Harnam Singh


Date of Birth:
May 18, 1939
Village Manko, District Jalandhar,Punjab
Current City:
Prince George, BC


Harnam Singh Bansal was born in the village of Manko, District Jalandhar, Punjab, India on May 18, 1939. He landed in the city of Vancouver October 22, 1977 when he was twenty-eight years old. Before immigrating to Canada, Harnam served in the Indian military for seventeen years and given the Sena medal (gallantry award) in 1971. His brother-in-law called him to Canada and he travelled from Vancouver to Prince George, where his sister and brother-in-law lived.

Harnam worked in his brother-in-law’s janitorial company on his arrival to Prince George and sold newspapers in his initial years in Canada. He also worked in the mills for twenty years.  According to Harnam, the wage rate was only $4.50 and he struggled and worked day and night as he also had to look after his family back in India. After getting his permanent residency, Harnam Singh went to India in 1982 to meet his family, wife and children. Harnam Singh spent a lot of resources on getting his children to Canada and he finally did in the year 1990 by personally meeting the consulate in Delhi.

Life was difficult for Harnam Singh in the initial years as he did not have his family in Canada and he missed Punjabi culture. He remembers watching two movies in a day to pass his time as there was no other source of entertainment that time. He recalls that all the Punjabis living in Prince George got along well and supported each other. Harnam survived a heart attack in the year 1985 and did not work for some time after his heart attack due to health problems. His children and family are in Canada now and are all well settled.