Lanka Jewels owner Ken Selvaraja has always supported the community of Mission.
In his 40 years of business, he has donated items for charitable raffles, been on many committees, assisted those in need and been a leader of community spirit.
On Friday night (June 28) he celebrated the opening of his new showroom with a ceremony to thank customers,staff, family and friends.
“This community inspired me in 1975 when I arrived here first,” Selvaraja told the crowd.
He explained that there was something about the Mission community that just fit for him and his family.
“I saw eagerness, excitement, honesty and sincerity and I found that this is the community where we want to base our future.”
He took a chance and opened his first Lanka Jewels in 1979.
“Forty years later, we are here.”
The new showroom, which is located at #346-32555 London Ave., is a bright Vancouver-style open area with display cases and a huge inventory.
“This is a generational gift for the community and my children will take care of that,” said Selvaraja.
During the opening ceremony, Selvaraja thanked his children, Nathan and Naomi, his customers and his staff.
“I learned from them,” he said about his employees.
While he is known for being a successful businessman, it is Selvaraja’s love for the community that stands out.
“This community has achieved a lot of things, whether its sports, arts and culture, recreation and so on… so many things are done by volunteers,” he said.
During his opening, he decided to honour all volunteers by having a special guest, Doreen Phelps, help him cut the ribbon to officially open the store.
Phelps, a Freeman of the District of Mission for her years of service, represented all the volunteers in the community, said Selvaraja.
Finally, to bring the evening to a close, Selvaraja announced that he has donated a specially designed, 14-carat gold with diamonds necklace to the Rotary Club of Mission Sunrise for its Starfish Pack program.
The program provides backpacks filled with food for local students to take home.
The necklace, which is worth $5,500 will be raffled off in December. The hope is to sell 2,000 tickets and raise $40,000 for the program.