Date of Birth:
Village Dosanjhkal, Punjab
Kirpal Purewal was born on September 8, 1936, in village Dosanjhkal, India. She first landed in Vancouver on February 10, 1970 joined by her husband and daughter Rani after her brother had filed for her permanent residency. Kirpal had three brothers already living in Canada and her brother living in Victoria received them at the airport there. She loved the city of Victoria, and, with time, her husband found work in the mills of Donald, BC. Her family rented a small house near the mills in Donald which she recalls was without hot water and had a small room.
Kirpal would buy her groceries from Golden as there was no Punjabi grocery store in Donald at that time. She remembers that people in Donald were very helpful as they would offer Kirpal and her family rides back home if they were walking on the road. There were only seven women of Punjabi descent living in Donald and they would all get together, drink tea at each other’s place and go for walks.
During her days in Donald, the women worked in restaurants and the men worked in the mills. There was no work for women in Donald and Kirpal would drive to Golden to work in a restaurant. She lived with her family in Donald for ten years and then moved to Vancouver in the 1980’s. Kirpal’s family faced some hardships in their initial years living in Canada as she did not know English well back then. However, her brothers and the community members helped them settle. She returned to visit India 25 years after coming to Canada and is now a citizen of Canada.