Canadian Sikh Heritage | Beant Singh Sidhu
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Beant Singh Sidhu

Beant Singh Sidhu was born in the year 1940 in the village Sukhanand located in Punjab, India. Beant Singh’s family has deep pioneering roots in Canada as the both his grandfather and father came to Canada before him and in the early 20th century period. Beant Singh’s grandfather, Sardar Sunder Singh Sidhu first came to British Columbia in the year 1912. Although the family has little details on the story of Sunder Singh Sidhu while he was in BC, the Sidhu family narrates that he was able to locate some minor work in the lumber industries, though he was never able to gain a sense of permanency while in Canada. As such, Sunder Singh was unable to purchase a home, etc. He lived in the same situation as all the other Sikh men around him-which was 10 or 20 of them living together in bunkhouses while they tried to earn a few dollars a month which they would then send back to their families in India. After a short time in Canada, Sunder Singh Sidhu returned to his village in India where he lived the remainder of his life.

Beant Singh’s father, Sardar Jagir Singh’s story is a unique Sikh-Canadian experience. According to Beant Singh, Jagir Singh migrated to BC in the year 1932. As his father, Sunder Singh was a British Citizen and passport holder, Jagir Singh was able to enter Canada with minimal problems. An interesting story that Beant Singh proudly shares is that for one year upon his arrival to BC, from 1932 until 1933, Jagir Singh played grass hockey at the UBC level until his abrupt return back home to India in late 1933. Sadly, Jagir Singh passed away in the year 1941 at a very young age as he was only 26 or 27 years old.

Beant Singh Sidhu first arrived in Canada in 1964 at the age of 24. According to Beant Singh, because his father Jagir Singh was a Canadian citizen, this allowed Beant Singh to also attain his Canadian citizenship while he was still in India.  When Beant Singh first arrived in BC, he lived in Vancouver for two and a half years where he was supported by his father’s friend and able to find Beant Singh work at a mill. When this mill was shut down, Beant Singh then began working at the Reindeer Mill for five years which was located on Marine Drive. From there Beant Singh also worked in Terrace, BC. He also worked other odd jobs at various other mills, on farms as a farm operator, etc. After a year of living in BC, Beant Singh returned to India in 1965 and remained there until 1972. During this time, Beant Singh married his wife whom he was able to sponsor, along with his three children to come and join him in Canada in 1972.

When Beant Singh and his entire family arrived in in BC in 1972, he worked at the Powell River paper pulp mill for seven years, saved his earnings and was eventually able to purchase 10, 20, and then 30 acres of farming property. Today, because of the hard work of both Beant Singh and his wife, the family has a successful farming business and a beautiful 10,000 square foot home on King Road in Abbotsford, B.C. In addition, Beant Singh boasts about the success of his three children (two sons and one daughter) and is proud of the grandchildren whom he gets to entertain at their home.