By Acharya S.P.Dwivedi
Mohammad Rafiq was known to people for his simplicity, open mindedness, active, and helpful qualities. He was all the time willing to support any one physically and financially. He was always seen in cheerful mood and high spirit. Rafiq was well known for his respect for all faiths, race and nationality. He had passion for poetry.
Rafiq sahib was one of the founders of Urdu Association, and was elected, couple of times, as its president.Later on, he founded with Acharya Dwivedi, Muhammad A.Malik, Kulwant Singh Parmar ‘Nadeem’, Inderjeet Sidhu and Ashok Bhargava the ‘South Asian Literary Society of Canada’(SALSOC) to promote Hindi, Urdu, Panjabi and Bangla languages and literatures. He worked as the secretary of the Society and provided his invaluable support in organizing the Kavisammelan/Mushaira, workshop and conferences. Rafiq was in Editorial Board of SALSOC whichpublished three anthologies of selected writers of Hindi, Urdu, Panjabi and Bangla.
Rafiq opened his own publication, about 15 years back,to help Canadian writers to get published their literary works here instead of getting it published in India, Pakistan or Bangladesh.
He was born in Dipewal, Jalandhar, India and his family moved to Pakistan after partition.He studied in Lahore Government College and obtained MA Degree in Botany from Punjab University. He came to Canada in the year 1969.He joined the UBC to improve his educational background and obtained MSc Degree.Rafiq worked in the Ministry of Environment BC till his retirement.
He worked with Sushma ji (Rimjhim) earlier for radio broadcasting network. His wife Anjum supported him in his literary and multifarious community work. Rafiq passed away peacefully on January 9, 2021, and left behind his wife Anjum, children and grandchildren. Friends and relatives were trying to imitate his unassuming nature.