Demand for renaming a Vancouver street after Gurdit Singh gains momentum

Published: July 25, 2013
Gurdit Singh

Gurdit Singh and his son were among the passengers aboard the Komagata Maru that Canadian immigration officials wouldn’t allow into the country in 1914. PNG Archive

GURPREET SINGH
VANCOUVER DESI 

The demand for renaming a street in Vancouver after Gurdit Singh, who charted the Komagata Maru ship with 376 Indian migrants aboard to the city almost 100 years ago, is gaining momentum.

Gurdit Singh had defied the discriminatory continuous journey law that was used by the Canadian government back in 1914 to turn away the ship. He charted the Japanese Vessel to bring in East Indian immigrants to challenge the controversial law for which the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper has already apologized in 2008. The ship was forced to return and except a few passengers most people aboard Komagata Maru were not allowed to disembark. The ship remained stranded in Burrad Inlet near Vancouver city for two months and returned on July 23, 1914. Incidentally, Gurdit Singh’s death anniversary falls on July 24. He passed away 40 years after the episode. As the city is gearing up for the centenary of the Komagata Maru incident next year, the demand for renaming a street after Gurdit Singh is gaining momentum.

The demand was first raised by the Georgia Straight Editor, Charlie Smith at a South Asian public event in Surrey last year. Smith believes that efforts have already begun to rename a street near the Ross Street Sikh temple in Vancouver. The area falls in the South Asian enclave of the city. The temple is governed by the Khalsa Diwan Society, the oldest Sikh body which had helped the Komagata Maru passengers during the deadlock.

But Smith wants a street in the downtown area that is closest to the Burrad Inlet to be picked for this purpose. “Gurdit Singh’s name should be known to the mainstream community even if it causes some technical inconvenience like the change of street address etc. ”

During an open line talk show on Radio India, most callers supported the demand. Jaswinder Singh Toor, who is the leader of the descendants of the Komagata Maru passengers, said that he completely supports the idea and hopes this will go long way in recognizing the role of Gurdit Singh as an act of resistance against racism. Ranjeet Singh Khalsa of the Banda Singh Bahadur Society said that his organization is willing to start a petition or correspondence in partnership with other religious organizations to convince the Vancouver City council.

Harbhajan Singh Gill of the Komagata Maru Foundation that organizes annual candle light vigil in memory of the ship passengers every year agrees. “It’s a great idea. We fully endorse this demand and are willing to press the City of Vancouver to meet this.” Gill is also instrumental in getting the consent for postal stamp dedicated to the ship passengers to be released next year.

Related Stories:

Notable dates for Sikh community’s growth in British Columbia

Tags: , , , , ,




Featured

Jacqui Feldman shows off a recovering Sugar, her 13-year-old poodle that Terra Nova vet Dr. Javaid Chaudhry, rear, helped save after operating to remove a tumour. Feldman, who is battling cancer herself, fell on hard times and couldn’t afford to pay the $3,000-plus for Sugar’s procedure.  Alan Campbell/Richmond News

Richmond veterinarian steps up to save cancer sufferer’s dying dog

ALAN CAMPBELL RICHMOND NEWS Richmond’s Jacqui Feldman, who’s suffering from terminal cancer, is crediting a local veterinarian with saving her life. It was a few weeks ago…
Continue Reading »

An artist sketch of Yosef Jomo Gopaul, the man accused of killing hockey mom Julie Paskall. Felicity Don, Sketch

Man accused of killing Surrey hockey mom pleads guilty to lesser charge of manslaughter

JENNIFER SALTMAN VANCOUVER DESI SURREY, B.C. — A man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of Surrey’s Julie Paskall, who was…
Continue Reading »

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is looking for new immigrant women to participate in a health study.

New immigrant women sought for B.C. Centre for Disease Control health study

BURNABY NOW The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has put out a call for Greater Vancouver women from India, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Jacqui Feldman shows off a recovering Sugar, her 13-year-old poodle that Terra Nova vet Dr. Javaid Chaudhry, rear, helped save after operating to remove a tumour. Feldman, who is battling cancer herself, fell on hard times and couldn’t afford to pay the $3,000-plus for Sugar’s procedure.  Alan Campbell/Richmond News

Richmond veterinarian steps up to save cancer sufferer’s dying dog

ALAN CAMPBELL RICHMOND NEWS Richmond’s Jacqui Feldman, who’s suffering from terminal cancer, is crediting a local veterinarian with saving her life. It was a few weeks ago…
Continue Reading »

An artist sketch of Yosef Jomo Gopaul, the man accused of killing hockey mom Julie Paskall. Felicity Don, Sketch

Man accused of killing Surrey hockey mom pleads guilty to lesser charge of manslaughter

JENNIFER SALTMAN VANCOUVER DESI SURREY, B.C. — A man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of Surrey’s Julie Paskall, who was…
Continue Reading »

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is looking for new immigrant women to participate in a health study.

New immigrant women sought for B.C. Centre for Disease Control health study

BURNABY NOW The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has put out a call for Greater Vancouver women from India, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

weight-loss

Do we need to exercise more or eat less?

JILL BARKER MONTREAL GAZETTE A battle is waging in the scientific journals between several prominent health and fitness experts. In one corner are physicians Aseem Malhotra,…
Continue Reading »

exam scores

Identical twins’ mark sheets almost as identical and the story of a courageous young achiever

HINDUSTAN TIMES AND VANCOUVER DESI They are identical twins and, interestingly, even their mark sheets look almost the same. Ranchi twins Aporupa and Anorupa Chattopadhyay …
Continue Reading »

India-pharma-under scanner

U.S. lawsuit puts generic drug imports from India under scanner

IANS Washington – A U.S. class action lawsuit accusing India’s Ranbaxy of large-scale deception on its generic drug applications puts a question mark on drug…
Continue Reading »

100 year journey

Apart from the overwhelming cold, Sucha Singh Bagri has fond memories of his first few days in B.C.

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Sucha Singh Bagri arrived in Canada with his father Harnam Singh Bagri on Feb 2, 1935, on the Empress of Russia,…
Continue Reading »

swimsuits

Who wants to be a Princess? Beauty pageant contestants undergo rigorous training

VANCOUVER DESI Divas aspiring to become Indian Princesses are undergoing rigorous training before the grand finale of the beauty pageant in Mumbai. Indian princess pageant 2015 ◄…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Items of clothing are displayed in room 331 of the Martinez Hotel, where Parisian fashion house Elie Saab provides sartorial services to celebrities attending the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 21, 2015. During the Cannes Film Festival, room 331 is radically transformed into a red carpet emergency room - where celebrities like Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman can rush to if they pop out of a dress, or a zipper breaks. Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

‘Nip slips’ and broken zippers: Red carpet Emergency Room for Cannes wardrobe malfunctions always full of drama

THOMAS ADAMSON THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CANNES, France – For most of the year, room 331 of the Martinez Hotel is just your run-of-the mill luxury…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai doesn’t leave her daughter alone even for a night

HINDUSTAN TIMES Apart from walking the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is also screening footage from her upcoming film, Jazbaa. The first…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Photos: Aishwarya Rai an absolute stunner at Cannes 2015 (updated)

VANCOUVER DESI Former beauty queen Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been a Cannes regular for over a decade now. But this year marks her comeback to the…
Continue Reading »