1970-1980 Settlers

This is the story of Andy Sidhu, who was born and raised in Malaysia because his father Gurdial Singh has immigrated there in the early 1900s. Andy first arrived in Canada on September 30, 1974 and settled in Mission, BC. To read more about Andy Sidhu, please click here.




This is the story of Pritam Kaur Sidhu , who was born in Malaysia. Her father, Chadar Singh served on the Malaysian Police force. Pritam Kaur arrived in Canada in the year 1982 soon after marrying her husband Andy Sidhu, who was a Canadian citizen. At first Pritam was very lonely in Canada and missed her family but soon after she helped forge a place for herself in her new home. To learn more about Pritam Kaur Sidhu, please click here.





This is the story of Bachin Kaur Birdi who first immigrated to Canada in 1976 by bringing her six children alone with her at the time to meet join her husband who had already been living in BC since 1972. Bachin Kaur recalls Fort St. James (where the family first lived) as having a close-knit community where the Punjabi community of about fifty families would act as close brothers and sisters. To read more about Bachin Kaur Birdi, please click here.


This is the story of Dr. Chinmoy Bannerjee, who was born in Calcutta, Bengal and earned his PhD degree at Kent State University in Ohio, USA. After moving to Canada, Dr. Bannerjee recalls going to a store called ‘Famous Foods’ on First Avenue and Clarke to obtain his Indian groceries. Throughout his life in Canada, Dr. Bannerjee remained passionate about advocating against the exploitation of South Asian farm workers. To read more about Dr. Bannerjee, please click here


This is the story of Gurdip Kaur Dhaliwal, who immigrated to Canada in 1975 after being sponsored by her father Sarup Singh Raiwal. Gurdip was married at the age of twenty-two, one year after coming to Canada, at the Heritage Gurdwara in Abbotsford. Her eighteen years long marriage was filled with many challenges and hardships, and created the strong, highly inspirational woman that Gurdip is today. To read more about Gurdip Kaur, please click here.



This is the story of Gurmit Singh Tiwana, who first arrived to Toronto, Canada upon being sponsored by his son Gurcharan Singh in 1980. Gurmit Singh completed his Masters Degree at Panjabi University, Patiala and became a teacher of Punjabi and English at a local college located in Moga, Punjab. To read more about Gurmit Singh, please click here.




This is the story of Surjit Kaur Tiwana, who immigrated to Toronto, Canada in 1980 to join her son and his family. Surjit Kaur recalls finding it difficult to adjust to the climate in Toronto, but eventually finding it as her home and through helping to raise her grandchildren. To read more about Surjit Kaur’s story, please click here


This is the story of Rewal Kaur Gill, who migrated to Canada in 1987. Though Rewal Kaur never really made the decision to come to Canada, her journey to move to this new country did not come easily as she was engaged for 12 years before she was married. It was her husband, Taranjit Singh who had sponsored her to move to Canada where the plan was for them to be married. Read more about Rewal Kaur’s story by clicking here.




This is the story of Surjit Kaur Sidhu who moved and immigrated to Canada in 1976 via her husband’s family sponsorship. There were struggles in the early stages of their settlement as Surjit Kaur recalls living in a cabin for the first six months where the conditions were very poor. Although the cabin was sizable with two rooms, there was no washroom located in the cabin and so they had to walk quite a distance to use the bathroom and to take showers, they would warm water in a pot. To read more about Surjit Kaur’s story, please click here.