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Legendary Army Man And Activist Who Fought And Won Against Racism In Canada Passes Away

In 1993, Jauhal, a Second World War veteran, was barred from a Legion hall in Newton following a Remembrance Day parade. Both he and his comrades wore turbans. However, after months of negative publicity and calls from the community to change their racist ways, the Royal Canadian Legion was forced to change its entrance policy to include religious headgear and the sole credit goes to Jauhal and his tenacity. Jauhal became a great friend of LINK editor R. Paul Dhillon, whom he originally wanted to author the book on him. Dhillon remembers him fondly. “Jauhal was a man of great integrity, will power and determination and he personified the great Sikhs who have been integral in India’s army and who have made great sacrifices with their valiant efforts,” Dhillon said. “For me he will always be the great Sikh Hero, something that had been ingrained in my memory as a child growing up in India.”

SURREY – Decorated Indian army colonel who worked tirelessly in Canada and fought his biggest fight right here in Surrey where he took on the then racist Royal Canadian Legion and forced them to accept the Sikh turbans, even getting backing from Queen Elizabeth herself, passed away at the age of 95.

Lt. Col. Pritam Singh Jauhal, who was well into his late 70s and 80s when he took on the Canadian Legion, wrote his memoir, A Soldier Remembers, which tells of Jauhal’s decades as a soldier in the Indian Army and his later battles to gain acceptance by the Canadian Legion.

In 1993, Jauhal, a Second World War veteran, was barred from a Legion hall in Newton following a Remembrance Day parade. Both he and his comrades wore turbans.

However, after months of negative publicity and calls from the community to change their racist ways, the Royal Canadian Legion was forced to change its entrance policy to include religious headgear and the sole credit goes to Jauhal and his tenacity

In November 2013, Jauhal, then 93, in collaboration with the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley, launched a memoir called “A Soldier Remembers” at the Newton Library.

It narrates of his shock and disbelief at the amount of racism he encountered as an immigrant in Canada in 1980.

“The World Sikh Organization (WSO) of Canada had the privilege of working with Lt. Col. Jauhal in his struggle to have the turban accommodated at Royal Canadian Legion halls, said senior policy advisor Gian Singh Sandhu on Tuesday. “We will remember him for his courage and determination. His unwavering commitment to justice and human rights is an inspiration. Our sincerest condolences are with his family.”

“Lt. Col. Jauhal is a Canadian Sikh icon and he is an example for the next generation of Canadian Sikhs that equity and human rights are worth struggling for,” said WSO president Mukhbir Singh.

Jauhal became a great friend of LINK editor R. Paul Dhillon, whom he originally wanted to author the book on him. Dhillon remembers him fondly.

“Jauhal was a man of great integrity, will power and determination and he personified the great Sikhs who have been integral in India’s army and who have made great sacrifices with their valiant efforts,” Dhillon said. “For me he will always be the great Sikh Hero, something that had been ingrained in my memory as a child growing up in India.”

Jauhal had lived in Surrey since arriving in Canada.

Funeral service for Jauhal will be held Sunday, July 3 at 2 p.m. at Valley View Funeral Home, 14644 72 Ave. A prayer service will be held at 3:30 p.m. at the Canadian Singh Sabha Gurdwara, 8115 132 St.

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