Recently, six Rhinelander residents – five from St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church – gave their condolences and support to the members of the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek. The Sikh Temple lost six of their members on Aug. 5 in an attack by a gunman.
The Rhinelander visitors were there an hour before the Indian Minister for External Affairs, Nirupama Rao, and other dignitaries arrived to extend the Indian government’s condolences to the Milwaukee Sikh community.
Temple officials were exceptionally kind hosts and gave their visitors some of the meal intended for the Minister and his companions. Temple officials also provided a tour of the temple and a brief explanation of Sikh beliefs. They were especially impressed that the Rhinelander group would drive so far to visit the temple and pay respects. They were also pleased that some visitors would be part of the crowd when the Minister and his group arrived. They felt it would demonstrate the kind of support they have received from Wisconsin and around the country. The visitors from Rhinelander saw one of the stretch limos bearing dignitaries pull up as they were leaving the temple.
The group consisted of Walter and Donna Gagger, Linda Hutchinson, Diane Willet, and Bobbie and Ed Hughes. The group visited other religious sites in Milwaukee but members were most impressed by the hospitality and openness of the Sikhs. The Sikhs invited them back, and some of the group indicated that they would be back to attend a Sikh service.