BC Regiment Master Warrant Officer Hafeez Mullick (right) chats with Lt. Col. Pritam Singh Jauhal at the Second World War veteran's book launch at the Newton Library in a photo taken on Nov. 30

A soldier remembered

Lt. Col. Pritam Singh Jauhal fought to have turbans admitted in Royal Canadian Legion halls.

The man responsible for the Royal Canadian Legion’s acceptance of Sikh turbans is being remembered.

Lt. Col. Pritam Singh Jauhal passed away on Sunday at the age of 95.

In 1993, Jauhal, a Second World War veteran, was barred from a Legion hall in Newton following a Remembrance Day parade. Both he and his comrades wore turbans.

With the ensuing publicity, the Royal Canadian Legion changed its entrance policy to include religious headgear.

In November 2013, Jauhal, then 93, in collaboration with the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley, launched a memoir called “A Soldier Remembers” at the Newton Library.

It narrates of his shock and disbelief at the amount of racism he encountered as an immigrant in Canada in 1980.

“The World Sikh Organization (WSO) of Canada had the privilege of working with Lt. Col. Jauhal in his struggle to have the turban accommodated at Royal Canadian Legion halls, said senior policy advisor Gian Singh Sandhu on Tuesday. “We will remember him for his courage and determination. His unwavering commitment to justice and human rights is an inspiration. Our sincerest condolences are with his family.”

“Lt. Col. Jauhal is a Canadian Sikh icon and he is an example for the next generation of Canadian Sikhs that equity and human rights are worth struggling for,” said WSO president Mukhbir Singh.

Jauhal had lived in Surrey since arriving in Canada.

His funeral service will be held Sunday, July 3 at 2 p.m. at Valley View Funeral Home, 14644 72 Ave. A prayer service will be held at 3:30 p.m. at the Canadian Singh Sabha Gurdwara, 8115 132 St.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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