
On that note, we hope you enjoy this month’s offering to you, as we continue to take pride in telling people’s stories, being the voice and glue of the community, we love so much.