1424 E. Walnut Ave., Orange,
July 18th 2010 marked a momentous day in the lives of Southern California Zoroastrians: the grand opening of our new hall and finally, a sense of "belonging".
ZAC was established in 1974 and the 400+ Southern California community encompasses an area over 150 miles from Calabasas to San Diego. Although our needs for a center were discussed several times, the General Body would shelve the idea because funds collected were nowhere near the price of real estate in the region. We would hold our major events and AGMs at the California Zoroastrian Center in Westminster, while events like religious classes and ladies club meetings would be held at private homes whenever possible.
In 2003 a wonderful lady by the name of Purin Boman made the initial donation with the express wish that it be used towards the purchase of a hall.
This renewed interest and fundraising efforts gathered an unprecedented momentum. Annual walkathons, nataks, silent auctions and raffles at various functions, etc were held and an active Hall Committee was formed to search for properties. In 2007, the search gathered further momentum when property prices started to decline and ZAC funds had grown to where ownership began to look like a distinct possibility.
Finally, in February 2010, a few members saw what seemed to be the right place. The center, originally a church built in 1972 is an L-shaped 9400 sq. ft building on a 2-acre lot in the City of Orange, CA on a beautiful tree-lined street in a quiet residential neighborhood. This property is situated almost exactly in the center of the 400-mile radius area populated by the community. On April 18, 2010 at a special meeting of the general body, the purchase was approved. On May 20, 2010 the Zoroastrian Association of California closed escrow and gained ownership of the property.
We had an amazing turnout of over 330 people for the Grand opening on July 18th. We started the day with Faresta prayers led by 8 Mobeds. Immensely grateful thanks go out to the scores of volunteers who made the delicious Dhun-dar, Parsi stew and shrimp patyo. The occasion was made even more festive with authentic falooda and ice cream, generously made and served by Purin Boman's daughter, to the crowds entering from the 90 degree Southern California sun. Volunteers happily cooked and served delicious ravo, malido, mevo and fruits to everyone after the prayers. After felicitations and an interesting skit, in a symbolic gesture, Dogdoe and Tehemtan Arjani planted a pomegranate tree in the garden near the main door. The Arjanis have worked conscientiously and faithfully for years and the acquisition of this hall is testament to their dedication and generosity.
Everyone left after eating some delicious cake to mark the end of a historic and happy occasion.
ZAC expressly wishes to thank all who worked tirelessly and relentlessly in the sole pursuit of finding a structure suitable for the needs of the community.