The winning designs of the Olympic ‘Landmark London’ pin badges have been launched, with BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden featuring as the selected landmark for the London Borough of Brent.
In September 2009, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and London Councils launched the ‘Landmark London’ competition. Londoners were invited to vote for the most iconic landmark in their borough that they would most like to see featured in an individual pin badge. Each of London’s 33 boroughs were required to shortlist four ‘landmarks’ which, in the eyes of Londoners, represents what “makes their borough great”.
Winning landmarks in other boroughs include St Mary’s on the Hill Church (Harrow), Westminster Abbey (City of Westminster) and the Natural History Museum (Kensington and Chelsea). BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir – popularly known as ‘the Neasden Temple’ – won the popular vote for Brent, illustrating once again how cohesively the Mandir has become a part of the local community.
Each of the landmarks has now been re-created into a metal pin badge incorporating the London 2012 logo. Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, presented each London Borough with the first pin badge produced. He added: “London is a fantastically diverse city and the variety of landmarks chosen by Londoners to represent their local areas highlights this perfectly.”
Cllr Bob Wharton, Executive Member for Children and Families, received the badge from Lord Coe on behalf of Brent and expressed, “The Neasden Mandir is instantly recognisable and an iconic image, not just of Brent, but of London itself. I know our residents will wear this badge with pride.”
Cllr Paul Lorber – Leader of Brent Council and keen supporter of the Mandir’s place in the community – presented the badge to BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) on Sunday 21 March 2010, saying: “The important thing is that it is not just about a building. I have always been exceptionally impressed by the community spirit that the Hindu community participates in, in terms of the volunteering efforts and the community involvement in ensuring that each and every one of you makes a contribution to the well-being of our community.”
The ‘Landmark London’ pin badges will be available for wider sale across London in the coming weeks from Runner’s Need, Crest of London, World Duty Free, and the Museum of London.
The official announcement of the pin badge launch can be found on the London 2012 website here, with images of all the boroughs’ badges exhibited here.
The Mandir, in fact, featured as a part of London’s bid to host the Olympics, as a shining example of volunteer spirit and community cohesion – which were also lauded by Lord Coe on his visit to the Mandir in 2007 (full report here). BAPS has continued to work with the London Olympics Organising Committee, and looks forward to helping make the London 2012 Games a resounding success.
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