100 records – page 3 of 5.

Interview with Lachman Singh Gill and Gill family members

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/link/museumdescription19600
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
2023 (interview content), interviewed 6 May 2023
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
2 sound recordings (wav) (124 min., 8 sec.) + 1 sound recording (m4a) 1:15:54
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with Lachman Singh Gill and family members conducted by Burnaby Village Museum Registrar, Rajdeep. The first part of the interview was conducted with Lachman Singh Gill in Punjabi with some English and the second part of the interview (15 mi…
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Series
Museum Oral Histories series
Subseries
Many Voices Project Interviews 2023 subseries
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
2 sound recordings (wav) (124 min., 8 sec.) + 1 sound recording (m4a) 1:15:54
Material Details
Interviewer: Rajdeep Interviewees: Lachman Singh Gill and family members - Santokh Singh Gill, Mohinder Kaur Gill and Prem Kaur Gill Location of Interview: Gill family residence Interview Date: June 12, 2023 Total Number of tracks: 2 Total Length of all Tracks:124 min., 8 sec. Digital master recordings (wav) were recorded onto two separate audio tracks, edited and merged together and converted to mp3 for access on Heritage Burnaby
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with Lachman Singh Gill and family members conducted by Burnaby Village Museum Registrar, Rajdeep. The first part of the interview was conducted with Lachman Singh Gill in Punjabi with some English and the second part of the interview (15 min.) was conducted in English with family members, Santokh Singh Gill, Mohinder Kaur Gill and Prem Kaur Gill. 00:00:00 - 00:05:35 This interview starts abruptly, and the interviewer was unable to introduce the interviewees and themself. There were also technical difficulties in the beginning, which led to the recording starting mid-sentence. Discussion begins with Lachman Singh Gill providing details on his spiritual practices and background. 00:05:35 - 00:13:38 Discussion continues with Lachman providing details on his birthplace in Punjab, his family home, family names and languages spoken while living in India (Punjabi and Urdu). Family members chime in to help with details. 00:13:39 - 00:18:00 Lachman Gill imparts information on his migration story from England to British Columbia and his experiences when he first came to England from India. Lachman shares his employment history in Vancouver and India. 00:18:01 - 00:23:34 Lachman talks about his marriage to Surjit Kaur (Ark) Gill in India in 1943 and shares the names of their seven children, including his youngest daughter Sarbjit who died tragically at a young age. Lachman shares the details of his daily routine at the age of 95 years old. 00:23:35 - 00:25:48 Lachman shares information on the Gurdwaras that he visits for prayers, weddings and events. 00:25:49 - 00:35:49 Lachman recalls his experience living in India at the time of Partition in 1947 including details on his family’s experiences of how they helped protect a Muslim family. 00:35:50 - 00:39:49 Lachman comments on his experiences of living in Burnaby from when he first arrived here. Lachman, Santokh, Prem and the interviewer recount the names and locations of gurdwaras in the lower mainland and how they’ve changed over time. 00:39:50 - 00:43:15 Lachman shares his employment history working in a foundry and driving a taxi. Santokh, Mohinder and Prem Gill provide information about Lachman’s wife Surjeet Kaur Gill. The group describes their family home in Burnaby which they've lived in since 1973 and their first home on Georgia Street in Burnaby. 00:43:16 - 00:49:19 Lachman, Mohinder and Santokh recall their experiences obtaining citizenship as British subjects and how they were able to buy a home in a year. Santokh Gill recalls how he and his brother took over his father’s taxi after he retired and later sold it for a profit. 00:49:20 - 01:04:19 Lachman describes in detail his daily routine as a 95 year old. The group shares some of their favourite types of roti and Lachman talks about using his hearing aid. The interviewer and group convey to Lachman how the information will be used. Lachman describes how his wife made oatmeal. 01:04:20 - 01:15:54 In this portion of the interview, Santokh and Prem Gill show the interviewer a book by Henry Bromley titled “Fire in the Blood: A History of British Columbia and Alberta Foundries”. The book was given to the Santokh when he was working at the foundry and contains photographs of Lachman Gill and the foundries they worked at. Santokh describes photographs within the book and the metal casting processes.
History
Interviewees' biographies: Lachman Singh Gill was born in 1928 in the village of Ferozepur near Lakhpur, Punjab. In 1943, Lachman married his wife Surjit Kaur Ark who was from the village of Malpur. Sometime after Partition in 1947, Lachman and his wife Surjeet immigrated to England. Lachman and Surjit had seven children, four sons and three daughters. Around 1973, Lachman's son, Santokh "Gurmail" Singh Gill sponsored his father and mother and they immigrated to Canada joining him and his family in Burnaby, British Columbia. After arriving in British Columbia, Lachman worked as a steel worker at a foundry and drove his own taxi. Lachman retired in his ffities and continues to live with his son and family in Burnaby. Santokh "Gurmail" Singh Gill was born in the District of Jalandhar in Punjab, India. Gurmail moved to England with his family in 1957 and immigrated to British Columbia in 1966. Gurmail married Mohinder Kaur Gill in England in 1968 and she immigrated to British Columbia from England soon after. Gurmail first lived with a cousin in Burnaby before purchasing a home of his own in Burnaby where he raised his family. Gurmail worked in the steel industry and was a member and treasurer of the CAIMAW before the union merged with the Canadian Auto Workers Union. Mohinder Kaur Gill was born in the Hoshiapur in Punjab, India. She married her husband Santokh "Gurmail" Singh Gill in England in 1968 and immigrated to Burnaby, British Columbia to join her husband. Mohinder and Gurmail Gill have four children, all born in Burnaby. Prem Kaur Gill was born in Burnaby in 1969 and is the eldest child of Santokh "Gurmail" Singh Gill and Mohinder Kaur Gill. Prem grew up and attended school in Burnaby. Interviewer biography: Rajdeep was born and raised in the Lower Mainland and is of Punjabi (South Asian) descent. She has an Associate of Arts degree in Asian Studies from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia. She is a student in the Restoration of Natural Systems program at the University of Victoria. Rajdeep works at Simon Fraser University as a Program Assistant and as a researcher with the City of Burnaby. At Burnaby Village Museum, Rajdeep contributed to the exhibit “Truths Not Often Told: Being South Asian in Burnaby”.
Creator
Burnaby Village Museum
Subjects
Persons - South Asian Canadians
Migration
Foods
Industries
Persons - Seniors
Religions - Sikhism
Transportation - Taxicabs
Names
Gill, Lachman Singh
Gill, Santokh "Gurmail" Singh
Gill, Prem Kaur
Gill, Mohinder Kaur
Gill, Surjit Kaur Ark
Gill, Sarbjit Kaur
Responsibility
Rajdeep
Accession Code
BV023.16.4
Date
2023 (interview content), interviewed 6 May 2023
Media Type
Sound Recording
Notes
Title based on contents of item
Transcript for master recordings available upon request - Contact Burnaby Village Museum
Images
Audio Tracks

Interview with Lachman Singh Gill and Gill family members, 2023 (interview content), interviewed 6 May 2023

Interview with Lachman Singh Gill and Gill family members, 2023 (interview content), interviewed 6 May 2023

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/media/hpo/_Data/_BVM_Sound_Recordings/Oral_Histories/2023_0016_0004_003.m4a
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Interview with Lama Tenzin Sherpa and Lama Sue Salter

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/link/museumdescription19637
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
[1977-2023] (interview content), interviewed 31 Jul. 2023
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 sound recording (wav) (65 min., 30 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (65 min., 9 sec.)
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with Lama Tenzin Sherpa and Lama Sue Salter conducted by Burnaby Village Museum Registrar, James Binks on July 31 2023. 00:00:00 - 00:07:59 Interview opens with introductions. Lama Tenzin Sherpa provides biographical details about himself …
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Series
Museum Oral Histories series
Subseries
Many Voices Project Interviews 2023 subseries
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 sound recording (wav) (65 min., 30 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (65 min., 9 sec.)
Material Details
Interviewer: James Binks Interviewees: Lama Tenzin Sherpa and Lama Sue (Suzanne Salter) Location of Interview: Burnaby Village Museum Interview Date: July 31, 2023 Total Number of tracks: 1 Total Length of all Tracks: 01:05:30 Sound recording (wav) was converted to mp3 format for access on Heritage Burnaby
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with Lama Tenzin Sherpa and Lama Sue Salter conducted by Burnaby Village Museum Registrar, James Binks on July 31 2023. 00:00:00 - 00:07:59 Interview opens with introductions. Lama Tenzin Sherpa provides biographical details about himself and his family life in Nepal and explains how his father sent him to the Sonada Monastery in India to become a monk in 1989 and how he took a vow to become a monk in 1992. He recalls his early years of living at the monastery. 00:08:00 - 00:18:38 Lama Tenzin recalls how he came to be a monk at the Salugara Monastery and describes the teachings and skills that he learned there including making tormas and playing traditional musical instruments. Lama Tenzin describes his three year retreat in Kalimpong, India 2008-2012 and how he became Lama Tenzin. Lama Sue Salter assists Lama Tenzin in telling his story. 00:18:39 - 00:25:10 Lama Tenzin talks about returning to the Sonada Monastery after completing his three year retreat and coming to Canada in 2015 to begin his work as a Lama at the Kagyu Kunkhyab Chuling centre (KKC) in Burnaby as well as the retreat centre on Salt Spring Island. 00:25:11 - 00:32:38 Lama Tenzin talks about learning English after arriving in Canada and finding his way around the city as a new immigrant. 00:32:59 - 00:43:13 Lama Susan Salter talks about meeting Lama Tenzin, her involvement with the Kagyu Kunkhyab Chuling Centre and it’s history in Burnaby on Sidley Street since 1977. 00:43:14 - 00:53:52 Lama Tenzin and Lama Susan Salter describe daily and weekly practices at the Kagyu Kunkhyab Chuling Centre in Burnaby, what a membership entails and types of educational programs offered at the centre. 00:53:53 - 00:59:23 Lama Tenzin and Lama Susan Salter talk about the location of their current centre in an apartment in Yale Town and retreat centre on Salt Spring Island and the challenges of finding affordable space for their centre. They reflect on the positive aspects of having their former centre location in Burnaby. 00:59:24 - 01:05:09 Lama Tenzin and Lama Susan Salter reflect on the future of the Kagyu Kunkhyab Chuling (KKC) and Kunzang Dechen Osel Ling (KDOL) meditation retreat centre on Salt Spring Island.
History
Interviewees' biographies: Lama Tenzin Sherpa was born in Nepal in 1977. When he was around 11 years old his father sent him to the Sonada Monastery (also known as sthe Samdrub Dhargay Choling Monastery) in West Bengal to begin his training to become a Tibetan Buddhist monk. In 1989, the same year that Kalu Rinpoche died, Lama Tenzin became a monk. He continued to live at the monastery for 20 years. In 2012, Lama Tenzin completed his three year retreat and took up various responsibilities at the Salagura Stupa Kunchab Chodey. In 2015, Lama Tenzin was invited to Canada as a resident teacher at the Tibetan Buddhist Dharma Centre “Kagyu Kunkhyab Chuling” (KKC) located at 4941 Sidley Street, Burnaby and the Niguma Meditation Centre's retreat centre Kunzang Dechen Osel Ling (KDOL) on Saltspring Island. Lama Sue Salter (Karma Lhamo) has been a student of Kalu Rinpoche since 1974. In 1980, she completed a three year retreat at the Palden Shangpa La Boulaye in France. She's served on the Board of Directors, as a retreat coordinator and a teacher in Tibetan at the Kagyu Kunkhyab Chuling and Kunzang Dechen Osel Ling (KDOL). Lama Sue also worked for years as a registered nurse and registered social worker and retired in 2018. Interviewer biography: James Binks has lived in the Lower Mainland since 2009 after relocating from Ontario. James holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia, where he conducted researched on heritage, environment, and globalization in India, Nepal, and Italy. At Burnaby Village Museum, James contributed to the exhibit “Truths Not Often Told: Being South Asian in Burnaby”.
Creator
Burnaby Village Museum
Subjects
Religions - Buddhism
Buildings - Religious - Monasteries
Migration
Persons - South Asian Canadians
Names
Sherpa, Lama Tenzin
Salter, Suzanne "Lama Sue"
Kagyu Kunkhyab Chuling "KKC"
Rinpoche, Lama Kalu
Rinpoche, Lama Kyabje Kalu "Kalu Rinpoche"
Kunzang Dechen Osel Ling "KDOL"
Responsibility
Binks, James
Accession Code
BV023.16.15
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Reproduction Restriction
No known restrictions
Date
[1977-2023] (interview content), interviewed 31 Jul. 2023
Media Type
Sound Recording
Notes
Title based on contents of item
Transcription available
Images
Documents
Audio Tracks

Interview with Lama Tenzin Sherpa and Lama Sue Salter, [1977-2023] (interview content), interviewed 31 Jul. 2023

Interview with Lama Tenzin Sherpa and Lama Sue Salter, [1977-2023] (interview content), interviewed 31 Jul. 2023

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/media/hpo/_Data/_BVM_Sound_Recordings/Oral_Histories/2023_0016_0015_002.mp3
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Interview with Maninder Arora

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/link/museumdescription19351
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
[1974-2022] (interview content), interviewed 7 Dec. 2022
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
2 sound recordings (wav) (67 min., 25 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (66 min., 45 sec.)
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with Maninder Arora conducted by Anushay Malik with assistance from Museum Registrar James Binks. 0:00 – 07:33 Interview opens with introductions. Maninder Arora shares her immigration story and how she came to emigrate from India to Canada…
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Series
Museum Oral Histories series
Subseries
South Asian Canadian Interviews subseries
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
2 sound recordings (wav) (67 min., 25 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (66 min., 45 sec.)
Material Details
Interviewers: Anushay Malik Co interviewer: James Binks Interviewee: Maninder Arora Location of Interview: In Burnaby at the home of Maninder Arora Interview Date: December 7, 2022 Total Number of tracks: 2 Total Length of all Tracks: (01:07:25) Digital master recordings (wav) were edited into one recording and converted to mp3 for access on Heritage Burnaby
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with Maninder Arora conducted by Anushay Malik with assistance from Museum Registrar James Binks. 0:00 – 07:33 Interview opens with introductions. Maninder Arora shares her immigration story and how she came to emigrate from India to Canada at 16 years of age with her mother, her older sister (18 yrs) and her younger brother (11 yrs) in 1974. Maninder explains how her sister immigrated first after marrying a South Asian Canadian and subsequently was able to sponsor members of her family to immigrate about one year later. Arora describes what life was like for her and her family in the northern part of Punjab in India prior to immigration to Canada. Arora describes her family composition with her being the second youngest of eight children and how at the time of immigrating, four of her elder siblings (three sisters and one brother) stayed behind. 07:34 – 16:23 As a new immigrant to Canada at the age of 16 years of age, Maninder Arora recalls the many challenges that she faced. Maninder describes how she attended Vancouver Technical School and then worked at a restaurant on Friday nights and weekends. She recollects how she got her first job through the Sikh community from the Akali Singh Sikh Gurdwara on Fraser Street. Maninder recalls that during the first five months in Canada, Maninder, her mother, sister and brother lived with her elder sister, her husband and child before finding a place of their own. Arora recalls where her family shopped for traditional Indian spices and foods. 16:24 – 25:50 Maninder Arora describes the next home that her family moved to and how she and her brother attended David Thompson Secondary School. Maninder explains that she dropped out of school in Grade 12 to go to work full time to help her family repay the debt that they owed for their immigration expenses. Around 1981, her mother was able to purchase a house at Marine Drive and Ross Street and her mother got work at the same restaurant that Maninder was working. Maninder shares and reflects on a disturbing encounter of racism that she and her older sister faced while taking local transit. 25:51 – 34:17 Maninder Arora talks about her past work experience. Maninder describes how with the help of her sister, she began working as a nurses' aide at care homes and private hospitals. Maninder reflects on how she intended to get a job in a unionized care home where she can make a better living wage. Maninder describes some of the places that she worked before obtaining certification as a nurse’s aide from Kwantlen College. 34;18 – 51:15 Maninder Arora describes the events that led to her marrying her future husband in 1986 and how it wasn’t an easy decision for her. Maninder describes where she and her family lived after her marriage and how her hard work led her to obtaining full time employment as a nurses' aide in Richmond. 51:16 - 56:16 Maninder Arora tells of how she decided to move to Burnaby where her sister and extended family were living. Maninder recalls what lead to her decision to move from Surrey to Burnaby in 1992. 56:17 - 1:04:23 Maninder Arora shares some experiences of her life in Burnaby. Maninder further reflects on her decisions for moving to Burnaby including providing what she thought would be a safer environment and education for her children. Maninder conveys how racism is still very much prevalent in society and recounts a personal encounter that she experienced while shopping for shoes at Metrotown. 1:04:24 – 1:06:45 The interviewer asks Maninder Arora what she would like to see conveyed as a message for younger people in an upcoming exhibit at Burnaby Village Museum on South Asian history. Maninder conveys that she would like all Canadian citizens living in Burnaby to make the environment better by not littering, living peacefully together and not causing people grief or struggle for nothing, “Be kind to each other”. In closing Arora shares the transportation route she took when emigrating from India to Canada.
History
Interviewee biography: Maninder Arora was born in the northern part of Punjab, India. Her sister immigrated to Canada in 1974 after marrying a South Asian Canadian. In 1975, after her father died, her sister was able to bring her mother, her 11 year old brother and Maninder at 16 years of age. After arriving in British Columbia, they first lived with her sister and family before finding a place of their own. Maninder attended Vancouver Technical School and later David Thompson Secondary School and worked in a restaurant on weekends to help her family out. Maninder and her family were members of the Sikh community and attended Akali Singh Sikh Gurdwara on Fraser Street. Maninder left school in Grade 12 to work full time to help her family repay the debt that they owed for their immigration expenses. In the early 1980’s Maninder’s family moved to a house near Marine Drive and Ross Street that her mother was able to purchase. With the help of her sister, Maninder got work as a nurses’ aide at care homes and private hospitals which eventually led her to obtaining certification from Kwantlen College. Maninder married in 1986 and had two children while living in Richmond. Around 1992, she moved from Surrey to Burnaby to be closer to her sister and to provide as safer environment for her children. Interviewers' biographies: Anushay Malik is labor historian with a geographical focus on South Asia. Anushay studied at the University of London and was a research fellow at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam, Netherlands. In 2014, Anushay moved back to her native Pakistan and joined Lahore University of Management Services as an Assistant Professor. In 2023, Anushay is a visiting scholar at Simon Fraser University and lives in Burnaby with her family. Anushay was a co-curator of the Burnaby Village Museum exhibit “Truths Not Often Told: Being South Asian in Burnaby”. James Binks has lived in the Lower Mainland since 2009 after relocating from Ontario. James holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia, where he conducted researched on heritage, environment, and globalization in India, Nepal, and Italy. At Burnaby Village Museum, James contributed to the exhibit “Truths Not Often Told: Being South Asian in Burnaby”.
Creator
Burnaby Village Museum
Subjects
Persons - South Asian Canadians
Social Issues
Social Issues - Racism
Occupations
Occupations - Nurses
Migration
Names
Arora, Maninder
Responsibility
Malik, Anushay
Binks, James
Accession Code
BV022.29.6
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Reproduction Restriction
No known restrictions
Date
[1974-2022] (interview content), interviewed 7 Dec. 2022
Media Type
Sound Recording
Notes
Title based on contents of item
Transcription available on Heritage Burnaby
Documents
Audio Tracks

Interview with Maninder Arora, [1974-2022] (interview content), interviewed 7 Dec. 2022

Interview with Maninder Arora, [1974-2022] (interview content), interviewed 7 Dec. 2022

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/media/hpo/_Data/_BVM_Sound_Recordings/Oral_Histories/2022_0029_0006_003.mp3
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Interview with Norman Dowad

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/link/museumdescription19638
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
[1890-2023] (interview content), interviewed 14 Aug. 2023
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 sound recording (wav) (61 min., 37 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (61 min., 37 sec.)
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with Norman Dowad conducted by Burnaby Village Museum Registrar, Eric Damer on August 14, 2023.
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Series
Museum Oral Histories series
Subseries
Many Voices Project Interviews 2023 subseries
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 sound recording (wav) (61 min., 37 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (61 min., 37 sec.)
Material Details
Interviewer: Eric Damer Interviewee: Norman Dowad Location of Interview: Burnaby Village Museum Interview Date: August 14, 2023 Total Number of tracks: 1 Total Length of all Tracks: 01:14:37 Digital master recording (wav) was converted to mp3 for access on Heritage Burnaby
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with Norman Dowad conducted by Burnaby Village Museum Registrar, Eric Damer on August 14, 2023.
History
Interviewee biography: Norm Dowad was born in Burnaby, December 1948 to parents Wilfred “Wilf” (1925-2011) and Cherry Dowad. His father, Wilfred (1925-2011) was born in Winnipeg to parents Samuel “Sam” (Salim in Arabic) Esper Dowad (1895-1969) and Martha (Shaheen) Dowad (1894-1955). Sam and Martha Dowad were both born in a province of the Ottoman Empire which is now present day Lebanon. In 1912, while trying to immigrate to Canada, several of Sam’s relatives including his mother died tragically as steerage passengers on the ill fated Titanic. In 1913, at the age of 18 years, Sam immigrated to Canada to join other family members who'd already arrived here safely. As a new immigrant in Canada, Sam worked with other Labanese immigrants in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the United States. In December 1921, Sam's wife, Martha immigrated to Canada arriving by ship in St. John, New Brunswick. Sam and Martha established their home in Winnipeg where they began to start a family. Their first two children died in infancy and son Wilfred was born in 1925 and daughter Kathleen was born in 1926. While living in Winnipeg, Sam worked as a grocer and in the 1930’s he got work as a farmer in a nearby town. In 1943, Wilf joined the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RCVNR) and served as a gunner on merchant ships during World War II. In 1945, while Wilf was away serving, his parents, Sam and Martha moved to Burnaby. After discharge in 1945, Wilf joined his parents in Burnaby, began working at Fraser Mills and commenced his studies in construction and drafting. In 1949, with his father’s help Wilf acquired a lot next door to his parents’ home and built his first apartment block. After Martha died in 1954, Sam moved to Kelowna where he bought an orchard. Sam remarried in 1957 to Naomi “Mamie” (David) Dowad (1899-1978) who was also from a Lebanese family. Sam and Mamie lived in Kelowna until the mid 1960s when they moved to White Rock. While living in Burnaby, Wilf met and married Cherry Piggott and the couple had six children; Norm, Bruce, Michael, Kathie, Phil and Tom. In 1955, Wilfred Dowad established "W. Dowad Ltd." and over the years he was successful in developing and subdividing land to build housing and commercial developments in Burnaby, New Westminster and Vancouver. Wilf was the first president of the Burnaby Winter club and was an active member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce holding office at the local, provincial and national level. In 1970, Wilf purchased 238 acres of land bordering the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh River and relocated there the following year. While living in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Wilf became actively engaged in local business and community affairs. Wilf was later remarried to Grethe Dowad and he died in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh in 2011.Wilf's six children are the sole owners of "W.Dowad Ltd." and his daughter, Kathie Smillie is the president and CEO. While growing up in Burnaby, Norm Dowad attended Schou Street School, Douglas Road School, Kensington School and graduated from Burnaby Central Secondary School. Following graduation from high school, Norm attended Simon Fraser University for one year, travelled in Europe, attended University of British Columbia and obtained his law degree from Osgoode Hall at York University. Norman has been practicing law for 49 years and has his own law practice that he operates out of Vancouver. Interviewer biography: Eric Damer is a Burnaby Village Museum Interpreter, Museum Registrar, Researcher and Blacksmith. Eric pounded hot steel for the first time in 1977 in junior high. Fifteen years later, he joined Burnaby Village Museum where he has smithed for three decades. He also provides historical research for museum exhibits and special projects. Outside the museum, Eric is a social historian with a special interest in educational history.
Creator
Burnaby Village Museum
Subjects
Persons - South Asian Canadians
Migration
Agriculture - Farms
Wars - World War, 1939-1945
Names
Dowad, Norman W. "Norm"
Dowad, Samuel Esper "Sam"
Dowad, Wilfred "Wilf"
Dowad, Naomi "Mamie" David
Dowad, Martha Elias Shaheen
Dowad, Kathleen "Kay"
Responsibility
Damer, Eric
Accession Code
BV023.16.16
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Reproduction Restriction
No known restrictions
Date
[1890-2023] (interview content), interviewed 14 Aug. 2023
Media Type
Sound Recording
Notes
Title based on contents of item
Summary of interview pending
Audio Tracks

Interview with Norman Dowad, [1890-2023] (interview content), interviewed 14 Aug. 2023

Interview with Norman Dowad, [1890-2023] (interview content), interviewed 14 Aug. 2023

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/media/hpo/_Data/_BVM_Sound_Recordings/Oral_Histories/2023_0016_0016_002.mp3
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Interview with Prem Kaur Gill, Santokh Singh Gill and Mohinder Kaur Gill

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/link/museumdescription19347
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
[1957-2022] (interview content), interviewed 11 Nov. 2022
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 sound recording (m4a) (118 min., 39 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (115 min., 20 sec.)
Scope and Content
Item consists of an oral history interview with Santokh "Gurmail" Singh Gill and Mohinder Kaur Gill and their daughter, Prem Kaur Gill conducted by interviewers, Anushay Malik and Rajdeep. The interview is conducted in English, Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu. The three members of the Gill family share the…
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Series
Museum Oral Histories series
Subseries
South Asian Canadian Interviews subseries
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 sound recording (m4a) (118 min., 39 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (115 min., 20 sec.)
Material Details
Interviewers: Anushay Malik, Rajdeep Interviewees: Prem Kaur Gill, Santokh "Gurmail" Singh Gill and Mohinder Kaur Gill Location of Interview: Gill family residence on Warwick Avenue in Burnaby Interview Date: November 11, 2022 Total Number of tracks: 1 Total Length of all Tracks: (1:58:39) Digital master recording (m4a) was converted to mp3 for access on Heritage Burnaby
Scope and Content
Item consists of an oral history interview with Santokh "Gurmail" Singh Gill and Mohinder Kaur Gill and their daughter, Prem Kaur Gill conducted by interviewers, Anushay Malik and Rajdeep. The interview is conducted in English, Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu. The three members of the Gill family share their ancestral background, their personal experiences immigrating to Canada, living in Burnaby and working in British Columbia as South Asian immigrants. 00:00 – 27:34 Santokh “Gurmail” Singh Gill and Mohinder Kaur Gill share their migration stories and experiences living and working in British Columbia as South Asian immigrants and their eldest child, Prem Kaur Gill shares her own experiences as a child of South Asian immigrants and growing up in British Columbia as a South Asian Canadian. Gurmail Singh Gill was born in the District of Jalandhar and Mohinder Kaur Gill was born in Hoshiapur of the Indian state of Punjab. Gurmail describes how he moved from India to England with his family in 1957, immigrated to Canada from England in 1966, married his wife Mohinder in England in 1968 and brought his family (parents and two siblings) to Canada from England in 1970 and other relatives including his wife’s family in the 1970s and 1980s. Mohinder and Gurmail Gill recollect their arranged marriage in England in 1968, their immigration process and explain how they arrived in Burnaby residing with a cousin at 4649 Georgia Street until they were able to purchase their own home after a few years. Gurmail shares names and connections to the relatives that came to British Columbia before him. Gurmail and Mohinder tell how they lived in the basement of the house and rented out the upper floor to save money. The couple recall what they brought with them when they immigrated to Canada and Mohinder Kaur Gill tells of how before leaving India, she and her mother made a special rajai for her to take with her. Mohinder describes the process of making a rajai (a quilted blanket that was made by hand). Gurmail and Mohinder Gill talk about the challenges that they’ve experienced as new immigrants including not being fluent in English, the cold weather and not having very many family or friends nearby to provide support. They attended the Gurdwara on Ross Street or Akali Singh Sikh Society Gurdwara on Skeena in Vancouver. They explain how there was limited access to grocery stores that supplied Punjabi and Indian spices and other cooking supplies. They talk about how they used a food mill and mortar and pestle to grind their own spices and flour and how Mohinder often made traditional sweets like barfi and laddo and pakoras using pea flour when they couldn’t get Besan flour. 27:35 – 36:11 Gurmail provides more details on his family’s immigration story, including names of relatives, how his six siblings and parents all immigrated to British Columbia in 1970 and how in the early 1970s and mid 1980’s Gurmail and his family sponsored approximately 70 friends and relations from India (including Mohinder’s family) to immigrate to Canada. When Mohinder’s family arrived they lived with them in their house until they were able to purchase property next door and build their own home. Children in the families all attended elementary and high school in Burnaby which now amounts to three generations. 36:12 – 59:28 Gurmail and Mohinder Gill talk about their experiences of racial discrimination. Gurmail recalls members of the South Asian community, Dr. Hari Prakash Sharma, Harinder Mahil and Charan Gill starting the British Columbia Organization to Fight Racism. Gurmail tells of how he got involved contributing some of his union dues as a member of CAIMAW (Canadian Association of Industrial Mechanical and Allied Workers Union- Local 15) and as a friend of Charan Gill and Raj Chouhan of the Canadian Farm Workers Union. Gurmail Gill explains how he was a founding member of CAIMAW and treasurer until the union merged with the Canadian Auto Workers Union (in 1991). Mohinder and Gurmail tell of how people from the South Asian community were discouraged from wearing Punjabi dresses or head coverings for fear of being yelled at with racial slurs and how it was often scary to go outside. Many from their community often avoided attending the Akali Singh Gurdwara since a head covering was required and people were afraid of being a target. Gurmail provides details about his work with A1 Steel, how different unions were formed pertaining to various skillsets and jobs per company and how he became a member of CAIMAW Local 15 (foundry workers). Mohinder recollects her experiences as a mother, the daily tasks involved and friends that she made who’d also emigrated from Punjab. Mohinder describes how she designed and sewed many Punjabi dresses using her electric sewing machine and how she learned English by attending adult classes at a church on Commercial Drive. Mohinder and her mother attended the classes for two hours per day for six years at a cost of twelve dollars for ten weeks. Once Mohinder could speak a little English, she started working and was able to practice more. 59:29 – 1:06:08 Mohinder, Gurmail and Prem talk about some of their favourite traditional foods including corn roti and spinach curry and how they grow many of their own vegetables including peppers, eggplant, saag (spinach), onions, garlic, cilantro, zucchini, squash and fenugreek. Mohinder reflects on how access to Punjabi clothing and fabric stores in Vancouver has changed and that ready made food is now more available. Traditional foods were previously made from scratch with women gathering together and cooking for hours and now it’s gotten easier but more expensive and less of a community feel. 1:06:09- 1:55:20 Mohinder and Gurmail Gill discuss and share their perspectives and experiences on raising a family in the past versus today. Gurmail imparts that all of his siblings became educated and secured professional careers while he continued to work in the trades. Prem Kaur Gill shares her own experiences growing up and attending school in Burnaby. Gurmail and Mohinder Gill recall the type of suitcase that they brought with them when they immigrated and how they recently they got rid of it. Gurmail and the group reflect and discuss the confusion with racial identity terms that have been used in this country. They comment that South Asians were referred to as “Hindu” and “East Indian” and Indigenous peoples were referred to as “Indian” and the controversy and racism behind some of these terms. The group discusses the impact of the caste system and other discriminatory experiences and compare their experiences of living in England to living in Canada. Prem comments on how it’s just recently that South Asian customs, celebrations and practices have been recognized and celebrated here in Canada, like Diwali and yoga. They comment on how much of the language, culture and customs have been retained in Surrey where many can still communicate in Punjabi and don’t need to be fluent in English. The group discusses how many South Asians immigrants first lived and worked in Vancouver but with rising property prices many moved to Surrey expanding and establishing a much larger South Asian community with resources. The group discusses and compares the differing travel routes that many of them and their relatives took when immigrating and travelling between India and Canada. The group talks about Rajdeep’s ancestral village in India which is near the Gill village of Firozpur. Gurmail explains the origins and details behind his family name that was changed from “Shergill” to “Gill” and the name “Santokh” from his maternal side.
History
Interviewees' biographies: Santokh "Gurmail" Singh Gill was born in the District of Jalandhar in Punjab, India. Gurmail moved to England with his family in 1957 and immigrated to British Columbia in 1966. Gurmail married his wife, Mohinder Kaur Gill in England in 1968 and she immigrated to British Columbia from England soon after. Gurmail first lived with a cousin in Burnaby before purchasing a home of his own in Burnaby where he raised his family. Gurmail worked in the steel industry and was a member and treasurer of the CAIMAW before the union merged with the Canadian Auto Workers Union. Mohinder Kaur Gill was born in the Hoshiapur in Punjab, India. She married her husband Santokh "Gurmail" Singh Gill in England in 1968 and immigrated to Burnaby, British Columbia to join her husband. Mohinder and Gurmail Gill have four children, all born in Burnaby. Prem Kaur Gill was born in Burnaby in 1969 and is the eldest child of Santokh "Gurmail" Singh Gill and Mohinder Kaur Gill. Prem grew up and attended school in Burnaby. Interviewers' biographies: Anushay Malik is labor historian with a geographical focus on South Asia. Anushay studied at the University of London and was a research fellow at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam, Netherlands. In 2014, Anushay moved back to her native Pakistan and joined Lahore University of Management Services as an Assistant Professor. In 2023, Anushay is a visiting scholar at Simon Fraser University and lives in Burnaby with her family. Anushay was a co-curator of the Burnaby Village Museum exhibit “Truths Not Often Told: Being South Asian in Burnaby”. Rajdeep was born and raised in the Lower Mainland and is of Punjabi (South Asian) descent. She has an Associate of Arts degree in Asian Studies from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia. She is a student in the Restoration of Natural Systems program at the University of Victoria. Rajdeep works at Simon Fraser University as a Program Assistant and as a researcher with the City of Burnaby. At Burnaby Village Museum, Rajdeep contributed to the exhibit “Truths Not Often Told: Being South Asian in Burnaby”.
Creator
Burnaby Village Museum
Subjects
Clothing
Foods
Indigenous peoples
Buildings - Religious - Temples
Food Processing Tools and Equipment
Persons - South Asian Canadians
Social Issues
Social Issues - Racism
Migration
Occupations
Organizations - Unions
Names
Gill, Prem Kaur
Gill, Mohinder Kaur
Gill, Santokh "Gurmail" Singh
Responsibility
Rajdeep
Malik, Anushay
Accession Code
BV022.29.2
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Reproduction Restriction
No known restrictions
Date
[1957-2022] (interview content), interviewed 11 Nov. 2022
Media Type
Sound Recording
Notes
Title based on contents of item
Transcript available upon request - contact Burnaby Village Museum
Indian Family System Reference notes: Baba = informal way to say grandfather; old man Bibi = informal way to say grandmother; old woman Dada= paternal grandfather Dadi= paternal grandmother Dadke= paternal family members; paternal side (Various spellings might exist for the following terms) Thaiyya= father’s elder brother (uncle) Thaiyyi= father’s elder brother’s wife (aunt) Chacha= father’s younger brother (uncle) Chachi= father’s younger brother’s wife (aunt) Bua= father’s sister (older or younger) (aunt) Phuphar= father’s sister’s husband (uncle) Nana= maternal grandfather Nani= maternal grandmother Nanke/nanka= maternal family members; maternal side Mama= mom’s brother (older or younger) (uncle) Mami= mom’s brother’s wife (aunt) Maasi= mom’s sister (older or younger) (aunt) Maasard= mom’s sister’s husband (uncle)
Audio Tracks

Interview with Prem Kaur Gill, Santokh Singh Gill and Mohinder Kaur Gill, [1957-2022] (interview content), interviewed 11 Nov. 2022

Interview with Prem Kaur Gill, Santokh Singh Gill and Mohinder Kaur Gill, [1957-2022] (interview content), interviewed 11 Nov. 2022

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/media/hpo/_Data/_BVM_Sound_Recordings/Oral_Histories/2022_0029_0002_002.mp3
Less detail

Interview with Rajinder and Raj Pandher

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/link/museumdescription19610
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
[1942- 2023] (interview content), interviewed Jan. 2023
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
4 sound recordings (wav) (186 min., 1 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (186 min., 2 sec.)
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with Rajinder and Raj Pandher conducted by Burnaby Village Museum Assistant Curator, Kate Petrusa and Museum Registrar, James Binks. The interview was conducted on January 10, 2023 and January 24, 2023. 00:00 – 08:52 First part of interview…
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Series
Museum Oral Histories series
Subseries
South Asian Canadian Interviews subseries
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
4 sound recordings (wav) (186 min., 1 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (186 min., 2 sec.)
Material Details
Interviewers: Kate Petrusa and James Binks Interviewees: Rajinder and Raj Pandher Location of Interview: Love farmhouse, Burnaby Village Museum Interview Date: January 10, 2023 and January 24, 2023 Total Number of tracks: 4 Total Length of all Tracks: (3:06:01 min) Digital master recordings (wav) were recorded onto four separate audio tracks, edited and merged together and converted to mp3 for access on Heritage Burnaby
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with Rajinder and Raj Pandher conducted by Burnaby Village Museum Assistant Curator, Kate Petrusa and Museum Registrar, James Binks. The interview was conducted on January 10, 2023 and January 24, 2023. 00:00 – 08:52 First part of interview begins on January 10. Rajinder Pander provides information on where he was born and where he grew up and shares details regarding his family and his childhood including; his elementary and high school education and experiences and his involvement and interest in the sport of field hockey. 08:53 – 23:24 Raj Pander provides information on where she was born and shares details regarding her family and education. Raj recalls details of her family life in India including her family farm, her father’s service in the Indian National Army and other ancestor’s involvement in the military. Rajinder assists with the details regarding Raj’s father’s military service and explains how he was highly decelerated for his heroic actions. Rajinder conveys further information in reference to the Sikh Empire. 23:25 – 35:53 Rajinder and Raj share information on their formal education. Raj explains how she learned English and talks about the other spoken languages that her family used while she was growing up. Rajinder and Raj recall how they first met which lead them to marry in 1971. Rajinder provides information about his older brothers who left India before him. He explains how his elder brother, Kirpal Singh Pandher immigrated to Canada in 1970 and provides details on his other brother who lived in Malaysia and England before coming to Canada in 1975. Rajinder conveys how after his brother, Kirpal Singh Pandher arrived in Canada, he lived in Campbell River and worked at the saw mill there. 35:54 – 1:01:38 Rajinder and Raj share their immigration stories including details of; what lead them to immigrate, their immigration route, what they brought with them and where they lived and worked. Rajinder and Raj tell of how they both faced discrimination in finding work that they were qualified for and describe some of the jobs that they worked at before obtaining their Real Estate licences. 1:01:39 – 1:13:09 Rajinder and Raj share information on where they’ve purchase traditional food supplies in Burnaby and Rajinder provides further details on his employment and recalls how they were able to purchase their first home in Burnaby. 1:13:10 - 1:19:33 Rajinder describes how he began writing for the Sikh newsletter “The Western Sikh Samachar”. Rajinder shares how he first started printing small pamphlets of Sikh Cultural history in 1975 and how he’s been volunteering with the National Democratic Party (NDP) since 1973. 1:19:34 - 1:38:24 Second part of interview continues on January 24, 2023. Rajinder provides further information about the Sikh newsletter “The Western Sikh Samachar”, provides an historical summary of the Sikh Empire and the Sikh religion and describes a book that’s he’s written about his culture and the village he lived in India. 1:38:25 - 1:52:24 Raj describes some of the traditional textiles that she’s created including a dury, embroidered cloth (pakha and pakhi) and clothing. Raj shares a story of a train derailment in India in which her father survived. 1:52:25 - 2:14:53 Raj Pandher talks about her father’s letters and diaries, Rajinder talks about receiving a Diamond Jubilee Medal for his community service and they both talk about their daughter Amanjit’s education and career accomplishments. Raj describes her involvement in the community council of her children’s school and both Raj and Rajinder describe their involvement in multicultural education and events that they were involved with in Burnaby and New Westminster. Interviewer lists Rajinder Pandher’s many volunteer awards and accomplishments. 2:14:54 - 2:39:53 Raj and Rajinder describe some of their family photographs as well as personal items from India including decorative arts and textiles. They talk about celebrating their 30 year wedding anniversary and the origin of their Sikh names. Rajinder describes a visit to Paldi in 1977 when the whole family was baptized at the Sikh temple and provides informaton about Hardial Singh Atwal, the first Sikh child born in Canada. Rajinder discusses what he thinks a cookhouse looked like, his friendship with former Mayor William J. Copeland and wages of South Asians working in sawmills. 2:39:54 - 3:06:01 Raj and Rajinder talk about food including where they’ve purchased traditional South Asian foods and what they grow in their home garden. Rajinder provides details about the Burnaby Multicultural Society, talks about South Asian work ethics and housing and shares some of the cultural and religious traditions of Sikhs and celebrations that take place in Vancouver and Burnaby.
History
Interviewees biographies: Rajinder Pandher was born five years prior to the Partition of India in the Village of Jhamat, Ludhiana District, Punjab. Raj Pandher was born in 1948 in the Village of Chapar, Ludhiana District, Punjab. Rajinder played field hockey while living in India and is passionate about the sport. Both Rajinder and Raj Pahndher attended college in India and were married in India in 1971. Rajinder Pandher immigrated to Canada in 1972 and his wife, Raj Pandher joined him in 1973. After arriving in Canada, Rajinder Pandher started working at a sawmill in Campbell River but didn't like the work and moved to Vancouver to find better employment opportunties. In 1976, the couple moved to Burnaby and rented until they could buy a home a year later. They raised two children who attended Second Street Elementary School and Cariboo Hill Secondary School in Burnaby. Rajinder and Raj Pandher were both very involved with multicultural efforts at their childlren's schools including turban tying and sari demonstrations and Rajinder was a founding member of the Burnaby Multicultural Society. Interviewers biographies: Kate Petrusa is the Assistant Curator at the Burnaby Village Museum. In her role, she manages all aspects of the collection – including caring for physical artifacts and making their digital counterpart accessible. Before coming to Burnaby Village Museum in 2019, Kate has worked at several Museums around the Lower Mainland as a Curator and contractor since 2013. James Binks has lived in the Lower Mainland since 2009 after relocating from Ontario. James holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia, where he conducted researched on heritage, environment, and globalization in India, Nepal, and Italy. At Burnaby Village Museum, James contributed to the exhibit “Truths Not Often Told: Being South Asian in Burnaby”.
Creator
Burnaby Village Museum
Subjects
Education
Housing
Employment
Persons - South Asian Canadians
Persons - Volunteers
Religions - Sikhism
Migration
Organizations
Organizations - Societies and Clubs
Social Issues - Racism
Social Issues
Celebrations
Sports - Field Hockey
Names
Pandher, Raj
Pandher, Rajinder
Copeland, William J.
Pandher, Harman
Pandher, Amanjit
Burnaby Multicultural Society
The Western Sikh Samachar
Responsibility
Petrusa, Kate
Binks, James
Accession Code
BV023.1.2
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Reproduction Restriction
No known restrictions
Date
[1942- 2023] (interview content), interviewed Jan. 2023
Media Type
Sound Recording
Notes
Title based on contents of item
Transcripts available upon request
Audio Tracks

Interview with Rajinder and Raj Pandher, [1942- 2023] (interview content), interviewed Jan. 2023

Interview with Rajinder and Raj Pandher, [1942- 2023] (interview content), interviewed Jan. 2023

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/media/hpo/_Data/_BVM_Sound_Recordings/Oral_Histories/2023_0001_0002_003.mp3
Less detail

Interview with Sadhu Binning and Sukhwant Hundal

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/link/museumdescription19603
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
1967-2023 (interview content), interviewed 29 May 2023
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
2 sound recordings (wav) (93 min., 7 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (92 min., 57 sec.)
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with Sadhu Binning and Sukhwant Hundal, founders of Vancouver Sath conducted by Burnaby Village Museum Registrar, James Binks. The interview is taking place at the Burnaby Village Museum's exhibit "Truths not Often Told: Being South Asian in…
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Series
Museum Oral Histories series
Subseries
Many Voices Project Interviews 2023 subseries
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
2 sound recordings (wav) (93 min., 7 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (92 min., 57 sec.)
Material Details
Interviewer: James Binks Interviewee: Sadhu Binning and Sukhwant Hundal Location of Interview: Burnaby Village Museum Interview Date: May 29, 2023 Total Number of tracks: 2 Total Length of all Tracks:1:33:07 Digital master recordings (wav) were recorded onto two separate audio tracks, edited and merged together into one track and converted to mp3 for access on Heritage Burnaby
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with Sadhu Binning and Sukhwant Hundal, founders of Vancouver Sath conducted by Burnaby Village Museum Registrar, James Binks. The interview is taking place at the Burnaby Village Museum's exhibit "Truths not Often Told: Being South Asian in Burnaby". The interview focuses on the history of "Vancouver Sath" as well as literary works created by Hundal and Binning and the Punjabi literary magazine "Watno Dur" and "Watan". 00:00 - 13:30 Interview opens with brief introductions and information on Sadhu Binning, Sukhwant Hundal and Vancouver Sath provided by the interviewer, James Binks. Interviewees Sadhu Binning and Sukhwant Hundal describe how they met and what they were focused on prior to the formation of the organization Vancouver Sath. Binning briefly describes how he became involved as a writer in the literary world and recalls how he published his first poem in an Indian literary magazine in 1972. Hundal describes how he immigrated to Canada from Punjab in 1975, the various industries that he worked in as a new immigrant and his interest in literature with a focus on social issues. Hundel describes how he developed a relationship with Sadhu Binning after his short story was published in "Watno Dur" literary magazine which in turn lead to his involvement with the Punjabi Literary Association and becoming co-editor of "Watnu Dur". 13:31 – 27:44 Hundal provides more background on his life as a South Asian immigrant, working in sawmills and completing a diploma in Power and Process Engineering and how he first became interested in literature while living in India. Binning and Hundal both share their insights into the formation of Vancouver Sath and provide details on their involvement with the Punjabi literary publication “Watnu Dur”. Binning describes how the inspiration for the formation of the Vancouver Sath organization came from India and that Binning, Hundal and some other members of the Punjabi Literary Association decided to form their own group where they could have more informal discussions around social, political and literary issues. 27:45 – 43:31 Binning describes how the political issues that were happening in Punjab between 1978 and 1983 influenced discussions in the South Asian community whereas prior to 1978 there was more focus on local issues that new immigrants were facing. Binning conveys how their work with Vancouver Sath endeavored to focus more on local issues and Hundal conveys how they made the decision to begin producing theatrical works rather than just written works to reach a wider audience. Hundal and Binning share names of the people that were involved with Vancouver Sath and describe some of the early plays that they performed. Binning describes the foundations of the organization where they worked together as a collective making decisions in producing and performing the works with Binning and Hundal taking on the responsibility for the written work. They talk about their first paid experience being invited to perform a few of their plays at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. 43:32 – 55:17 Hundal and Binning describe how they continued to support themselves financially since they weren’t making money from Vancouver Sath. Binning and Hundal provide further details on how their collective worked with the process of writing the plays and presenting and discussing details with the Vancouver Sath community before performing to an audience. Hundal talks about the transition that the magazine “Watno Dur” took in 1986 which lead to renaming it “Watan”. Hundal and Binning discuss how in 1992 and 1993 they decided to try to get more young people involved and began publishing a magazine in English called “Ankur”. They describe the content and list some of the authors who contributed to the magazine. 55:18 – 1:20:12 Hundal and Binning provide background details on the author of “Maluka”, Sadhu Singh Dhami and describe the details that lead them to translating the book into Punjabi, touring with the author and adapting the novel into a play which Vancouver Sath performed. Binning and Hundal describe and discuss other plays that Vancouver Sath performed including some plays that were recorded and broadcast over local radio stations. 1:20:13 – 1:32:57 Binning and Hundal reflect on what lead Vancouver Sath to discontinue theatrical performances in the mid 1990’s. Binning and Hundal state how they are both still very involved in publishing literary works but no longer perform theatrical works. Binning and Hundal describe some of their literary works and projects that they’ve been involved in and also reflect on and describe the current theatre scene in the South Asian community. Hundal conveys that even though they no longer call themselves “Vancouver Sath” they continue to enjoy working as a collective discussing literary works and ideas.
History
Interviewees' biographies: Dr. Sadhu Binning was born on May 10, 1947 to mother Gurmej Kaur and father Jeet Singh Binning. Due to lack of proper records management in India at the time of his birth, it is believed that he was actually born sometime in December of 1947. He grew up alongside two brothers and one sister in a village located in Kapurthala, Punjab. Dr. Binning attended secondary school in the nearby city of Phagwara, Punjab although he did not complete his education here. Throughout his childhood, he enjoyed reading both Punjabi and Hindi novels and learned how to read Urdu as well. Dr. Binning’s uncle, Dhana Singh immigrated to Canada in 1933 and returned to India in 1953. When Dhana Singh returned to Canada in 1957, he sponsored Dr. Binning’s father, Jeet Singh Binning to immigrate. Dhana Singh co-owned a few saw mills in British Columbia and also worked in the truck driving industry. Dr. Binning remembers that some people who had lived in Canada would visit their village and that they appeared to be strong and healthy and looked happy. He also noticed that they would eat meat, so whenever they would visit there would be meat available. In 1967, when he was nineteen and a half years old, Dr. Binning immigrated Canada to join his father. He recalls his father and uncle and a friend arriving at the airport to pick him up. During his first few days, Dr. Binning made the decision to remove his turban and beard upon receiving advice from his uncle. Dr. Binning first obtained work on a farm in Abbotsford, working alongside his mother. While working, Dr. Binning also attended English classes in Vancouver. Dr. Binning’s Uncle Dhana Singh worked in a Vancouver saw mill and tried to help find work for his nephew but was unsuccessful. Dr. Binning soon found work at a saw mill in Avola and worked there until the end of the summer until a friend helped find him work in a saw mill in North Vancouver. During his free time, he enjoyed camping with friends. In 1970, Dr. Binning left the saw mill after obtaining a job at the post office. The post office offered lower wages than working at the mill but Dr. Binning believed that he would become more educated working here. While working as a postman, Dr. Binning recalls facing a lot of discrimination and racism and was often referred to as a ‘Paki’ multiple times a day. In 1973, Dr. Binning married Jagish Sihota. Sadhu and Jagdish originated from nearby villages in India and met each other in Canada. Dr. Binning’s wife, Jagdish worked at the Royal Bank of Canada for thirty years until her retirement. While working, she also looked after the household and their son and daughter. Jagdish also handwrote a magazine, “Watno Dur" (English translation: ‘away from homeland’) which was distributed in the community. In 1976, Dr. Binning became the editor of the magazine and the name was later changed to “Watan’ as they had accepted their new homeland of Canada. While working at the post office, Dr. Binning also attended night school starting in eighth grade. After receiving his high school diploma, he was accepted to Simon Fraser University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Anthropology and Sociology and in 1986 he obtained a Masters degree from Simon Fraser University. While attending university, Dr. Binning was very active within the community and wanted to work to improve society. He first thought that he would return to India to contribute and improve rights in his homeland but upon seeing the prevalence of the movements in Canada, he realized that work needed to be done here too. In 1983, Dr. Binning became a founding member and contributor to a theatrical collective known as “Vancouver Sath”. The theatrical group produced plays that represented societal issues and were invited to perform at multiple conferences throughout British Columbia and Canada. The group focused and acknowledged the many issues in Punjab and in Canada. One of the plays that the group produced focused on the exploitation of Punjabi women who worked on farms in Canada. Dr. Binning continued to be involved as an integral member of Vancouver Sath until 1995. Over the years, Dr. Binning has strongly lobbied for Punjabi language education and between 1988 and 2008 he worked as Punjabi instructor at the University of British Columbia. He first worked as a teaching assistant at UBC under Dr. Harjot Oberoi and due to low wages, he simultaneously worked at the Post Office. In 2019, Dr. Binning received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from UBC in recognition of his work. Since 1973, Dr. Binning has lived in Burnaby and has resided in the same home that he and his wife purchased in 1987. In his free time, he enjoys cycling, watercolour painting, travelling abroad and going on road trips. Suhkwant Hundal is a founding member in the group known as Vancouver Sath and has spent a lot of time in Burnaby rehearsing and writing plays. Sadhu Binning and Sukhwant Hundal co-wrote the Vancouver Sath's first play, "Picket-Line" and many others. This play was staged in November 1984. He's authored and edited pieces for the various newsletters and magazines including "Watno Dur" and "Watan". Through the 1980's and early 1990's Hundal has been active in South Asian advocacy in Burnaby and the Lower Mainland. In his retirement years, Hundal has been a lecturer on Punjabi language at the University of British Columbia in the Department of Asian Studies. Interviewer biography: James Binks has lived in the Lower Mainland since 2009 after relocating from Ontario. James holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia, where he conducted researched on heritage, environment, and globalization in India, Nepal, and Italy. At Burnaby Village Museum, James contributed to the exhibit “Truths Not Often Told: Being South Asian in Burnaby”.
Creator
Burnaby Village Museum
Subjects
Occupations - Writers
Organizations
Organizations - Unions
Migration
Persons - South Asian Canadians
Performances - Dramatic Performances
Social Issues
Social Issues - Discrimination
Social Issues - Racism
Names
Vancouver Sath
Binning, Dr. Sadhu
Hundal, Sukhwant
Dhami, Sadhu Singh
Pritam, Amrita
Rampuri, Gurcharan
Tut, Mukhan
Thobani, Sunera
Hoss Mushroom Farm
Deol, Jeevan
Dulai, Phinder
Dhillon, Sital
Bhangoo, Bhavna
Rai, Gurmail
Punjabi Lekhak Manch
Di Awaz, Samay
Johal, Balinder
Sara, Amanpal
United Farm Workers Union
Canadian Farmworkers Union
Responsibility
Binks, James
Accession Code
BV023.16.7
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Reproduction Restriction
No known restrictions
Date
1967-2023 (interview content), interviewed 29 May 2023
Media Type
Sound Recording
Notes
Title based on contents of item
Transcription available on request
Audio Tracks

Interview with Sadhu Binning and Sukhwant Hundal, 1967-2023 (interview content), interviewed 29 May 2023

Interview with Sadhu Binning and Sukhwant Hundal, 1967-2023 (interview content), interviewed 29 May 2023

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/media/hpo/_Data/_BVM_Sound_Recordings/Oral_Histories/2023_0016_0007_003.mp3
Less detail

Interview with Samuel Nalliah and Ruth (Angela) Nalliah

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/link/museumdescription19604
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
1949-2023 (interview content), interviewed 29 May 2023
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
2 sound recordings (wav) (68 min., 6 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (68 min., 7 sec.)
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with Samuel Nalliah and Ruth (Angela) Nalliah conducted by Burnaby Village Museum Registrar, James Binks. 00:00:00 - 00:13:30 Interview opens with introductions. Samuel (Sam) and Angela Nalliah provide biographical details including their p…
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Series
Museum Oral Histories series
Subseries
Many Voices Project Interviews 2023 subseries
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
2 sound recordings (wav) (68 min., 6 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (68 min., 7 sec.)
Material Details
Interviewer: James Binks Interviewees: Samuel Nalliah and Ruth (Angela) Nalliah Location of Interview: Nalliah family home Interview Date: May 29, 2023 Total Number of tracks: 2 Total Length of all Tracks: 68 min., 6 sec. Digital master recordings (wav) were recorded onto two separate audio tracks, edited and merged together and converted to mp3 for access on Heritage Burnaby Photograph information: Ruth (Angela) Nalliah with husband Samuel Nalliah WARNING: Some of the content discussed in this interview (00:40:58 – 00:57:31) regarding the Tamil genocide may be upsetting to some people.
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with Samuel Nalliah and Ruth (Angela) Nalliah conducted by Burnaby Village Museum Registrar, James Binks. 00:00:00 - 00:13:30 Interview opens with introductions. Samuel (Sam) and Angela Nalliah provide biographical details including their parentage, place of birth (Sri Lanka), spoken language and education. Sam Nalliah shares details on his education while living in Sri Lanka, his later education in Wales where he obtained a Master’s Degree in Computer Science and his migration to Halifax in 1978 after obtaining a job at Dalhousie University as a systems analyst. Sam conveys how he decided to relocate from Halifax to Vancouver in 1986 and started his employment with BC Tel. Angela Nalliah shares details on her education and employment after immigrating to Canada from Sri Lanka in 1986. Angela conveys how she first lived in Ottawa, moved to Toronto in 1989 where she began working for TD bank and moved to Vancouver in 1999. 00:13:31 – 00:20:03 Sam Nalliah talks about how he and his wife Angela first met and married in 1999 and moved to Vancouver. Sam shares information on where his other family members immigrated to and why he decided to immigrate to Canada. Angela shares information on other members of her family who immigrated to Canada before her and how her uncle sponsored them all to come. 00:20:04 – 00:29:30 Sam provides further details regarding his family make up including; his first wife, his daughters (born in 1983 and 1985), his step daughter (born in 1991) and his youngest daughter (born in 2000). Sam tells how he worked as a Systems and Operations Manager at Shaughnessy Hospital and later at BC Hydro. Sam provides locations of homes that they lived in Burnaby and Vancouver. Sam and Angela describe what they liked about living in Burnaby, where their daughter attended school and where they did their shopping. 00:29:31 – 00:32:11 Angela talks about working for Prospera Credit Union from 2003 after TD bank downsized. Sam describes how they rented out their house in Vancouver and lived in a rental home in Burnaby that was owned by the City of Burnaby. Sam and Angela recollect the time period that they lived in Burnaby and Vancouver before deciding to move to Surrey in 2015. 00:32:12 – 00:35:59 Sam and Angela provide details regarding their daughter’s post-secondary education and careers. Angela talks about her social activities, volunteer work and involvement with the Thamil Cultural Society of British Columbia, the Women’s Network as well as the Westminster Bible Chapel Church in Burnaby and the Green Timbers Evangelical Covenant Church in Surrey. 00:36:00 – 00:40:57 Sam recalls hearing Prime Minster Pierre Elliott Trudeau speak about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms at Dalhousie University and the effect that his speech made on him. Sam talks about joining the National Democratic Party when Peter Julian was elected as a Member of Parliament for Burnaby. 00:40:58 – 00:57:31 (WARNING: Some of the content discussed in this portion of the interview may be upsetting to some people) Sam and Angela speak about their involvement with the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC). Angela describes the brutal violence that she witnessed while living in Sri Lanka during the Anti-Tamil state sponsored genocide in the 1980’s. Sam and Angela recollect and discuss their views and actions pertaining to the MV Sun Sea incident where a Thai cargo ship carrying Sri Lankan Tamil refugees to British Columbia were identified as terrorists by the Canadian Government and held in detention facilities. 00:57:32 – 01:08:07 Sam reflects on what he likes about Burnaby. Angela and Sam talk about Hindu temples attended by many Tamil and Sri Lankan people living in Burnaby and the lower mainland. Angela talks about the many cultural events and celebrations that are celebrated within the Tamil and Sri Lankan community including the Pongal Festival. Angela and Sam reflect on how grateful they are to be residents of Canada.
History
Interviewees biographies: Samuel (Sam) Nalliah was born in Jaffna, Sri Lanka in 1949. Sam immigrated to Halifax in 1977 after obtaining a position as a systems analyst at Dalhousie University. In 1986, Sam sponsored his parents to come to Canada. In 1986, after being introduced to the milder weather in Victoria, Sam decided to move to British Columbia. He moved to Burnaby in 1990 and began working for BC Tel in Burnaby. Following his job at BC Tel, Sam worked as a Systems and Operations Manager at Shaughnessy Hospital and later at BC Hydro. Ruth (Angela) Nalliah was born in Jaffna, Sri Lanka in 1964 and immigrated to Canada in 1986. As a Tamil living in Sri Lanka in the 1980’s Angela witnessed first hand the brutal violence during the Anti-Tamil state sponsored genocide. In 1986 Angela was relieved to be able to immigrate to Canada after being sponsored by her uncle. Angela first lived and worked in Ottawa and Toronto before marrying Samuel Nalliah in Ottawa in 1999 and the couple moved to Burnaby. Angela worked for TD bank in both Toronto and Vancouver until it downsized in 2003 and she began working for Prospero Credit Union. While living in Burnaby, Angela attended the Westminster Bible Chapel and after moving to Surrey she became a member of the Green Timbers Evangelical Covenant Church. Sam and Angela Nalliah have four daughters and since moving to British Columbia they’ve lived in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey. Both Sam and Angela are involved with the Tamil Cultural Association of British Columbia and the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) as well as participates in Sri Lankan and Tamil community cultural events. Interviewer biography: James Binks has lived in the Lower Mainland since 2009 after relocating from Ontario. James holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia, where he conducted researched on heritage, environment, and globalization in India, Nepal, and Italy. At Burnaby Village Museum, James contributed to the exhibit “Truths Not Often Told: Being South Asian in Burnaby”.
Creator
Burnaby Village Museum
Subjects
Education
Events - Festivals
Government
Government - Federal Government
Migration
Occupations
Organizations - Political Parties
Persons - South Asian Canadians
Religions
Religions - Christianity
Religions - Hinduism
Rights
Rights - Human Rights
Social Issues
Social Issues - Racism
Social Issues - Discrimination
Names
Nalliah, Ruth "Angela"
Nalliah, Samuel "Sam"
Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC)
Westminster Bible Chapel
Thamil Cultural Society of British Columbia (TCSBC)
Responsibility
Binks, James
Accession Code
BV023.16.8
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Reproduction Restriction
No known restrictions
Date
1949-2023 (interview content), interviewed 29 May 2023
Media Type
Sound Recording
Notes
Title based on contents of item
Transcription available upon request - contact Burnaby Village Museum
Images
Audio Tracks

Interview with Samuel Nalliah and Ruth (Angela) Nalliah, 1949-2023 (interview content), interviewed 29 May 2023

Interview with Samuel Nalliah and Ruth (Angela) Nalliah, 1949-2023 (interview content), interviewed 29 May 2023

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/media/hpo/_Data/_BVM_Sound_Recordings/Oral_Histories/2023_0016_0008_003.mp3
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Interview with Shanaz Khan

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/link/museumdescription20284
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
[1956-2023] (interview content), interviewed 24 Sep. 2023
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 sound recording (wav) (65 min., 54 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (63 min., 54 sec.)
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with Shanaz Khan conducted by Burnaby Village Museum registrar Rajdeep on September 24, 2023. 00:00:00- 00:09:59 Shanaz Khan shares information about herself, her family and life in Fiji before she immigrated to Vancouver in 1972 and her fi…
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Series
Museum Oral Histories series
Subseries
Many Voices Project Interviews 2023 subseries
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 sound recording (wav) (65 min., 54 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (63 min., 54 sec.)
Material Details
Interviewer: Rajdeep Interviewee: Shanaz Khan Location of Interview: Love farmhouse at Burnaby Village Museum Interview Date: September 24, 2023 Total Number of tracks: 1 Total Length of all Tracks: 01:05:54 Digital master recording (wav) was converted to mp3 for access on Heritage Burnaby
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with Shanaz Khan conducted by Burnaby Village Museum registrar Rajdeep on September 24, 2023. 00:00:00- 00:09:59 Shanaz Khan shares information about herself, her family and life in Fiji before she immigrated to Vancouver in 1972 and her first experiences after immigrating to Vancouver including where her family lived, her work as an accountant for major banks in Vancouver, training and working as a chef and living in Surrey and Vancouver. 00:10:00 - 00:14:59 Shanaz shares experiences in her career as an accountant working in Vancouver and Tumbler Ridge and her experiences of racism that she faced in her workplace. Shanaz talks about her life after retirement and her volunteer work. 00:015:00 - 00:22:53 Shanaz talks about her life in Burnaby for the last 19 years and what she likes about living here. Shanaz recollects locations of stores in Vancouver where her family shopped to find traditional foods and where her family lived after immigrating. Shanaz shares some of her favourite traditional foods. 00:22:54 - 00:37:41 Shanaz recollects some of her childhood experiences growing up in Fiji and her experiences of swimming in Fiji, Hawaii and in Vancouver. Shanaz talks about her fitness regime and places that she likes to exercise in Burnaby including trails and green spaces and reflects on the changes to Burnaby with increased development, the cost of housing and the crime rate. 00:37:42 - 00:52:41 Shanaz talks about the traditional clothing and western clothing that she’s worn and accessed while living in Burnaby and Vancouver. Shanaz describes some traditional Islamic religious practices including the nikah (marriage), funerals, prayers, Eid, Hajj and her own personal practices as well as locations of mosques and cemeteries available to Muslims in the lower mainland. 00:52:42 - 01:05:54 Shanaz talks about her parent’s religious and ancestral background, her religious upbringing and the demographics of Fiji.
History
Interviewee biography: Shanaz Khan was born and raised in Suva, Fiji in the 1950's. In the early 1970's, Shanaz immigrated to Vancouver with her parents and younger brother. Shanaz attended John Oliver High School and took one year of accounting courses at Langara College. Over the years Shanaz worked as an accountant in major banks and for a mining company in Tumbler Ridge. Shanaz also worked as a chef at various restaurants and bakeries after completing training at a Vancouver Culinary School. Shanaz has made her home in Burnaby for the past 19 years. Following her retirement, Shanaz has volunteered for different organizations including the YWCA. Interviewer biography: Rajdeep was born and raised in the Lower Mainland and is of Punjabi (South Asian) descent. She has an Associate of Arts degree in Asian Studies from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia. She is a student in the Restoration of Natural Systems program at the University of Victoria. Rajdeep works at Simon Fraser University as a Program Assistant and as a researcher with the City of Burnaby. At Burnaby Village Museum, Rajdeep contributed to the exhibit “Truths Not Often Told: Being South Asian in Burnaby”.
Creator
Burnaby Village Museum
Subjects
Buildings - Religious - Mosques
Cemeteries
Ceremonies - Funerals
Ceremonies - Weddings
Education
Housing
Migration
Occupations
Persons - South Asian Canadians
Religions - Islam
Religions - Christianity
Social Issues
Social Issues - Racism
Sports - Swimming
Names
Khan, Shanaz
Responsibility
Rajdeep
Accession Code
BV023.16.18
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Reproduction Restriction
No known restrictions
Date
[1956-2023] (interview content), interviewed 24 Sep. 2023
Media Type
Sound Recording
Notes
Title based on contents of item
Transcription available
Documents
Audio Tracks

Interview with Shanaz Khan, [1956-2023] (interview content), interviewed 24 Sep. 2023

Interview with Shanaz Khan, [1956-2023] (interview content), interviewed 24 Sep. 2023

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/media/hpo/_Data/_BVM_Sound_Recordings/Oral_Histories/2023_0016_0018_002.mp3
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Interview with Shushma Datt and Sudhir Datta

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/link/museumdescription19611
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
[1946- 2023] (interview content), interviewed 20 Jan. 2023
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
2 sound recordings (wav) (90 min., 21 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (90 min., 4 sec.)
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with Shushma Datt and her son, Sudhir Datta conducted by Burnaby Village Museum Curator, Jane Lemke and Anushay Malik. 00:00 – 12:47 Interview opens with introductions. Shushma Datt shares information about; where she’s lived in Burnaby sin…
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Series
Museum Oral Histories series
Subseries
South Asian Canadian Interviews subseries
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
2 sound recordings (wav) (90 min., 21 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (90 min., 4 sec.)
Material Details
Interviewers: Jane Lemke and Anushay Malik Interviewees: Shushma Datt and Sudhir Datta Location of Interview: Spice Radio, Norland Avenue, Burnaby Interview Date: January 20, 2023 Total Number of tracks: 2 Total Length of all Tracks: 01:30:21 Digital master recordings (wav) were edited into one recording and converted to mp3 for access on Heritage Burnaby
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with Shushma Datt and her son, Sudhir Datta conducted by Burnaby Village Museum Curator, Jane Lemke and Anushay Malik. 00:00 – 12:47 Interview opens with introductions. Shushma Datt shares information about; where she’s lived in Burnaby since immigrating in 1972 and her arranged marriage which lead her to immigrate to Canada. Datt provides detailed information about her family background in Kenya and her parent’s decision to move their family from Kenya to India in the 1960s and then to England in the 1965. Datt describes her family’s experiences living in Kenya and India in the 1960s and provides some context on the political unrest that happened in Kenya which lead her family to leave. 12:48 - 28:07 Datt talks about her time living in England and shares information on her family life and her employment experiences. Datt conveys an experience from her childhood that inspired her to become a broadcaster and shares her experiences working for the BBC oversees service in England (1965-1972). Datt describes some of the articles that she's written for various publications and the people that she's interviewed. Datt highlights a particular experience about writing a critical review about the controversial design on Jimi Hendrix’s album “Axis: Bold as Love” that depicted Hindu religious iconography. 28:09 – 34:47 Datt and Datta provide further details about Datt's arranged marriage which lead her to immigrate to Canada in 1972 and to work as a broadcaster in Canada. Datt recalls her experiences working as a radio station operator for CHQM, a radio broadcaster for CJVB and starting her own South Asian radio station Rim Jhim in 1987. 34:48 – 40:01 Datt and Datta share information on where they’ve lived in Vancouver and Burnaby. Datt and Datta recall pivotal family life events that impacted their lives in 1974. 40:02 – 45:53 Datt recalls the travel trunks and contents that she and her family brought with them when they left Nairobi. Datt describes the letters that her parents wrote. Datt and Datta describe photos of their family and convey the impacts to their family after two of Datt’s brothers died at 24 years of age. 45:54 – 50:56 Interview continues chronologically from 1974, after Datt’s son, Sudhir Datta was born. Datt describes how she had to work hard to help pay her bills and support her family. Datta describes his childhood growing up as a South Asian child living and attending school in Burnaby (1979-1992). Datt and Datta recall Datt’s graduation ceremony and Datta’s Order of British Columbia awards ceremony. 50:57 – 58:03 Datt and Datta talk about food and cooking and where they’ve shopped for traditional food supplies. Datta explains her family lineage as Hindus who eat meat and how she’s been a vegetarian for over 30 years. Datt and Datta share stories about Datt’s mother Leela Datta. 58:04 – 1:05:38 Both Datt and Datta reflect on what’s it’s been like living as South Asians in Burnaby. Datt conveys the message that she got from her mom, Leela Datta "not to assimilate but to integrate". They both reflect on how the ethnic and cultural diversity of neighbourhoods has changed over time and Datt describes his experiences as a student in Burnaby. 1:05:39 – 1:16:51 Datt and Datta talk about the role of religion in their lives, describe the purpose of Radio Rim Jhim and reflect on how the South Asian community has grown in Metro Vancouver and the disparities created within. They both recall how their lives were threatened and impacted in 1984 following an interview that Datt did with Indira Ghandhi. Datt talks about the origins of her and her son’s surnames. 1:16:52 – 1:26:11 Datt and Datta talk about and reflect on their own experiences of racism and discrimination. Datt talks about Spice Radio’s annual campaign “Raise your hands against Racism”. Datt and Datta provide background on the radio stations Rim Jhim and Spice Radio including; how they got started, their unbiased approach to broadcast content and their experiences in the complex realm of broadcasting a multi-cultural radio station. 1:26:12 – 1:30:04 In closing, Datt and Datta convey what they think that younger generations of South Asian Canadians should understand about the South Asian Community in British Columbia.
History
Interviewees biographies: Shushma Datt was born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1946 and is the second eldest of six children. In the 1960s during the unrest in Kenya, her family moved to India. After about nine months of living in India, Datt's family decided to return to Kenya, leaving Datt and her brother to complete their education in India. While living in India, Datt studied at Delhi University and worked at the Indian newspaper. In 1965, Datt, her parents and five siblings decided to leave Kenya and immigrated to England. While living in England, Datt got work as a broadcaster with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) overseas service, producing her first program in 1969. During her time with the BBC, Datt has interviewed many influential artists including Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles as well as the Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi. In 1972, Datt immigrated to Canada and settled in Burnaby. In late 1973, Datt sponsored her mother who joined her in Burnaby. Datt joined the CJVB radio station in Vancouver working as the Punjabi and Hindi language broadcaster. Datt worked here until 1978 when she started her own radio station, Radio Rim Jhim. In 2005, Datt obtained her own AM radio band license for a multicultural radio station RJ1200 which was later rebranded "Spice Radio". In 2015, Datt launched Spice Radio's annual "Hands Against Racism" campaign which has won awards from the Government of British Columbia and the B.C. Association of Broadcasters. Datt has also been a producer for Omni TV and Shaw TV and was the first woman to obtain a broadcasting license from the Canadian Radio- Television Telecommunications Commission. In 1992, Shushma Datt was awarded the Order of British Columbia and is also the recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal. Datt has been listed by the Vancouver Sun newspaper as among the 100 "most influential Indo-Canadians" and has been recognized by the Royal British Columbia Museum as one of the 150 "most influential British Columbians". Sudhir Datta is the only child of Sushma Datt and was born in Burnaby. Datta graduated with a computer science degree from Capilano University in 1995. Datta is the Vice President of Media Broadcasting (founded in 1984) creating television and radio programming for Canada's South Asian Community and has been the General Manager and Program Director of Spice Radio since 2006. Datta is also the author of many articles highlighting the South Asian community in Vancouver. Interviewers biographies: Anushay Malik is labor historian with a geographical focus on South Asia. Anushay studied at the University of London and was a research fellow at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam, Netherlands. In 2014, Anushay moved back to her native Pakistan and joined Lahore University of Management Services as an Assistant Professor. In 2023, Anushay is a visiting scholar at Simon Fraser University and lives in Burnaby with her family. Anushay was a co-curator of the Burnaby Village Museum exhibit “Truths Not Often Told: Being South Asian in Burnaby”. Jane Lemke has worked in various museums in the Lower Mainland and has been the Curator at Burnaby Village Museum since 2019. Her educational background includes a Master of Arts degree in History and a Master of Museum Studies degree. Her research focus has been on trauma and memory and its role in shaping Canadian identity. She loves sharing memories and stories of Burnaby with the public. Jane sits on the Council of the BC Museums Association and is the Chair of the BC Museums Association Professional Development and Education Committee.
Creator
Burnaby Village Museum
Subjects
Migration
Occupations - Broadcasters
Occupations - Entrepreneurs
Occupations - Journalists
Persons - South Asian Canadians
Radio Stations
Religions
Religions - Hinduism
Religions - Sikhism
Social Issues
Social Issues - Racism
Names
Datt, Shushma
Datta, Sudhir
Datta, Lila Vati "Leela"
Spice Radio
Rim Jhim
Responsibility
Malik, Anushay
Lemke, Jane
Accession Code
BV023.1.3
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Reproduction Restriction
No known restrictions
Date
[1946- 2023] (interview content), interviewed 20 Jan. 2023
Media Type
Sound Recording
Notes
Title based on contents of item
Transcript available upon request
Audio Tracks

Interview with Shushma Datt and Sudhir Datta, [1946- 2023] (interview content), interviewed 20 Jan. 2023

Interview with Shushma Datt and Sudhir Datta, [1946- 2023] (interview content), interviewed 20 Jan. 2023

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/media/hpo/_Data/_BVM_Sound_Recordings/Oral_Histories/2023_0001_0003_003.mp3
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Interview with Surjeet Kaur Parmar

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/link/museumdescription19350
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
[1905-2022] (interview content), interviewed 6 Dec. 2022
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
2 sound recordings (wav) (75 min., 32 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (75 min., 32 sec.)
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with Surjeet Kaur Parmar conducted by interviewer Anushay Malik. The interview is conducted in Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi. During the interview Surjeet Kaur Parmar provides information on; her ancestral background, family relations in India and…
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Series
Museum Oral Histories series
Subseries
South Asian Canadian Interviews subseries
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
2 sound recordings (wav) (75 min., 32 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (75 min., 32 sec.)
Material Details
Interviewer: Anushay Malik Interviewee: Surjeet Kaur Parmar Language of Interview: Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi Location of Interview: home of Surjeet Kaur Parmar in Burnaby Interview Date: December 6, 2022 Total Number of tracks: 2 Total Length of tracks: (1:15:32) Digital master recordings (wav) were edited into one recording and converted to mp3 for access on Heritage Burnaby
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with Surjeet Kaur Parmar conducted by interviewer Anushay Malik. The interview is conducted in Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi. During the interview Surjeet Kaur Parmar provides information on; her ancestral background, family relations in India and Canada, her personal experiences and her ancestors’ stories as South Asian immigrants, reflections on and personal experiences of racial discrimination as a South Asian immigrant, her places of residence, her employment background, her cultural practices and traditions including food, clothing and craft. The interview begins with introductions from interviewer Anushay Mailik. Surjeet Kaur Parmar imparts her own family’s migration story beginning with her very first elders that immigrated to Canada from India. A relative (unnamed) immigrated to Canada first and a few years later (around 1905) returned to India and brought back three cousins that included; Ginaya Singh (Ghania Singh Manhas) and Doman Singh . Mayo Singh (Ghania Singh’s younger brother) came in 1906 on his own to join them. Surjeet’s grandfather (Shair/Sher Singh Manhas) also wanted to immigrate at this time, but he was too young and weak to manage such a long trip. Surjeet conveys that while living in British Columbia, Mayo and Ginaya Singh worked together at saw mills. With their knowledge and understanding of mill work they ended up owning and operating a mill in Paldi near Duncan on Vancouver Island. At this time, most of the men from Surjeet’s family region in Punjab were abroad and with no men living at home. Mayo Singh’s father (Bhulla Singh) looked after her father (Lashman Singh Manhas) and paternal uncle (Kashmir Singh Manhas) back in Punjab. When Mayo’s father died, Mayo Singh adopted her paternal uncle (Kashmir Singh) and brought him to Canada in 1926. Surjeet describes her ancestors’ immigration journey from India to Canada. They all travelled by ship and if someone ran out of money en route, they could work on the ship. Surjeet explains that both Mayo and Ginaya Singh are Surjeet’s grandfather’s first cousins and her father’s second cousins. Surjeet recollects her grandfather (Shair/Sher Singh Manhas) saying “now that you’ve arrived there, take one cousin from each side with you”. Surjeet explains that the cousins were all from the same village in Punjab and her great grandfather wanted someone to go abroad, so he sent a few and had them bring more as the years went on. Surjeet says that she’s uncertain as to why they chose Canada rather than America but thinks that they did some form of research and determined that it was a good place to come to. Surjeet admits that she doesn’t know the name of her paternal grandfather or other elders since she never met them. Surjeet shares that it was a traditional practice to mark pots and pans with family names and imparts that she discovered her father’s name “Lashman Singh” written on the bottom of a glass. Surjeet expresses that she’s marked her own pots and pans with her name to identify which ones are hers when she gets together with family or does catering. Surjeet refers to a kohl bottle that she has and how she’d like to offer it to the museum. She explains how the kohl bottle is no longer in use but was used by her mother (Budhan Kaur Manhas) and daughter and her grandchildren. Surjeet describes a blanket that she made called a “phulkari”, now on display in a small museum in Coquitlam, a wedding shawl, that her daughter now owns and a silk sari with embroidery. Surjeet and Anushay discuss the possibility of donating the kohl bottle and the sari to the museum. Surjeet explains how the kohl is used and how her mother used to make kohl. She describes how you rub the kohl with your hands, put cardamom in it, one or two other ingredients and fill the kohl bottle up with water. Surjeet says that she used kohl as eyeliner when living in India. The interviewer asks Surjeet more about Ginaya Singh. Surjeet conveys that Ginaya Singh ended up leaving the mill on Vancouver Island and moved to Vancouver. After Ginaya Singh died from a heart attack (in 1953) his family moved from Vancouver to Burnaby. Surjeet recalls that following the death of Ginaya Singh’s youngest son, her family didn’t celebrate “Lohri” (a winter festival celebrating newborns and newly married people) for three years. She shares that she was very young at this time but remembers there being beautiful photographs of young children all dressed up and displayed in her family home. She expresses that dressing up for photos has changed over time and adds that suits didn’t really come into fashion until after the 1970s or 1980s. Surjeet conveys that her uncle named Kashmira Singh first worked at the mill in Paldi near Duncan then moved to Vancouver and opened up his own mill in North Vancouver. Surjeet’s father, Lashman Singh Manhas arrived in 1953. Surjeet expresses that Kapoor Singh was educated and worked as a manager at the mill on Vancouver Island. Surjeet recollects meeting Mayo Singh, his wife and eldest son in 1952 when they travelled to India for a cousin’s wedding. Surjeet remembers that Mayo Singh’s family had a very large house in India. She describes the house as a very opulent two story house with indoor plumbing for a bathtub, a kitchen with a woodstove, coloured mirrors, bejeweled curtains, a motor room to park cars, a buffalo and more. Surjeet refers to Nand Singh, a younger brother of Mayo Singh, who travelled from India to San Franciso and spent a year wandering around before deciding to return to India. She describes him as living in Bombay with his wife Vishan Kaur and having a transport business. Nand had two kids that came to Canada. Surjeet recollects the tragic death of Ganda Singh (Ginaya Singh) who died of a heart attack on someone’s doorstep, they thought that he was drunk so didn’t open the door. Surjeet conveys that Mayo Singh’s wife, Mission Kaur (Saradani Bishan Kaur) died while visiting India (in 1952) and that some of Mayo’s sons were married in Canada and one in India. Surjeet expresses that it was hard for Mayo’s sons to have one of their parents die in India and one die in Canada (Mayo Singh died in B.C. in 1955). Surjeet describes the hospital that Mayo built in the village of Paldi. She mentions that there were festivals and functions that took place there, there were many nurses and doctors. She recalls there being a school where their land was. She recalls that if they got headaches they were treated with medicine and that it didn’t cost much, only a six pence. Surjeet talks about her arranged marriage to Kalwant Singh "Nadeem" Parmar. Surjeet explains that her father and brother immigrated to British Columbia first (1953) and after a few months they brought Surjeet and her mother (Budhan Kaur Manhas). She recollects that when she was in Grade 10 and around 17 years of age, her family made plans to travel to India to attend a family wedding. During this time, her father suggested that it would be a good opportunity to take Surjeet with them to find her a husband in India to marry. After meeting and marrying Nadeem Parmar in India, Surjeet and Nadeem moved to England. Surjeet recollects that in order to immigrate to Canada, each family member had to pass a medical exam and how difficult it was. Her two sisters, mother and brother all had to take the test in Delhi. Surjeet recalls living in England with Nadeem. While living in England, Nadeem worked during the day and studied engineering at college in the evening. Surjeet expresses that she liked living in England and was sad to leave. While living there, they enjoyed a close knit Punjabi community and they all lived in the same area. Surjeet states later in her interview that living in Canada was different from living in England. In England, family and friends lived closer together whereas in Canada places were further apart. Surjeet says that while living in England she could walk to do her shopping. While living in England, after her children were a bit older, she worked as a seamstress in a shirt factory for a few years before coming to Canada. Surjeet imparts that her father (Lashman Singh Manhas) died of a heart attack in 1970 and her mother (Budhan Kaur Manhas) died in 1998. Her father and her family first lived in North Vancouver and then her parents bought a house on Eton Street in Burnaby, near the Ocean. After her father died, her brother and mother bought a house and moved to the Capitol Hill neighbourhood in Burnaby. In 1973, Surjeet, Nadeem and their two children immigrated to Canada and moved in with her brother and mother. Surjeet includes that her paternal aunt (Koshali Kaur Manhas) and cousins also moved to Burnaby and that her aunt and some of her cousins were sponsored by her son who came earlier. Surjeet recalls that after arriving in Canada she got work sewing in a factory located on Water Street in Gastown. Surjeet recollects travelling to her job by bus. Surjeet shares that she brought saris and quilted blankets “rijai”, not household items, in her suitcase when she came to Canada from England. Surjeet explains that the “rijai” (quilted blankets) were made from cotton from her home village in India. The blankets were made by women and then brought back to her to quilt on her sewing machine. Surjeet recalls that when she returned to Canada (in 1973 with her husband and children) they first lived with her mother and brother on Capitol Hill in Burnaby before moving to a house on Fell Avenue and then to their current home in 1982. In 1981, she worked at “Canadian Window Covering” factory making window coverings. The factory was located in the Brentwood area of Burnaby. Surjeet recalls how the factory became unionized and of how she left the factory and found union work at the Labatt’s brewery (Winery and Distillery Workers Local 300). Surjeet describes the work that she did while working at Labatt’s brewery which was located next to the Royal Columbian Hospital in Burnaby. Around 1995, when the Labatt’s factory closed down in Burnaby, she got union work as a bottle sorter for BDL Brewers Distributor Limited, where bottles were gathered for distribution at Braid Station. Surjeet left this job in 2000. Surjeet talks about traditional foods like bindi, sabji, aam and karela and where she’s shopped to find traditional ingredients for South Asian cuisine. She recollects how at first she could only find traditional ingredients at stores in Gastown, Chinatown and on Main Street in Vancouver but now they are more readily available at major grocery stores. Surjeet expresses that traditional spices and dry goods have been hard to find, apart from stores like, Famous Foods and Patels when it was located on Commercial Drive. Surjeet talks about using ingredients such as green pea flour and Besan flour to make pakoras and kahdri. Surjeet states that many immigrants didn’t wear their traditional clothing until she came later. She expresses that many South Asian immigrants didn’t wear their clothes “because there were no rights, we had to try to become like them”. Surjeet conveys that even though some were able to purchase property (she provides an example of family members in Duncan who faced discrimination by the owner/seller of a piece of property they were purchasing) that they had very little rights and they were all living in fear. She expresses that she herself didn’t experience this but in the beginning when people settled here (in B.C.) that it was very difficult. Surjeet says that when she goes to the Gurdwara and to work, she wears a sari and conveys that while working at the factory, she was encouraged to wear a sari, it was accepted then. She brought printed saris to work and her co workers said that they’d wear them to parties. Surjeet reflects on her own experiences of racism and discrimination and expresses that her generation “has learned how to stand up in front, then they got scared of saying anything”. “The people who came here first were afraid because they were alone, they had to settle down here and make a home from scratch, but the ones who came after had everything already built and made”. She explains how they helped one another when they came (to British Columbia). She describes how the Gurdwara was located on 2nd Street and all of the ships went there (new immigrants?), people would gather, get water, help one another and there would be a place for all people. Surjeet shares a personal experience of helping members of her husband’s family to immigrate to Canada. She tells of the complications of some being left behind in India and that some came to Canada as refugees that she and her husband sponsored. Surjeet expresses their struggles with raising a family, working and trying to pay for their own house while also trying to assist and support family members. Surjeet describes in detail how her husband Nadeem went back to India after his mother died to help his father, sister and her family immigrate. She explains that the immigration process took about four years and his father had to apply as a refugee. Nadeem’s sister came with her children but had to return to India so Surjeet and her family had to look after Nadeem’s sister’s child/children. Surjeet expresses that during this time she continued to work at Canadian Window Coverings, working an afternoon shift and sometimes taking her son with her. She expresses that this as a very hectic time, working the whole day, making food for everyone, grocery shopping, looking after a her sister in law’s younger child at night and getting no rest. Surjeet describes the time when she was working and her children were attending the local school. She expresses the challenges of working long days and often arriving home after her children. She recollects a time when there was a snow storm and how she was worried about her children making it home and being alone while she was at work, there were no cell phones in those days but they had phone numbers of her brother and sister. Surjeet tells of how they tried to help the rest of the Nadeem’s family immigrate including his brother who was a soccer player in India. They were able to buy a house for the whole family to live but expresses after several months Nadeem’s brother decided to stay in India. Surjeet expresses the complications and frustrations of trying to bring all family members to Canada.
History
Interviewee biography: Surjeet Kaur Parmar was born in Punjab, India in 1942 to parents Lashman Singh Manhas (1913-1970) and Budhan Kaur Manhas (1906-1998). Surjeet’s ancestors, Ghania Singh Manhas, Doman Singh and Mayo Singh immigrated to British Columbia in 1905 and 1906. The group got work in saw mills and soon began owning and operating their own saw mills, first in Chilliwack and Rosedale districts and later in 1920 on Vancouver Island near Duncan (Paldi) (known as the Mayo Lumber Company). In 1927, Surjeet’s paternal uncle, Kashmir Singh Manhas left Paldi, Punjab at the age of 18 years with Mayo Singh Manhas and after months of travel they arrived at Paldi on Vancouver Island. In 1953, Surjeet’s father, Lashman Singh Manhas and her two brothers immigrated to Canada and soon after brought her and her mother, Budhan Kaur Manhas. After immigrating, her father began working at “Kashmir Lumber Company” in North Vancouver which was owned by his brother Kashmira Singh Manhas. Surjeet, her parents and two brothers first made their home in North Vancouver and the 1960s they moved to 3824 Eton Street in Burnaby. In 1959, Surjeet and her family returned to India for her brother’s wedding. During this time a marriage was arranged for Surjeet to marry Nadeem Parmar and they were married in 1960. Following their marriage, Surjeet and Nadeem moved to England where they began raising their two children. While living in England, Surjeet worked as seamstress at a factory. In 1973, following the death of Surjeet’s father who died in 1970, Surjeet and Nadeem decided to immigrate to British Columbia. For the first few years, Surjeet, Nadeem and their two children lived with her mother and brother in the Capitol Hill neighbourhood of Burnaby before purchasing their own home on Fell Avenue. While living in Burnaby Surjeet has worked as a seamstress for Canadian Window Covering, Labatt's Brewery and BDL Brewers Distributor Limited which she left in 2000. In 1982, Surjeet and her family moved into a new home that they had built on Woodsworth Street where they still live today. Interviewer biography: Anushay Malik is labor historian with a geographical focus on South Asia. Anushay studied at the University of London and was a research fellow at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam, Netherlands. In 2014, Anushay moved back to her native Pakistan and joined Lahore University of Management Services as an Assistant Professor. In 2023, Anushay is a visiting scholar at Simon Fraser University and lives in Burnaby with her family. Anushay was a co-curator of the Burnaby Village Museum exhibit “Truths Not Often Told: Being South Asian in Burnaby”.
Creator
Burnaby Village Museum
Subjects
Buildings - Industrial - Saw Mills
Clothing
Crafts
Employment
Migration
Social Issues
Social Issues - Racism
Occupations - Labourers
Occupations - Millworkers
Persons - South Asian Canadians
Names
Parmar, Surjeet Kaur
Parmar, Kalwant Singh "Nadeem"
Manhas, Ghania Singh
Singh, Mayo
Manhas, Kashmir Singh
Manhas, Sher Singh
Manhas, Budhan Kaur
Manhas, Lashman Singh
Accession Code
BV022.29.5
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Reproduction Restriction
No known restrictions
Date
[1905-2022] (interview content), interviewed 6 Dec. 2022
Media Type
Sound Recording
Related Material
See also BV022.29.1 - interview with Kalwant Singh "Nadeem" Parmar
Notes
Title based on contents of item
Transcription of interview translated to English from Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi to English created by Rajdeep
Transciption available on Heritage Burnaby
Spelling of "Ginaya Singh" found as "Ghania Singh Manhas" in obituary and death certificate
Documents
Audio Tracks

Interview with Surjeet Kaur Parmar, [1905-2022] (interview content), interviewed 6 Dec. 2022

Interview with Surjeet Kaur Parmar, [1905-2022] (interview content), interviewed 6 Dec. 2022

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/media/hpo/_Data/_BVM_Sound_Recordings/Oral_Histories/2022_0029_0005_003.mp3
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Interview with "The Bollywood Boyz", Harvinder Sihra and Gurvinder Sihra

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/link/museumdescription19608
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
[1970-2023] (interview content), interviewed 8 Jul. 2023
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
2 sound recordings (wav) (84 min., 14 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (62 min., 3 sec.)
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with "The Bollywood Boyz", Harvinder Sihra and Gurvinder Sihra conducted by Burnaby Village Museum Registrar, Rajdeep. 00:00:00 – 00:05:26 Gurvinder “Gurv” Sihra and brother Harvinder “Harv’ Sihra introduce themselves, providing details on …
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum fonds
Series
Museum Oral Histories series
Subseries
Many Voices Project Interviews 2023 subseries
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
2 sound recordings (wav) (84 min., 14 sec.) + 1 sound recording (mp3) (62 min., 3 sec.)
Material Details
Interviewer: Rajdeep Interviewees: "The Bollywood Boyz", Harvinder Sihra and Gurvinder Sihra Location of Interview: Burnaby Village Museum Interview Date: July 8, 2023 Total Number of tracks: 2 Total Length of all Tracks: 01:02:03 min Digital master recordings (wav) were recorded onto two separate audio tracks, edited and merged together and converted to mp3 for access on Heritage Burnaby Photograph credit: World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)
Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of an oral history interview with "The Bollywood Boyz", Harvinder Sihra and Gurvinder Sihra conducted by Burnaby Village Museum Registrar, Rajdeep. 00:00:00 – 00:05:26 Gurvinder “Gurv” Sihra and brother Harvinder “Harv’ Sihra introduce themselves, providing details on where they were born and grew up (in Burnaby), names of their parents and provide details on their family history. They describe how their grandparents and other relatives continued to live in Punjab after their father and mother immigrated to Canada in the 1970’s, recall the reasons their parents decided to immigrate and details of their lives before and after arriving in Canada. 00:05:27 – 00:06:46 Gurvinder and Harvinder describe some of their experiences travelling through Vancouver airport and compare their experiences with their mother’s own experiences. Gurvinder and Harvinder describe the layout of the airport and how customs and immigration has changed over time. 00:06:47 – 00:09:21 Gurvinder and Harvinder provide details about their mother, Parveen Sihra. They share information regarding her education in India and how she was unable to get work related to her degree in biology after immigrating to Canada. They convey how she worked in the Burnaby City Hall cafeteria in the 1990’s and how she worked part time in order to take care of her children. They share how their parents were proud Canadians participating in events inside and outside the South Asian community and were both fluent in English but often spoke Punjabi at home. 00:09:22 – 00:16:06 Gurvinder and Harvinder recall their childhood experiences growing up in Burnaby. They talk about the sports that they were involved with including hockey and Taekwondo, family vacations spent travelling to India and their experiences attending Marlborough Elementary School and Moscrop Secondary School.They describe how they first became interested in watching wrestling and trying it out on their own in their family home. Gurvinder and Harvinder recall their own experiences of discrimination while growing up and playing sports. 00:16:07 – 00:27:37 Gurvinder and Harvinder reflect and recall events that lead them to their dream of becoming professional wrestlers. They talk about pivotal events including attending their first live wresting event at GM Place with their father in 1996, beginning their training in Calgary in 2004, travelling across the country to participate in minor wrestling events, wrestling in Rogers Arena in 2017 and 2020 and getting their first call to join WWE. They talk about the support that they’ve had along the way to getting them where they are today and comment on why they want to be wrestlers in the WWE. 00:27:38 – 00:29:25 Gurvinder and Harvinder provide background information on their various wrestling personas and names in the world of professional wrestling including the Singh Brothers and the Bollywood Boyz. 00:29:26 – 00:38:43 Gurvinder and Harvinder talk about their experiences wrestling in India and the support and expectations of family members in becoming successful. Gurvinder and Harvinder recall and reflect on the experience of being fired from the WWE when cutbacks were made during the COVID pandemic. 00:38:44 – 00:42:53 Gurvinder and Harvinder describe what a day in their lives looks like now. They talk about how they’re still very passionate and focused on their wrestling careers and describe their experiences of having support and enthusiasm from fans and their parents. They talk about travelling across the country to particpate in different wrestling events. 00:42:54 – 00:47:18 Gurvinder and Harvinder talk about their training regimen including exercise and diet and describe areas in Burnaby where they like to train in gyms and the outdoors. 00:47:19 – 00:49:49 Gurvinder and Harvinder talk about neighbourhoods in Burnaby including Metrotown and Deer Lake and how they’ve seen them change over the years. 00:49:50 – 00:54:27 Gurvinder and Harvinder talk about their highest and lowest points in their wrestling careers, highlighting specific events. They talk about the physical stamina it takes for wrestling and compare their sport with the sport of Kabaddi (a contact team sport between two teams originating in India). 00:54:28 – 00:59:01 Gurvinder and Harvinder reflect on what toughness means to them, and what keeps them motivated to do what they do. 00:59:02 – 01:01:31 Gurvinder and Harvinder impart their words of wisdom to younger kids in chasing their passions and dreams and talk about their favourite Bollywood films and actors.
History
Interviewees' biographies: The Bollywood Boyz are a Canadian professional wrestling tag team composed of brothers Gurvinder "Gurv" Sihra (born in 1984) and Harvinder "Harv" Sihra (born in 1987). The pair are best known for their time in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) where Gurvinder and Harvinder performed under the ring names Sunil Singh and Samir Singh. They were both born and raised in Burnaby by their parents Harjeet and Parveen Sihra and attended Moscrop Secondary School. Gurvinder graduated from Douglas College where he studied criminology and has worked in loss prevention and has a third degree black belt in Taekwondo. Harvinder attended Douglas College with studies in history and has worked as a model and an actor. Both Gurvinder and Harvinder Sihra are Sikhs. Interviewer biography: Rajdeep was born and raised in the Lower Mainland and is of Punjabi (South Asian) descent. She has an Associate of Arts degree in Asian Studies from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia. She is a student in the Restoration of Natural Systems program at the University of Victoria. Rajdeep works at Simon Fraser University as a Program Assistant and as a researcher with the City of Burnaby. At Burnaby Village Museum, Rajdeep contributed to the exhibit “Truths Not Often Told: Being South Asian in Burnaby”.
Creator
Burnaby Village Museum
Subjects
Education
Migration
Pandemics - COVID-19
Persons - South Asian Canadians
Religions - Sikhism
Social Issues
Social Issues - Discrimination
Social Issues - Racism
Sports
Sports - Martial Arts
Sports - Wrestling
Sports - Ice Hockey
Travel
Names
The Bollywood Boyz
Sihra, Guvinder "Gurv"
Sihra, Harvinder "Harv"
Sihra, Harjeet
Sihra, Parveen
World Wrestling Entertainment "WWE"
Moscrop Secondary School
Marlborough Elementary School
Metrotown
Responsibility
Rajdeep
Geographic Access
Deer Lake Park
Accession Code
BV023.16.12
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Reproduction Restriction
No known restrictions
Date
[1970-2023] (interview content), interviewed 8 Jul. 2023
Media Type
Sound Recording
Photographer
World Wrestling Entertainment "WWE"
Notes
Title based on contents of item
Transcription available upon request - contact Burnaby Village Museum
Images
Audio Tracks
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Jagdis, Sarjit and Besant Kaur Siddoo with Harbans Kaur Teja and Kartar Kaur Sangha

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/link/museumdescription15183
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
1947 (date of original), copied 2004
Collection/Fonds
In the Shadow by the Sea collection
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 photograph (tiff) : 300 dpi
Scope and Content
Photograph of (left to right) Jagdis Kaur Siddoo, Sarjit Kaur Siddoo and Besant Kaur Siddoo standing next to Harbans Kaur Teja with baby and Kartar Kaur Sangha (company cook) on the site of Kapoor Sawmills Limited.
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection/Fonds
In the Shadow by the Sea collection
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 photograph (tiff) : 300 dpi
Scope and Content
Photograph of (left to right) Jagdis Kaur Siddoo, Sarjit Kaur Siddoo and Besant Kaur Siddoo standing next to Harbans Kaur Teja with baby and Kartar Kaur Sangha (company cook) on the site of Kapoor Sawmills Limited.
History
Kapoor Singh Siddoo was born in 1885 in the Punjab village of Kharaudi, India. Kapoor was one of the pioneer South Asian Canadian Sikhs who immigrated to America in 1906 and onto Canada in 1912. Kapoor first arrived in San Francisco in 1906, along with twenty uneducated men from the Province of Punjab, India. Kapoor was the only one among these men who was educated so acted as their interpreter, manager and accountant. They worked along the Southern Pacific Railway line near Marysville, California, toward Reno and Nevada. Kapoor heard about the beauty of British Columbia and decided to travel to the west coast but times were tough with discrimination against all South Asians in British Columbia. With this information, Kapoor traveled east to Northern Ontario where he tried homesteading for a year but the extreme winter conditions didn’t appeal to him. Kapoor returned to British Columbia after receiving word from South Asian Canadians that they were in need of an educated accountant/manager for a sawmill. In 1923, with the change in immigration laws, Kapoor arranged for his wife, Besant Kaur to emigrate from India. Besant came to Canada accompanied by Kapoor’s older brother. Kapoor and Besant had two daughters, both born in Duncan B.C. Jagdis Kaur Siddoo was born in 1925 and Sarjit Kaur Siddoo was born in 1926. Both of their daughters graduated as doctors from University of Toronto medical school. His career in B.C. began as a lumberman for a large lumber mill on Vancouver Island until 1935. Following this, Kapoor established the Kapoor Lumber Company Limited and operated a mill at Shawnigan Lake before eventually purchasing 45 acres in 1939 of the eastern section of the former Barnet Mill site in Burnaby. He purchased the site from the Municipality of Burnaby under the name of Modern Sawmills Limited since there was a restriction on selling this piece of a property to a non-white person. Eventually the name was changed to Kapoor Sawmills Limited. Kapoor’s company was a financial success but was tragically razed on January 14, 1947 due to a devastating fire. A smaller mill was rebuilt on the site and Kapoor maintained a successful financial operation until 1959. In 1959, Kapoor Siddoo was considered one of Vancouver’s most influential men in the South Asian Community. In this same year, the family set up the Kapoor Singh Siddoo Foundation and with help from his wife and daughters opened a hospital in the Punjab village of Aur. In 1964, Kapoor died in India at the age of 79 years. Kapoor’s younger brother, Tara Singh Siddoo came to Canada from India in 1906 but after suffering discrimination, he returned to India in 1912. Several years later Tara returned to Canada joining Kapoor at a logging mill on Vancouver Island. Lesser shares of the mill were held by Tara and other family members. Tara and his wife, Beant Siddoo lived at Barnet between 1943 and 1945, with their family of five sons, Lakhbeer, Gurdeb, Gurcharn, Baldev, Hardev and three daughters, Harjeet (Sangha), Runjeet (Basi) and Buckshish (Sarai). One of Tara’s responsibilities was to oversee the logging camp and ensure that the logs arrived regularly from Cowichan Bay near Duncan to the Barnet logging mill.
Subjects
Persons - South Asian Canadians
Names
Kapoor Sawmills Limited
Siddoo, Besant Kaur
Siddoo, Jagdis Kaur
Siddoo, Sarjit Kaur
Teja, Harbans Kaur
Sangha, Kartar Kaur
Accession Code
BV019.32.4
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Reproduction Restriction
May be restricted by third party rights
Date
1947 (date of original), copied 2004
Media Type
Photograph
Historic Neighbourhood
Barnet (Historic Neighbourhood)
Planning Study Area
Burnaby Mountain Area
Notes
Title based on contents of photograph
see page 64 in the book "In the Shadow by the Sea - recollections of Burnaby's Barnet Village". Caption with photograph reads: "Standing in front of the new mill under construction are Jagdis, Sarjeet and Mrs. Kapoor Siddoo, Harbans Koor Teja with baby and Kartar K. Sangha (company cook), 1947"
Incorrect spelling of the name "Sarjeet Siddoo" in the book "In the Shadow by the Sea" has been corrected to "Sarjit Kaur Siddoo"
Images
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Jewels of the Qila : the remarkable story of an Indo-Canadian family

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/link/museumlibrary6428
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Author
Johnston, Hugh J. M., 1939-
Publication Date
c2011
Call Number
971.1004 JOH
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection
Reference Collection
Material Type
Book
ISBN
9780774822169
9780774822176
Call Number
971.1004 JOH
Author
Johnston, Hugh J. M., 1939-
Place of Publication
Vancouver
Publisher
UBC Press
Publication Date
c2011
Physical Description
xviii, 305 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
Subjects LoC
Siddoo family
Sikh Canadians--British Columbia
Sikhs--British Columbia
East Indian Canadians--British Columbia
British Columbia
Biography
Subjects
Persons - South Asian Canadians
Notes
Includes bibliographical references (p. 271-291) and index.
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Kapoor sawmill being rebuilt

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/link/museumdescription15186
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
6 Aug. 1939 (date of original), copied 2004
Collection/Fonds
In the Shadow by the Sea collection
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 photograph (tiff) : 300 dpi
Scope and Content
Photograph of Kapoor Sawmill being rebuilt in August 1939. Two unidentified men are standing on the second floor of the building under a block and tackle that is suspended from the beam above.
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection/Fonds
In the Shadow by the Sea collection
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 photograph (tiff) : 300 dpi
Scope and Content
Photograph of Kapoor Sawmill being rebuilt in August 1939. Two unidentified men are standing on the second floor of the building under a block and tackle that is suspended from the beam above.
History
Kapoor Singh Siddoo was born in 1885 in the Punjab village of Kharaudi, India. Kapoor was one of the pioneer South Asian Canadian Sikhs who immigrated to America in 1906 and onto Canada in 1912. Kapoor first arrived in San Francisco in 1906, along with twenty uneducated men from the Province of Punjab, India. Kapoor was the only one among these men who was educated so acted as their interpreter, manager and accountant. They worked along the Southern Pacific Railway line near Marysville, California, toward Reno and Nevada. Kapoor heard about the beauty of British Columbia and decided to travel to the west coast but times were tough with discrimination against all South Asians in British Columbia. With this information, Kapoor traveled east to Northern Ontario where he tried homesteading for a year but the extreme winter conditions didn’t appeal to him. Kapoor returned to British Columbia after receiving word from South Asian Canadians that they were in need of an educated accountant/manager for a sawmill. In 1923, with the change in immigration laws, Kapoor arranged for his wife, Besant Kaur to emigrate from India. Besant came to Canada accompanied by Kapoor’s older brother. Kapoor and Besant had two daughters, both born in Duncan B.C. Jagdis Kaur Siddoo was born in 1925 and Sarjit Kaur Siddoo was born in 1926. Both of their daughters graduated as doctors from University of Toronto medical school. His career in B.C. began as a lumberman for a large lumber mill on Vancouver Island until 1935. Following this, Kapoor established the Kapoor Lumber Company Limited and operated a mill at Shawnigan Lake before eventually purchasing 45 acres in 1939 of the eastern section of the former Barnet Mill site in Burnaby. He purchased the site from the Municipality of Burnaby under the name of Modern Sawmills Limited since there was a restriction on selling this piece of a property to a non-white person. Eventually the name was changed to Kapoor Sawmills Limited. Kapoor’s company was a financial success but was tragically razed on January 14, 1947 due to a devastating fire. A smaller mill was rebuilt on the site and Kapoor maintained a successful financial operation until 1959. In 1959, Kapoor Siddoo was considered one of Vancouver’s most influential men in the South Asian Community. In this same year, the family set up the Kapoor Singh Siddoo Foundation and with help from his wife and daughters opened a hospital in the Punjab village of Aur. In 1964, Kapoor died in India at the age of 79 years. Kapoor’s younger brother, Tara Singh Siddoo came to Canada from India in 1906 but after suffering discrimination, he returned to India in 1912. Several years later Tara returned to Canada joining Kapoor at a logging mill on Vancouver Island. Lesser shares of the mill were held by Tara and other family members. Tara and his wife, Beant Siddoo lived at Barnet between 1943 and 1945, with their family of five sons, Lakhbeer, Gurdeb, Gurcharn, Baldev, Hardev and three daughters, Harjeet (Sangha), Runjeet (Basi) and Buckshish (Sarai). One of Tara’s responsibilities was to oversee the logging camp and ensure that the logs arrived regularly from Cowichan Bay near Duncan to the Barnet logging mill.
Subjects
Persons - South Asian Canadians
Construction
Industries - Logging/lumber
Names
Kapoor Sawmills Limited
Accession Code
BV019.32.7
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Reproduction Restriction
May be restricted by third party rights
Date
6 Aug. 1939 (date of original), copied 2004
Media Type
Photograph
Historic Neighbourhood
Barnet (Historic Neighbourhood)
Planning Study Area
Burnaby Mountain Area
Notes
Title based on contents of photograph
Images
Less detail

Kapoor Sawmills Limited and living quarters

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/link/museumdescription15189
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
[1945] (date of original), copied 2004
Collection/Fonds
In the Shadow by the Sea collection
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 photograph (tiff) : 300 dpi
Scope and Content
Photograph of the Kapoor Sawmills Limited. Company living quarters are visible on the ridge above.
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection/Fonds
In the Shadow by the Sea collection
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 photograph (tiff) : 300 dpi
Scope and Content
Photograph of the Kapoor Sawmills Limited. Company living quarters are visible on the ridge above.
History
Kapoor Singh Siddoo was born in 1885 in the Punjab village of Kharaudi, India. Kapoor was one of the pioneer South Asian Canadian Sikhs who immigrated to America in 1906 and onto Canada in 1912. Kapoor first arrived in San Francisco in 1906, along with twenty uneducated men from the Province of Punjab, India. Kapoor was the only one among these men who was educated so acted as their interpreter, manager and accountant. They worked along the Southern Pacific Railway line near Marysville, California, toward Reno and Nevada. Kapoor heard about the beauty of British Columbia and decided to travel to the west coast but times were tough with discrimination against all South Asians in British Columbia. With this information, Kapoor traveled east to Northern Ontario where he tried homesteading for a year but the extreme winter conditions didn’t appeal to him. Kapoor returned to British Columbia after receiving word from South Asian Canadians that they were in need of an educated accountant/manager for a sawmill. In 1923, with the change in immigration laws, Kapoor arranged for his wife, Besant Kaur to emigrate from India. Besant came to Canada accompanied by Kapoor’s older brother. Kapoor and Besant had two daughters, both born in Duncan B.C. Jagdis Kaur Siddoo was born in 1925 and Sarjit Kaur Siddoo was born in 1926. Both of their daughters graduated as doctors from University of Toronto medical school. His career in B.C. began as a lumberman for a large lumber mill on Vancouver Island until 1935. Following this, Kapoor established the Kapoor Lumber Company Limited and operated a mill at Shawnigan Lake before eventually purchasing 45 acres in 1939 of the eastern section of the former Barnet Mill site in Burnaby. He purchased the site from the Municipality of Burnaby under the name of Modern Sawmills Limited since there was a restriction on selling this piece of a property to a non-white person. Eventually the name was changed to Kapoor Sawmills Limited. Kapoor’s company was a financial success but was tragically razed on January 14, 1947 due to a devastating fire. A smaller mill was rebuilt on the site and Kapoor maintained a successful financial operation until 1959. In 1959, Kapoor Siddoo was considered one of Vancouver’s most influential men in the South Asian Community. In this same year, the family set up the Kapoor Singh Siddoo Foundation and with help from his wife and daughters opened a hospital in the Punjab village of Aur. In 1964, Kapoor died in India at the age of 79 years. Kapoor’s younger brother, Tara Singh Siddoo came to Canada from India in 1906 but after suffering discrimination, he returned to India in 1912. Several years later Tara returned to Canada joining Kapoor at a logging mill on Vancouver Island. Lesser shares of the mill were held by Tara and other family members. Tara and his wife, Beant Siddoo lived at Barnet between 1943 and 1945, with their family of five sons, Lakhbeer, Gurdeb, Gurcharn, Baldev, Hardev and three daughters, Harjeet (Sangha), Runjeet (Basi) and Buckshish (Sarai). One of Tara’s responsibilities was to oversee the logging camp and ensure that the logs arrived regularly from Cowichan Bay near Duncan to the Barnet logging mill.
Subjects
Industries - Logging/lumber
Persons - South Asian Canadians
Names
Kapoor Sawmills Limited
Geographic Access
Burrard Inlet
Barnet Marine Park
Accession Code
BV019.32.10
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Reproduction Restriction
May be restricted by third party rights
Date
[1945] (date of original), copied 2004
Media Type
Photograph
Historic Neighbourhood
Barnet (Historic Neighbourhood)
Planning Study Area
Burnaby Mountain Area
Notes
Title based on contents of photograph
Images
Less detail

Kapoor Sawmills Limited, cabins and log booms

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/link/museumdescription15188
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
[195-] (date of original), copied 2004
Collection/Fonds
In the Shadow by the Sea collection
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 photograph (tiff) : 300 dpi
Scope and Content
Panorama photograph of the Kapoor Sawmills Limited, cabins and log booms in Burrard Inlet. Cabins are located on the lower shore.
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection/Fonds
In the Shadow by the Sea collection
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 photograph (tiff) : 300 dpi
Scope and Content
Panorama photograph of the Kapoor Sawmills Limited, cabins and log booms in Burrard Inlet. Cabins are located on the lower shore.
History
Kapoor Singh Siddoo was born in 1885 in the Punjab village of Kharaudi, India. Kapoor was one of the pioneer South Asian Canadian Sikhs who immigrated to America in 1906 and onto Canada in 1912. Kapoor first arrived in San Francisco in 1906, along with twenty uneducated men from the Province of Punjab, India. Kapoor was the only one among these men who was educated so acted as their interpreter, manager and accountant. They worked along the Southern Pacific Railway line near Marysville, California, toward Reno and Nevada. Kapoor heard about the beauty of British Columbia and decided to travel to the west coast but times were tough with discrimination against all South Asians in British Columbia. With this information, Kapoor traveled east to Northern Ontario where he tried homesteading for a year but the extreme winter conditions didn’t appeal to him. Kapoor returned to British Columbia after receiving word from South Asian Canadians that they were in need of an educated accountant/manager for a sawmill. In 1923, with the change in immigration laws, Kapoor arranged for his wife, Besant Kaur to emigrate from India. Besant came to Canada accompanied by Kapoor’s older brother. Kapoor and Besant had two daughters, both born in Duncan B.C. Jagdis Kaur Siddoo was born in 1925 and Sarjit Kaur Siddoo was born in 1926. Both of their daughters graduated as doctors from University of Toronto medical school. His career in B.C. began as a lumberman for a large lumber mill on Vancouver Island until 1935. Following this, Kapoor established the Kapoor Lumber Company Limited and operated a mill at Shawnigan Lake before eventually purchasing 45 acres in 1939 of the eastern section of the former Barnet Mill site in Burnaby. He purchased the site from the Municipality of Burnaby under the name of Modern Sawmills Limited since there was a restriction on selling this piece of a property to a non-white person. Eventually the name was changed to Kapoor Sawmills Limited. Kapoor’s company was a financial success but was tragically razed on January 14, 1947 due to a devastating fire. A smaller mill was rebuilt on the site and Kapoor maintained a successful financial operation until 1959. In 1959, Kapoor Siddoo was considered one of Vancouver’s most influential men in the South Asian Community. In this same year, the family set up the Kapoor Singh Siddoo Foundation and with help from his wife and daughters opened a hospital in the Punjab village of Aur. In 1964, Kapoor died in India at the age of 79 years. Kapoor’s younger brother, Tara Singh Siddoo came to Canada from India in 1906 but after suffering discrimination, he returned to India in 1912. Several years later Tara returned to Canada joining Kapoor at a logging mill on Vancouver Island. Lesser shares of the mill were held by Tara and other family members. Tara and his wife, Beant Siddoo lived at Barnet between 1943 and 1945, with their family of five sons, Lakhbeer, Gurdeb, Gurcharn, Baldev, Hardev and three daughters, Harjeet (Sangha), Runjeet (Basi) and Buckshish (Sarai). One of Tara’s responsibilities was to oversee the logging camp and ensure that the logs arrived regularly from Cowichan Bay near Duncan to the Barnet logging mill.
Subjects
Industries - Logging/lumber
Persons - South Asian Canadians
Names
Kapoor Sawmills Limited
Geographic Access
Burrard Inlet
Barnet Marine Park
Accession Code
BV019.32.9
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Reproduction Restriction
May be restricted by third party rights
Date
[195-] (date of original), copied 2004
Media Type
Photograph
Historic Neighbourhood
Barnet (Historic Neighbourhood)
Planning Study Area
Burnaby Mountain Area
Notes
Title based on contents of photograph
Images
Less detail

Kapoor Sawmills on fire

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/link/museumdescription15211
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
14 Jan. 1947 (date of original), copied 2004
Collection/Fonds
In the Shadow by the Sea collection
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 photograph (tiff) : 300 dpi
Scope and Content
Photograph of the Kapoor sawmill on fire on January 14, 1947. Photograph is taken from the shore looking west up Burrard Inlet. There is snow covering the ground.
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection/Fonds
In the Shadow by the Sea collection
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 photograph (tiff) : 300 dpi
Scope and Content
Photograph of the Kapoor sawmill on fire on January 14, 1947. Photograph is taken from the shore looking west up Burrard Inlet. There is snow covering the ground.
History
Kapoor Singh Siddoo was born in 1885 in the Punjab village of Kharaudi, India. Kapoor was one of the pioneer South Asian Canadian Sikhs who immigrated to America in 1906 and onto Canada in 1912. Kapoor first arrived in San Francisco in 1906, along with twenty uneducated men from the Province of Punjab, India. Kapoor was the only one among these men who was educated so acted as their interpreter, manager and accountant. They worked along the Southern Pacific Railway line near Marysville, California, toward Reno and Nevada. Kapoor heard about the beauty of British Columbia and decided to travel to the west coast but times were tough with discrimination against all South Asians in British Columbia. With this information, Kapoor traveled east to Northern Ontario where he tried homesteading for a year but the extreme winter conditions didn’t appeal to him. Kapoor returned to British Columbia after receiving word from South Asian Canadians that they were in need of an educated accountant/manager for a sawmill. In 1923, with the change in immigration laws, Kapoor arranged for his wife, Besant Kaur to emigrate from India. Besant came to Canada accompanied by Kapoor’s older brother. Kapoor and Besant had two daughters, both born in Duncan B.C. Jagdis Kaur Siddoo was born in 1925 and Sarjit Kaur Siddoo was born in 1926. Both of their daughters graduated as doctors from University of Toronto medical school. His career in B.C. began as a lumberman for a large lumber mill on Vancouver Island until 1935. Following this, Kapoor established the Kapoor Lumber Company Limited and operated a mill at Shawnigan Lake before eventually purchasing 45 acres in 1939 of the eastern section of the former Barnet Mill site in Burnaby. He purchased the site from the Municipality of Burnaby under the name of Modern Sawmills Limited since there was a restriction on selling this piece of a property to a non-white person. Eventually the name was changed to Kapoor Sawmills Limited. Kapoor’s company was a financial success but was tragically razed on January 14, 1947 due to a devastating fire. A smaller mill was rebuilt on the site and Kapoor maintained a successful financial operation until 1959. In 1959, Kapoor Siddoo was considered one of Vancouver’s most influential men in the South Asian Community. In this same year, the family set up the Kapoor Singh Siddoo Foundation and with help from his wife and daughters opened a hospital in the Punjab village of Aur. In 1964, Kapoor died in India at the age of 79 years. Kapoor’s younger brother, Tara Singh Siddoo came to Canada from India in 1906 but after suffering discrimination, he returned to India in 1912. Several years later Tara returned to Canada joining Kapoor at a logging mill on Vancouver Island. Lesser shares of the mill were held by Tara and other family members. Tara and his wife, Beant Siddoo lived at Barnet between 1943 and 1945, with their family of five sons, Lakhbeer, Gurdeb, Gurcharn, Baldev, Hardev and three daughters, Harjeet (Sangha), Runjeet (Basi) and Buckshish (Sarai). One of Tara’s responsibilities was to oversee the logging camp and ensure that the logs arrived regularly from Cowichan Bay near Duncan to the Barnet logging mill.
Subjects
Industries - Logging/lumber
Natural Phenomena - Fires
Natural Phenomena - Snow
Persons - South Asian Canadians
Names
Kapoor Sawmills Limited
Geographic Access
Burrard Inlet
Barnet Marine Park
Accession Code
BV019.32.31
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Reproduction Restriction
May be restricted by third party rights
Date
14 Jan. 1947 (date of original), copied 2004
Media Type
Photograph
Historic Neighbourhood
Barnet (Historic Neighbourhood)
Planning Study Area
Burnaby Mountain Area
Notes
Title based on contents of photograph
Images
Less detail

Lassi wali chaati

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/link/museumlibrary7631
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Author
Pandher, Rajinder Singh, 1942-
Publication Date
2020
Call Number
891.42472 PAN
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection
Special Collection
Material Type
Book
Accession Code
BV023.4.8
ISBN
978-93-89997-33-0
Call Number
891.42472 PAN
Author
Pandher, Rajinder Singh, 1942-
Place of Publication
Punjab
Publisher
Chetna Parkashan
Publication Date
2020
Printer
R.K Offset
Physical Description
168 p., 8p. : col. ports. ; 23 cm
Inscription
"Happily donated to Burnaby Village Museum / Rajinder Pandher / Bby / Jan 24, 2023"
Subjects LoC
India--Social life and customs
Subjects
Persons - South Asian Canadians
Names
Pandher, Rajinder
Object History
These are items that belonged to Rajinder and Raj Pandher as household items in their home in Burnaby between 1976 and 2023.
Notes
A bound collection of articles written by Rajinder Pandher.
Images
Less detail

magazine

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/link/museumartifact91710
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Accession Code
BV023.7.1
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Accession Code
BV023.7.1
Description
Watan - Magazine -- 1989. A quarterly Punjabi magazine called "Watan" of language, literature, and culture, distributed by the Vancouver Sath organization. Vol. 1, No. 1, Summr 1989 issue.
The front cover has a red band at the top and bottom of the page and an photograph image of the Komogata Maru ship. The magazine is 64 pages.
Object History
These items are a selection from the donor's collection and ephemera that inspired them throughout their activism and community work in Burnaby and the Lower Mainland.
Measurements
Height: 27.5 cm
Width: 20.5 cm
Subjects
Persons - South Asian Canadians
Record Type
Artifact
Images
Less detail

100 records – page 3 of 5.