The New York City Council had approved co-naming Bowne Street as Ganesh Temple Street in December last year.
A street outside a prominent temple in Flushing, Queens County in New York has been named Ganesh Temple Street. Till now, the street on which the temple stands was called Bowne Street after leading American pioneer of religious freedom and anti-slavery movement, John Bowne.
In a special ceremony on Saturday, the street was co-named Ganesh Temple Street in honour of the iconic Ganesh temple situated there.
The Consul General of India in New York Randhir Jaiswal, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Deputy Commissioner for Trade, Investment and Innovation in the office of New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Dilip Chauhan and members of the Indian-American community attended the unveiling ceremony.
Later, at an event held at the Indian Consulate to celebrate Baisakhi, consul general Jaiswal told the gathering that the co-naming was not just a celebration, but an acknowledgement of the milestones reached through decades of hard work.
“It speaks so well of the Indian-American community, for all that you have done not just for yourself but bringing joy and happiness to people’s lives around you,” he said.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards also took to social media to declare that Bowne Street in Flushing is henceforth also to be called Ganesh Temple Street. He shared a video on Twitter of the unveiling of the street sign as the crowd cheered on.
“What a day to celebrate. Congratulations to Dr. Uma Mysorekar and everyone at the Hindu Temple Society of North America for all they do to spiritually support our families and uplift the collective soul of Queens,” he said.
Bengaluru-born Mysorekar is an obstetrician and gynaecologist and also President of the Hindu Temple Society of North America.
The story goes that the founding members of the Hindu Temple Society of North America started it as a non-profit religious institution in 1970. Construction of the temple began when a piece of land was acquired from a Russian Orthodox Church and the final brick was put into place by 1977. It has since more than doubled in size thanks to all the donations pouring in. It is thought to be the first Hindu Temple in North America.
Other than the main temple, there is also a community centre complex which houses an auditorium, wedding halls, conference rooms and a canteen.
In December 2021, a committee chaired by councilman Peter Koo, under The New York City Council, had approved co-naming Bowne Street as Ganesh Temple Street. The temple authorities had taken to social media to thank all devotees, management, board members, elected officials and the general public for their unwavering support.