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In Memoriam:
Sardar Narindar Singh

PARDEEP SINGH NAGRA

 

 

 

NARINDAR SINGH
August 5, 1924 - April 21, 2013



No trip or visit to or near Ottawa, Canada, was complete unless I dropped by the house of Sardar Narindar Singh.

Mind you, most of the time it was in the winter and for some reason a Ottawa snowfall (or, should I say snowstorm!) was always in play.

Yes, there are the memories of shovelling the driveway with snow-banks higher than me, or scraping of the ice from a windshield after the car had transformed into a piece of winter art.

It was a small price to pay for the company of Sardarni and Sardar Narindar Singh and I relished the snow-storms because of it.

I forgot to mention that my time of arrival was usually late at night, around 10 p.m. or after, but no matter what time I was expected, Grandma waited for my arrival.

Their grandson Taran Singh Wasson -- my friend --  and I did manage to catch up with the latest in our lives, but not until after Grandma first made sure I was fed and looked after for the night. She even went so far as to wanting to know what I wanted for the next morning.

In fact, Taran was merely biding time through our conversations. You see, at Sardar Narindar Singh's age, his daily biological clock was on a different pace than mine, but conveniently just right for my visits.

Sardar Narindar Singh was a historian and author of, inter alia, the classic orange covered book titled “Canadian Sikhs“. He was also a teacher, leader and mentor at various Sikh youth Camps.

I enjoyed his house because it reminded me so much of my own house in Toronto, filled with books, newspapers, articles, etc. all around the house. I always felt like a kid in a candy store: no matter which room or area of the house I went to, there always was something lying there that I had to check out. And it always had a story about it.

Taran shared with me that his grandpa has naps during the day and so I would simply wait for Sardar Narindar Singh to wake up from his late evening nap upon my arrival. The beauty of this was that he was always so fresh, ready and eager to talk, he had more energy than I.

This would be the highlight of my visits as we would get into fascinating theological conversations. Not to mention that he always had something on the go and so no conversation would be complete without him sharing his latest project or idea.

This usually lasted a couple of hours and Taran would have already gone to bed and by the end of it I too had to head to bed. But for Sardar Narindar Singh the night was still young and he had more reading and writing to be done until his next nap.

Sardar Narindar Singh decided to take his last nap a couple of days ago.

Although he will be especially missed by family, friends and community, I too am grateful for the time he shared, the memories he has left us with, and the wisdom and knowledge that he imparted and which is still part of us.


Sardar Narinder Singh, 88, passed away on April 21, 2013 in Ottawa, Canada. He was beloved husband of Swarn Kaur, loving father of Avtar, Kuldeep and Narjit, and dear grandfather of Taran, Preeti, Manveer, Parum, Sameet and Raj.

May 1, 2013

Conversation about this article

1: Rupinder (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), May 01, 2013, 7:09 AM.

What a lovely tribute to a lovely man. Bhai Sahib was a pillar of the Ottawa Sikh community and when I moved there, he immediately welcomed me with such warmth and enthusiasm. He was a walking book of knowledge and such a treasure for the Panth.

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Sardar Narindar Singh"









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