A Brief History of Radha Krishna Mandir & Cultural Centre

The Radha Krishna Mandir & Cultural Centre (RKMCC) has a rich history spanning over four decades, rooted in a visionary initiative that emerged when young migrants from Guyana and Trinidad settled in the Region of Waterloo. Fueled by a deep desire to preserve the cultural and spiritual heritage passed down by their ancestors from India, the initial gatherings in homes organically transformed into a vibrant center for singing, prayers, and meditation. Officially inaugurated for public congregational worship in 1981, RKMCC serves as a compelling testament to an enduring dedication to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The progression of RKMCC reached a noteworthy milestone with the establishment of the Cambridge Hindu Society by the Hindu community in the Region of Waterloo in 1990. This pivotal moment was marked by the acquisition of our present building located at 67 Old Mill Rd, Cambridge, Ontario. Originally a Christian church dating back to the 1890s, the building holds heritage significance in the City of Cambridge. The back section was added in 1972, and since the purchase, members and volunteers have tirelessly worked on various improvements. The Mandir officially opened its doors in early September 1990 during Janmashtami, with Dr. Budhendranauth Doobay, the President and Spiritual Leader of the Voice of Vedas, aka as Vishnu Mandir Richmond Hill Ontario, and Pt. Bhoj Narine Sharma, officiating the ceremony. For avid history enthusiasts, immerse yourself in the depths of our past through the eyes of a graduate student MSc thesis (http://hdl.handle.net/11375/10221), which highlighted intricacies of RKMCC’s evolution prior to 1995.

Throughout its history, the RKMCC community has been led by dedicated leaders, including Bhai Mohan Ramphal, Bhai Prem James, Bhai Dev Ram, Bhai Harideo Prashad, Bhai Dwarka Persaud, and Bhai Vishnu Balbahadur—all of whom have served as Presidents alongside a devoted team of Board members. Pioneering roles were played by Pt. Danain Persaud and Pt. Sewlall Persaud in orchestrating weekly services and adding to the spiritual resonance at RKMCC. Additionally, Pt. Dwejendra Doobay, affiliated with the Mandir, undertakes the multifaceted roles of both priest and advisor. In 2004, a pivotal moment arose as the growing Hindu community welcomed its first resident full-time priest, Pt Ghanashyam Sharma of Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh India, with the most recent addition to the resident pandit lineage being Pt. Rudra Prashad Dhungana, who is currently away. All our Pandits from India are trained on the Shastras and Sanskrit

Over the years, the Mandir has welcomed many Hindu leaders, Swamis, Priests, Pandits, and Didi Jees across the world who have shared the teachings of Sanatan Dharma. In May 2020, the Mandir officially changed its Bylaws and name to Radha Krishna Mandir & Cultural Centre (RKMCC). With approval secured for the construction of a new Mandir, preparations are underway for an 21,000-square-feet facility at the intersection of Cherry Blossom Rd, Boxwood Dr, and Royal Oak Rd. Overcoming the final hurdle in 2020 after two decades of owning a 2.24-acre plot in Cambridge, the Mandir set in motion plans for this new undertaking.