OBITUARY: Turban-wearing war veteran was barred from Newton Legion in 1993 (updated story)

Lt. Col. Pritam Singh Jauhal 'was an individual who was proud to stand up and be that voice for equality and justice'

Lt. Col. Pritam Singh Jauhal urged the South Asian community to be greater participants in Remembrance Day ceremonies.

SURREY — Pritam Singh Jauhal, a war veteran at the centre of a turban-banning storm at Newton Legion, has died. He was 95.

Jauhal, a Sikh, wore a turban into battle during several wars, including the Second World War as part of 8th British Army actions in North Africa.

He was considered one of the most celebrated and respected figures in the Sikh community in Canada, said Surrey-based broadcaster Bhupinder Hundal.

“He was an individual who was proud to stand up and be that voice for equality and justice,” Hundal told the Now on Tuesday.

In 1993, following a Remembrance Day ceremony, Jauhal and other turban-wearing Sikh veterans were barred from entering Newton Legion due to rules regarding the wearing of “headgear” inside the hall.

The organization eventually changed its policy, following pressure from human rights-minded Canadians.

“That incident in 1993 really galvanized the community,” Hundal said.

“He was faced with a situation that was certainly less than ideal,” Hundal added, “but the manner and the drive and determination that he had to make it right is why he’s such an inspiration to so many people.”

Jauhal published a memoir called “A Soldier Remembers” in 2013, in collaboration with the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley.

CLICK HERE to read the book.

“I am Commanding Officer of a Canadian Regiment today because of the legacy and sacrifice of (Jauhal) and other Sikh veterans before him,” wrote Harjit Singh Sajjan, now Canada’s Minister of National Defence, in the foreword for the book.

“We both know that there is no greater honour than to serve the nation you call home.”

Jauhal lived in Surrey for many years, and frequently attended Remembrance Day ceremonies at the cenotaph in Cloverdale.

Hundal knew Jauhal in his role as news director for OMNI TV.

“The last time I saw him was last Remembrance Day in Cloverdale, and I kind of made a point of getting a photo with him,” Hundal recalled. “I remember getting that photo and tweeting it out and also encouraging people to read his memoir, so people could learn more about who he was.

Jauhal stressed the importance of recognizing sacrifices made by war veterans, Hundal said.

“His big thing was to encourage the South Asian community to be greater participants in Remembrance Day ceremonies. That was very important to him.”

A funeral service for Jauhal will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 3 at Valley View Funeral Home & Cemetery (14644 72nd Ave., Surrey), followed at 3:30 p.m. by a prayer service at Canadian Singh Sabha Gurdwara (8115 132nd St., Surrey).


Just Posted

Fire destroys home in Surrey

Crews called at 3 a.m. Sunday for a residential house fire on the 12000-block of 100 Avenue

Alzheimer’s Society launches helpline

Toll-free phone line available for people with dementia and their caretakers

Art show to be held at White Rock’s Jan’s on the Beach

Art to be displayed until the end of December

New detox centre opens in South Surrey

WhiteRock EHN opened in response to opioid crisis

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

UPDATE: Hells Angels on scene after body found in Maple Ridge

Body was discovered beneath the Golden Ears Bridge

Mountie left with ‘significant’ injuries after driver attempts to flee traffic stop

Richmond RCMP are looking for a dark coloured Mercedes Benz

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Most Read