Harpreet Singh DhariwalT. SHER SINGH
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
HARPREET SINGH DHARIWAL
May 3, 1965 - September 25, 2012
It’s true. The good die young.
They say it’s because the pure amongst us have but a few loose ends to work out in life. They’re done early, and then move on into the final lap of their journey, into the arms of the One.
Certainly, it is so true of Harpreet Singh Dhariwal, who at a mere 47 years of age, passed away on Tuesday, September 25, 2012, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
I first got to know Harpreet when he was a young lad in Toronto. I knew him then as the ‘baby brother’ of Jasjeet Kaur, my ‘baby sister’ Sartaj Kaur’s best friend.
I saw him only sporadically then, as I left town to go to law school. But by the time I was back and settled as a full-fledged lawyer, he was a strapping young man, heading into University of Toronto - bright, charming, and a sportsman brimming with energy.
I remember him from those days as an ardent fan of contemporary music and dance. His passion, though, was basketball. Not only as a player but as a coach. And it is his love for that sport that drew him into helping his peers as well as the children that followed, in getting them all active and involved.
I remember the perennial gleam in his eye and his ever-present good-humour. Amidst all of it, he was a proud Sardar … which brought him to me, voluntarily, every time we had a project going, be it the annual Vaisakhi dinners under the aegis of The Centennial Foundation, or the Spinning Wheel Film Festival or the conferences or seminars we did from time to time, or the television shows and series I was involved in.
Every now and then, my phone would ring and he would be asking me if I knew of this, or heard of that … and direct my attention to new and daring avenues. He would urge me to write about something, or take up a certain cause … always concerned, always wanting to initiate, to help, to support.
Though he was an IT wiz -- his work in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Toronto was widely recognized and honoured -- his spare time was devoted to basketball.
Which brought him into the fold of the Toronto Raptors basketball team. He assisted them in community outreach into the Sikh community.
He called me one day saying that the Raptors wanted him to join an advisory board to assist them in figuring out how to inspire young kids further within the basketball and ice-hockey milieu. I congratulated him and rattled off a string of things he should do … when he interrupted me and stopped me in my tracks.
I am a sportsman, he said, and not interested on being on any board. “It’s not my thing,” he said. He was emphatic … and convinced me to take on the job.
I did, and with Harpreet’s help and guidance, we managed to get the Raptors to dedicate one game every year at spring time to the Sikh-Canadian community, and market it as the Vaisakhi Day Raptors Game!
That was Harpreet at his best. He was a doer, but shunned the lime-light and had no interest in the glare of publicity.
Nevertheless, I would draw him in from time to time when I needed, for example, someone on the TV show I then hosted on Faith and Religion to talk about Sikhi or Sikh issues.
What drew me to Harpreet over and over again -- in addition to his intelligence and forthrightness -- was his sincerity and his utter humbleness. How he combined those two precious and elusive qualities with his ever-effervescent joie de vivre, I have never been able to understand.
He was suddenly struck gravely ill a few months ago.
When I went to see him the first time after I heard of it, he surprised me by telling me he had read my article on my confrontation with the Canadian External Affairs Minister Joe Clark at the Sikh Studies Conference at the University of Toronto in 1986.
He had a naughty glint in his eye, despite his frailty; I could see he could barely contain himself as he handed me a stack of photographs! Lo and behold, Harpreet had been present in the auditorium that afternoon with his ubiquitous camera and had photographed the entire exchange!
He was strong as he knew the end was nigh. Deeply spiritual, seeking and finding strength in his life-long love for Sikhi.
We lost Harpreet yesterday morning at 0545, and since then I’ve received a stream of calls from across the continent, each reminding me of how he gave, always gave … to friends, to colleagues, to family, to the community. Selflessly, never seeking or accepting recognition, never lingering for even a pat on the back or an accolade.
He was blessed with a loving wife, Ranjit Kaur, and both with three boys - perfect clones of Harpreet in their unbottled energy: Amrit (12), Sahib (10) and Teg (soon to be 9).
Harpreet’s goodness lives on in them and in the wonderful family I have known for much of my life in Canada: his father, Sardar Sudarshan Singh, his sisters Gurpreet Kaur and Jasjeet Kaur, and their respective families. (His mother, Sardarni Jaspal Kaur, passed away in October, 2010.)
Glendale Memorial Gardens and Visitation Centre
Friday, September 28, 2012
11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Friday, September 28, 2012
12 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Glendale Visitation Centre - Chapel
Glendale Memorial Gardens and Visitation Centre, 1810 Albion Road, Etobicoke (Toronto), Ontario, Canada M9W 5T1. Ph: 416-675-9489.
Conversation about this article
1: Pashaura Singh (Riverside, Californa, USA), September 26, 2012, 9:54 AM.
Thanks, Sher Singh ji, for this beautiful eulogy for Harpreet Singh. The other day I read about lecture capturing technology in a sikhchic.com columns and I was feeling much proud of his achievements. I knew him from my University of Toronto days and he was the most cultured Sikh I have ever seen. Such a sweet and helping person, even to strangers! I had not known about his bout of cancer and I was rather shocked about this news. It was his style to keep such things with him alone. May Akal Purakh bless his soul and provide comfort to his family. This is a terrible loss at such a young age, not only to the family but to the Sikh community at large. He will be sorely missed.
2: Pardeep Singh Nagra (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 26, 2012, 10:11 AM.
Harpreet, you will be missed. I too have had the privilege to engage with Harpreet in all the areas mentioned above by Sher. The one thing Harpreet and I shared in common was our angst with wearing ties. I remember I was following Harpreet on a show with Sher and Harpreet told me that he got an earful from Sher for not having a tie on and had to wear the tie of the guest prior and I too better figure out the tie thing before I go on air with Sher!
3: Gurpreet Singh (Brampton, Ontario, Canada), September 26, 2012, 10:57 AM.
Shocked. I met him a few times. How easily he spoke to strangers with absolute humility,love and passion for Sikhi. I was reading his U of T article last week on sikhchic.com, and now this ... reality ... May Waheguru bless his soul and family.
4: Harvind Kaur Singh (Chicago, Illinois, USA), September 26, 2012, 11:00 AM.
I remember Harpreet and his family from growing up with them in Toronto. He was always the big brother and he was so patient. I have had the good fortune to see him on my few visits to Toronto. He was an essential part of my childhood. It is sad news. He will be missed.
5: Khushhal (Canada), September 26, 2012, 11:12 AM.
Shocking. 'Hoops' will be missed.
6: Chintan Singh (San Jose, California, U.S.A.), September 26, 2012, 11:13 AM.
What a beautifully written eulogy on Harpeeet Singh. Thank you, Sher, for sharing the story of this great, humble yet simple soul to all of us. Your piece once again reaffirms the fact that simple people like Harpreet, who do not have any accolades or public recognition to their name, can also give and contribute in their societies so much and make a difference by their selfless seva and humility. I wish I could also say like Pardeep and Prof. Pashaura Singh that I had a chance to meet Harpreet but that's not the case. My ardaas to Waheguru for Harpreet's wife, children and rest of the family.
7: Sandeep Singh Brar (Canada), September 26, 2012, 12:06 PM.
Harpreet will always live on in our memories. Many of you may not be aware, but Harpreet is a bit of an Internet pioneer along with his lovely wife Ranjit Kaur who are actually the faces of the first Sikh wedding documented on the Internet. Just Google keywords "Sikh Wedding" and click on the Sikhs.org link which comes up first to view the documented story of a Sikh Wedding told through pictures and words. It was back in the 1990s in the early days of the web and as Sikhs.org was growing, I wanted to explain a Sikh wedding and everything around the Anand Karaj ceremony. My friend Harpreet was getting married and was pretty excited and invited me to attend his wedding. Knowing that the web is a visual media and thinking that it would be ideal to tell the story of a Sikh wedding through pictures rather than just words, I approached Harpreet about the idea. As has already been mentioned, Harpreet was never one to seek the limelight, but he was always very supportive of Sikh causes and educating people about Sikhs. Harpreet readily agreed to let me photograph and document his wedding and put it online on Sikhs.org so that everyone could understand what a Sikh wedding was all about. Some of the pictures are a bit small by today's internet standards and I'll update them with larger images (remember, in those days bandwidth and web pages were delivered by slow telephone modems). I still remember the day of the wedding. It was a lovely day, bright and sunny, his cute little cousins running around the house in their matching suits, the giant Nihang uncle who was a radio D.J., of all things, his devout parents who started the day by reading the Guru Granth Sahib to seek blessings for the special day. Harpreet playing basketball with the kids on the driveway before the wedding limo ride, the horse-ride at the gurdwara where he arrived for the milni like a prince, the humble milni in which Harpreet actually served his in-law's family with food in a large tent outside the gurdwara, the magical kirtan performed by Harpreet' friends. These are the fond memories that I will always have when I think of my friend Harpreet and his wonderful wife, Ranjit. So take a few minutes out of your busy day, Google "Sikh Wedding" and celebrate Harpreet's life. It will put a smile on your face as it does on mine every time I view those photos and I think that's the way Harpreet would like us to remember him.
8: Mandip Singh Bhangoo (India), September 26, 2012, 12:57 PM.
Thanks, Sher Singh ji, for this beautiful eulogy for Harpreet Singh. And thanks for the comments - they reflect the true picture of Harpreet - Raju to us, from his days in India. Very simple, humble, giving, helping, pooran Sikh, truthful, and a great sense of humour. He wanted to visit us in India but that was not to be. On our visit to Canada in 2009, he took us around with great enthusiasm, bought my son a basketball besides other gifts and with great love compiled the photographs in a beautiful album and gave it to us as a parting gift which we treasure. Harpreet, you will always be missed. Rightly said - Amrit, Sahib and Teg are perfect clones - the same energy! Our ardaas to Akal Purakh ...
9: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), September 26, 2012, 3:06 PM.
Sher ji, thanks for being the narrator of this heart-rending account of Harpreet Singh Dariwal. I had never heard of Harpreet until this morning and of his brief but meaningful life. It reminded me of John Donne's poem, "Death Be Not Proud", that ends with a comment on the "death of Death". It indeed had nothing to be proud, given Harpreet's short span on this earth. Looks like Waheguru recalls anyone back in his league whenever He ordains: "jaisay kirsaan bovai kirsaanee / kachee paakee baadh paraanee / jo janmai so jaanhu moo-aa" [GGS:375.17] - "Just like the farmer, He plants His crop, and whether it is ripe or unripe, He cuts its down. Just so, you must know this well, that whoever is born, shall die."
10: Paul Milgram (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 26, 2012, 5:17 PM.
Thank you so much for the beautiful and moving eulogy for Harpreet. I am one of the many professors with whom Harpreet worked at the University of Toronto. I have known Harpreet for several years and I'm confident that I speak on behalf of all of his university colleagues in echoing the words already stated by the others above: Harpreet was highly skilled, always ready to help, exceptionally patient, never judgemental ... and a true gentleman. His personality (as revealed through his eyes) was manifested consistently -- kindness, conviction and sincerity. He will be sorely missed.
11: Harmanpreet Singh (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada), September 26, 2012, 5:23 PM.
The Toronto and Canadian Sikh Community has lost a giant. I still remember the first time I met him like it was yesterday. I was just getting more interested in Sikhi and community events. He met me at a conference, and sensing the awkwardness of a teenager, he struck up a conversation and made me feel at ease, inviting me home to meet his amazing family. This was the beginning of a long friendship. In him, I knew I had someone to count on and learn from. His general knowledge was legendary, whether the topic was spiritual, historical, sports, music, IT - you knew his was an informed opinion you would value. There are probably countless others he reached out to this way over the years, whether on campus or at a community event ... he always considered it his duty to be involved and of service to others. Always ready to help, be it a senior, or his personal passion, Sikh youth. It was surprising to hear the news and even his age, because he was eternally youthful in spirit, with a way of relating to teenagers that always made it feel like he was just a few years older than them. He made so many of us feel like he was our big brother ... there for us, to help out, inspire and remind us that being a Sikh is not a hindrance, but in fact an advantage and an honor. Whether it was showing new students around campus, giving youth a positive outlet like pickup basketball, or making sure they would feel comfortable going from wearing a putka to a dastaar, it's like he lived his life according to a simple code: must care ... must help ... must make a difference.
12: Sajjan Singh Bhangoo (Sacramento, California, USA), September 26, 2012, 5:50 PM.
Thanks, Sher Singh ji, for very appropriate observations about my nephew, Harpreet. I appreciate Dr. Pashaura Singh ji's comments as well. I had a knee replacement surgery and am unable to fly to Toronto and hence will miss the Bhog and funeral service. May Waheguru provide us enough strength to accept His Will!
13: Amisha (Brampton, Ontario, Canada), September 26, 2012, 7:34 PM.
He was the best basketball coach that my team and i could ever have. RIP, coach!
14: Manpreet Kaur Dhaliwal (Brampton, Ontario, Canada), September 26, 2012, 8:19 PM.
Harpreet Bha ji, I didn't know you on a personal level, but heard of you since last month from my husband. Since then my husband has told me a lot of great stories about you and how inspiring you were to everyone that came your way. I'm sorry I didn't get to meet you in person but I'm very honored that my husband knew you and got to meet you also a few days ago. May Baba ji bless your soul. Thank you.
15: Suneet Singh Tuli (Brampton, Ontario, Canada), September 26, 2012, 10:34 PM.
Shocked and saddened! I'd first met Harpreet Singh during my days at U of T in the late 80's. I last saw him about 6 months ago when I was asked to do a presentation at the U of T -- and his presence there helped me calm my nerves. This news of his passing comes as a complete shock. May Waheguru give his family the strength to accept Akal Purakh's Will.
16: Harbinder Singh Dhillon (Dover, Delaware, USA), September 26, 2012, 10:39 PM.
My phone rang this morning and I heard the sad news from a friend and Harpreet's brother-in-law, S. Jaspal Singh, who had given me Harpreet's contact 15 years ago, just before I was to join U of T. It was a shock indeed as I was unaware that he had been seriously ill. In my 2 years in Toronto, we shared many thoughts and ideas including on being human, on Punjab, and also on some apparently trivial issues partly because we were in the same age group - we were born less than a year apart. His depth and sense of humor - a rare combination - were pervasive in all his conversations. I also had close interactions with Harpreet's family and close friends and have maintained them over the years. Whenever I visited Toronto/Brampton, I used to stop by his home as if it was my own. I believe that this lack of hesitation on my part was shared by friends and other 'orphans' like me uprooted from Punjab; here was a home true to Sikhi and humanity in letter and spirit. After hearing the sad news this morning, as I was on my own surrounded by a sea of emotions, I also felt somewhat distressed for not having been told of the gravity of his illness earlier [even if I was not Harpreet's closest friend]. But that was for a few seconds; very soon our departed friend's personality started sinking in - Harpreet wanted it that way; an extension of his noble characteristic of staying in the background, as mentioned by Sardar T. Sher Singh above. Harpreet was independent, strong and practical. He did not want others to worry, especially those far away; this is how I am consoling myself as I sit in despair and every now and then the image of his unforgettable eyes appears to reiterate that we need to remain strong. Even when he has left us, he remains a guiding force. May all who were blessed to have known Harpreet have the strength to take care of themselves and each other in this prematurely tragic moment. Peace.
17: Harjeet Singh (Goldee) (Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada), September 26, 2012, 10:46 PM.
Harpreet and I were very close friends growing up. Most of our teenage years were spent enjoying mutual interests such as Air Cadets, going to airshows, and RUSH concerts. My heart is sad with his passing at such an young age and having lost a good friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with Harpreet and his family. Rest in Peace.
18: Gurjit Bajwa (Canada), September 26, 2012, 11:40 PM.
May Satguru ji bless my friend's dear soul. I knew Harpreet from the first time his mother was my patient in a downtown hospital about 20 years ago when I was a mere medical student. She was one of my very first patients. I attended the University of Toronto with him. He sure loved his sports. And a very bright student. And an individual full of decency. Our current family friends, Jasjit and Dr. Harpreet Singh Brar, will forever remind us of my dear friend, Harpreet.
19: R. Dhillon (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 27, 2012, 1:12 AM.
I met Harpreet when I was 10. I am 23 now. I met him whilst he was running drop-in basketball in Humberwood. Growing up, I remember Harpreet would be there every Friday night 8-10 pm with his kids. His dedication and passion was unparalleled. Basketball was his way to reach us. The lessons taught therein from just being in the gym were invaluable. My friends and I are very grateful he took the time out to put the time in just to lead us on a righteous path. While everybody else our age was into alcohol, drugs, and violence, we were in the gym on Friday nights. He had a sense of humour that could turn a gym full of people into hysterical laughter. A smile that could brighten your day. He had an addictive personality, always willing to help, making insecure people feel comfortable. That was his thing. He just wanted to ALWAYS help. His approach was consistent, practicing patience when immaturity from others seeped through. He was a unique human being, with extraordinary characteristics. By far the most genuine, selfless, and thought provoking individual to enter my life. Your legacy will forever live on in the Humberwood gymnasiums. Thank you for everything, from the hours of basketball as a kid, to the quality time spent in conversation as an adult. You are a true hero. Your memory will never fade. May God bless you and your family.
20: Suresh Pal Singh Bhalla (Toronto Ontario, Canada), September 27, 2012, 10:00 AM.
My eldest son Amar called me yesterday from Miami to inform me that he had learnt from sikhchic.com that Harpreet had died. Our family knew Harpreet from his occasional attendance at our annual akhand paatths. Amar and he established a distant, but mutually appreciating bond, reflected in their share of interests, community matters and much humour. The Sikh community of Toronto has lost a vibrant young member at the prime of his life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, three boys and the extended family. We hope and pray that the family will draw courage and comfort from Harpreet's legacy of love, fond memories, understanding, and appreciation from all that he touched. Of course the ultimate source of comfort for all of us are the blessings of the Gurus, at the time of this untimely loss.
21: Harsharan Singh (Peterborough, Ontario, Canada), September 27, 2012, 10:51 AM.
Thanks, Sher, for sharing the sad news of Harpreet's untimely death. I had a chance to know him through his friendship with our sons, Rob and Dave. It was his involvement with the Sikh youth camps in Detroit that I enjoyed sharing views on various aspects of our faith. Harpreet has left me with good memories of his participation in a number of seminars and workshops that we attended together. His enthusiasm to promote Sikhism among his peers was greatly appreciated. He will be missed greatly by all of us. At a time like this, it is very difficult to cope with such a loss by the family. My heart goes out to his father, S. Sudarshan Singh, who has to mourn the death of his gem of a son. May Guru's blessings be with the family.
22: Deepa (Brampton, Ontario, Canada), September 27, 2012, 11:44 AM.
On Tuesday, I learned of the unfortunate and untimely death of our dear friend, Harpreet. There are no words to describe the utter grief that I am feeling right now, and I cannot possibly imagine the sorrow that has been thrust upon his family as well. It is true that he was taken from us too soon, and I think you all share my sentiment that it feels a little unfair that such a smart and talented young man's life has ended with so much living left to do. I join with so many others who knew Harpreet in offering our deepest sympathy on his passing. May you find peace and comfort in knowing that his loss is felt by all who knew and loved him and his goodness will live on through his three beautiful sons. His passing will not only leave a void in our lives, but in the hearts of everyone who knew him. We will miss you, Harpreet. Peace. Prayers. Blessings.
23: Darshan Singh (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 27, 2012, 12:51 PM.
When I received the news of Harpreet's passing, it was heart-rending. I first met Harpreet when we were in the Air Cadets as young men. We lost touch for a while, but then met up again through a mutual friend and the connection was instantaneous. He was the type of person who was always there when you needed him. I know we all say that we understand the sorrow people are feeling, but I do not believe that any of us can truly know what the family is going through. I pray that God gives Rani and the children strength. Harpreet's goodness will always live through the people he touched in his short life. May Waheguru bless Harpreet's soul and give him a place of honour in His house.
24: N. Singh (Canada), September 27, 2012, 1:54 PM.
My condolences to Harpreet's family. May he rest in peace.
25: Sukhi Heer (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada), September 27, 2012, 3:56 PM.
I was shocked to read that Harpreet's life-journey ended at such an young age. I have known Harpreet since the early eighties. Harpreet was full of life and always positive. My condolences to Harpreet's family.
26: Marden Paul (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 27, 2012, 9:01 PM.
Harpreet's passing brings great sadness to me and all who knew and worked with him. Harpeet was kind, houghtful, humble, and exceptionally talented. I will always remember Harpreet for his friendship and trust. Many of us will also remember the special treats he brought us on his birthday -- always thinking of others, always giving. Harpreet provided me with wise words when he learned of my impending fatherhood -- "the most important thing for your children is to give them your time." Words to live by. Harpeet gave us so much of his time and we are the better for knowing him and being able to share in his life. Deepest condolences to his family. Harpreet was so special, and we all will miss him so much.
27: Sundip Kaur Kanth (Brampton, Ontario, Canada), September 27, 2012, 11:53 PM.
I have known Harpreet since my early twenties. He was my older brother's very good friend. My brother insisted that I should come down from Montreal to meet him. I was surprised because, up until that point, my brother had never asked me to meet any of his friends. When I asked him why I should travel 550 km just to meet one person, he replied, "He's a really good guy, a nice guy with a very big heart. I can't explain it, just come. He's someone you should meet." So I came, just to see my brother really, but when I met Harpreet I knew immediately that my brother was right. This person was different. He was special. He was the essence of goodness and kindness. He truly represented and lived by the teachings of Sikhi. The worries I held in my heart for my brother living away from home for the first time while attending the University of Toronto seemed to disappear. I knew it was because Harpreet had become family to him, like an older brother. Before I left Harpreet after that first meeting he told me not to worry about my brother because he would watch out for him. I believed him whole-heartedly, simple as that. I went back to Montreal after that weekend with a light heart. I had known for quite some time that Harpreet had been struggling with health concerns. Still, like so many of us, I was shocked and truly saddened to hear how severe the situation really was. He kept his condition quiet, never wanting to worry others. Never wanting attention of any kind for himself. In his final month, Harpreet allowed me to care for him. It was my honor and privilege to do so. He would often tell me that he did not deserve my attention or care. I would tell him that he deserved much more than I could possibly give him because he gave so much to everyone throughout his life. He remained humble and honest as always. One long night as I sat by his bedside he decided that he wanted to watch the sun come up. So we sat, waited and reminisced about happier times. Then he turned to me and said something I will never forget. He said that he had spent many days lying in his bed fighting his sickness and even though it was awful he felt very lucky. He felt lucky because it allowed him to spend an incredible amount of time with his family, his father in particular. More time than he had spent with him in years. He felt that having that time with his father was his gift from God. He also said that he had come to the understanding that there is beauty in everything that God does, even in pain and suffering; we just have to look for it because if you do, you will find God. His faith in God remained his strength. Even during those last few weeks and days, Harpreet never lost his sense of humor, and his mind remained sharp and clever as ever. May Waheguru bless him and keep him close forever. May Waheguru bless his family and give them strength.
28: Kawal Singh Kohli (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 28, 2012, 12:57 AM.
Harpreet: "gurmukh janam sawaar dargaih chaleeyeh" - A true gurmukh. A true gursikh. You will always be in our heart.
29: Ishpreet Singh (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 28, 2012, 7:33 AM.
He was awesome. I met him once at a conference about 6 years ago. He was so casual and yet what he said was so bold. Unforgettable. True gem indeed. May Guru Sahib bless him, his wife and kids. With so much contribution to Sikhi and the GTA youth, one can't even fathom the number of lives he has changed. True Sant Sipahi.
30: Eva Swenson (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 28, 2012, 2:49 PM.
I was blessed with the good fortune of working with Harpreet at the University of Toronto in the nineties. I remember him fondly as a compassionate, gentle, and highly competent team player. I feel a deep sense of loss and sadness at his passing. May he rest in the peace that he shared with everyone around him. I extend my deepest sympathies to his wife and sons.
31: J. Cook (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 28, 2012, 4:06 PM.
Met Harpreet through working at the University of Toronto. Always positive and happy. He will be missed around the halls of U of T.
32: D.P. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 28, 2012, 7:12 PM.
Although I did know know Harpreet Singh Dhariwal, I saw this picture and my heart immediately sank. I remember seeing him multiple times in the halls of University of Toronto. He will be missed. My condolences to his family.
33: L Harrison (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 29, 2012, 10:38 AM.
Harpreet will be remembered by his colleagues at the University of Toronto for his generous contributions to the fabric of our community. We will miss his enthusiasm, his commitment to the students, his optimism, and his ability to encourage all of us to be the best that we can be. He touched the lives of so many, weaving the professional and the personal, the practical and the philosophical, in our conversations and work together. Our thoughts are with his family at this time. Sincerest condolences for your loss.
34: Japji Kaur (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 29, 2012, 1:05 PM.
FYI: To honour his memory, the University of Toronto's flags were lowered to half-mast on all three campuses on Friday, September 28, 2012, the day when Harpreet's life was celebrated in a funeral service with friends and family in attendance.
35: Charanjit Sandhu (Oakville, Ontario, Canada), September 29, 2012, 10:41 PM.
It is with a heavy heart that our community has lost a gem. Yesterday we laid to rest a pioneer and a trailblazer of the basketball community. Harpreet was a caring, loving and dedicated mentor to the youth of Toronto. In addition to the aforementioned traits, I was astounded to learn of the humility of this great individual. He performed countless acts of graciousness and compassion without seeking any recognition. Despite all of the above, Harpreet made time for his family and most of all, for his faith. As a turbaned individual, Harpreet was the singular force in creating a path for athletes of our faith. To emphasize my point, my good friend, Gurpreet Singh Dhillon and I were labelled with the moniker, the "Turban Twins," however this was not said in the negative sense, but rather as a recognition of our abilities on the court. Without Harpreet to set the stage, none of this would have been possible. My dear friend, one day we shall meet and I hope I have made you proud of the legacy we have continued under your name.
36: Amandeep Singh Madra (London, United Kingdom), September 30, 2012, 3:11 AM.
Sher Singh, thank you for your beautiful eulogy and sharing your memories of Harpreet and for the reminiscences that others have shared too. Harpreet was my cousin and his passing came as a tremendous shock to all of us. At this difficult time for his family and friends these memories are really welcome.
37: Tarun Channa (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 30, 2012, 8:31 PM.
Thank you, Sher ji, for sharing. My memory of Harpreet goes back to when we were just 12 years old. I remember him as the younger brother of my friend Jas. Harpreet was just one year older than me but I remember him well. He had great athletic ability from the taekwondo at Weston Road Gurdwara where he and his friends, Goldee and Monty, participated and were so much better than the rest of us. I also remember him giving of himself even back then when he would follow in his dad's example by providing hours of service in the langar hall. Our family moved away in the late eighties and we lost touch but it is really great to know that he touched so many lives and became an amazing inspiration. My sincere condolences to his family. Harpreet will always be alive in our hearts and being the great man that he was, his soul will be in peace.
38: Terry Jones (Scarborough, Ontario, Canada), October 01, 2012, 10:40 AM.
Thank you for the excellent eulogy that shed light on aspects of Harpreet that many of his co-workers had no idea he was involved with. Harpreet's drive and passion will be missed by all he worked with over the years at U of T.
39: Carlo Porco (King City, Ontario, Canada), October 01, 2012, 12:09 PM.
He kept us "kids" safe and out of trouble for at least one night every weekend. RIP to a community hero!
40: Lisette Henrich (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), October 02, 2012, 9:32 AM.
Harpreet was one of the first real friends I made working at U of T. He was kind, funny, encouraging and respectful. He was my big brother even though he was younger than me. I miss him more than words can say.
41: Rupinder (Monty) Singh Ubbi (Toronto, Ontario Canada), October 04, 2012, 12:45 PM.
Harpreet and I were very good friends during our teenage years. Harpreet, Goldee and I were together most of the time. We took Tae kwondo lessons at the gurdwara together, played field hockey and generally tried to meet up after school every day. We had become busy with our own personal lives over the past few years, however I still had the privilege of seeing him at the nagar kirtan services at City Hall every year. This loss is a stark reminder of how fragile life really is. With a heavy heart we offer our condolences to the family.
42: Harkinder Singh (London, Ontario, Canada), October 04, 2012, 3:52 PM.
May Waheguru bless this earth with the presence of people like Harpreet Singh at all times. May Waheguru bless the departed soul and console the loved ones behind.
43: Somail Singh Bains (Rochester, New York, U.S.A.), October 05, 2012, 8:51 PM.
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done; The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won - See you on the other side, "Captain Re-boot".
44: Jasjit Rehsia (Brampton, Ontario, Canada), October 08, 2012, 8:46 PM.
I am a bit late in hearing this very sad news. I had met Harpreet when I enrolled at the University of Toronto as a student. I met him at the campus several times, and am yet to know anyone else who was as full of life and energy. He told me several times that he works on computers but his real passion was basketball. Up until he joined the faculty of engineering, i never really knew what exactly he did at U of T, but I do know that whenever anyone needed help and guidance, Harpreet was always there. Thank you, Harpreet, for being a friend, an older brother, a guidance counsellor. You will be missed, bro.
45: Paul Sidhu (Brampton, Ontario, Canada), October 09, 2012, 11:06 AM.
I had the pleasure of meeting Harpreet back in the late 1980's when we attended a number of university cultural and sports tournaments. He treated everyone with the highest standards and a huge smile on his face. Yet a very competitive player, but he played with fairness all around. I just came to know of his passing today and I am deeply saddened by the loss our community will feel for years to come. He had basically volunteered his life to bringing kids in various communities off the streets to the battle ground of the sports arena. Let's keep his legacy going by promoting sports activities to every kid you know and tell them his story, what he did for others. Condolences to his family and friends from my family and I.
46: Rosa L. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), October 12, 2012, 6:10 PM.
'I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars'. [Og Mandino] ... Oh, how he'll light up the sky. With sympathy, Rosa.