East Bay holiday display bridges cultures, generations.


How a Sikh from India created an El Cerrito treasure 69 years ago that continues long after his death.

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Volunteers Gordon White, Rota Maynard, 11, of Boy Scout Troop 104, and assistant troop scoutmaster Len Bjeldanes, left to right, move a camel as they help set up the annual Sundar Shadi Christmas display on Moeser Lane near Seaview Drive in El Cerrito, Calif. on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group Archives)

Community Garden for El Cerrito Schools

Ashby Lumber

Scout Troop 104 in El Cerrito volunteered to help build raised beds for the local community garden in El Cerrito. The garden is on the site of an old school that was torn down and removed. The garden group invites local schools to visit, and this project provides a seating area, potting/demonstration area, and raised beds which will be used as a butterfly garden and demonstration planting area for school groups.

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A Rank and a Journey

Kensington Outlook. May 18 2019. Vol 76 No 5.

Kensington residents Thomas Franaszek, Evan Garrison and Charlie Meacham were recently awarded the Boy Scouts of America rank of Eagle Scout. All three attended Kensington Hilltop Elementary School; Meacham and Garrison are juniors at El Cerrito High School and Franaszek is a senior at St. Mary’s College High School in Berkeley. All three achieved Eagle Scout rank while in El Cerrito’s Troop 104, which was originally chartered in 1939. Franaszek aged out of the troop when he turned 18 in February. Meacham and Garrison will remain in the troop through their senior year.

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Sundar Shadi: Volunteers flock to install El Cerrito holiday display

By RICK RADIN | East Bay Times

EL CERRITO –– One of the city’s biggest and fun events of the year –– putting up the Sundar Shadi Christmas display — came off again in fine style Dec. 10.

The display celebrates the holiday season and honors Shadi’s work as a benefactor to El Cerrito through his Christmas displays in winter and flower displays in summer, funding the Dorothy and Sundar Shadi History Room at City Hall, and sponsoring a U.N. Day in El Cerrito, among other works.

Volunteers carried the houses, shepherds, sheep and other figures in the display from cars that had brought them up to the hillside site on Moeser Lane from containers where they spend about 50 weeks out of the year.

El Cerrito Scout Troop 104 turned out a large contingent to help.

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Albany, El Cerrito, Kensington calendar: Noon Year’s Eve; Shadi holiday display

By KATHY PFROMMER | kpfrommer@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group

Sundar Shadi Holiday Display. Experience an El Cerrito holiday tradition and check out the dozens of hand-made figures of shepherds, sheep, camels and camel riders, angels and more first created by Sundar Shadi in 1949 in the empty lot next to his home, and now recreated by volunteers from El Cerrito Community Foundation, Inc.

See time lapse video of the setup from 2013.

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Huge Hand-Crafted Holiday Display Outlives Its El Cerrito Creator—a Sikh Immigrant

By Martin Snapp
California Magazine

On Saturday morning, El Cerrito firefighters working on their own time will haul scores of handmade stucco and plaster statues uphill from their storage site to the corner of Moeser and Seaview. There, Boy Scouts from Troop 104 will arrange them to create a massive tableau of Bethlehem: Wise Men, goats, donkeys, camels, camel drivers, more than 60 sheep tended by shepherds and sheep dogs, village people, and the village itself, including 110 hand-painted buildings, minarets and domes.

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