Launch of CICS Published Book “A Soldier Remembers”

The Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies was pleased to host the official launch of its first published book A Soldier Remembers based on the memoirs of Lieutenant Colonel Pritam Singh Jauhal. The book was co-authored by Pritam Singh Jauhal, the veteran at the centre of the story, and Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra, coordinator of the CICS at UFV.

Pritam Singh, a decorated World War II veteran, first came into the public eye in Canada on Remembrance Day in 1993, when he was denied entrance to the Surrey Newton Legion Branch because he was wearing a turban.

In the 1970s Canadian society was struggling with issues of race and racism based on a general ignorance among its citizenry about other cultures. The discrimination Pritam Singh faced reached its climax during the Remembrance Day ceremonies of 1993 when he was denied entrance to the Surrey Newton Legion Branch because he was wearing a turban. True to his convictions and his Sikh faith, Pritam Singh waged a long and difficult struggle for Sikh veterans to be allowed to wear this key article of their faith in the Legion. This is a story of Pritam Singh’s struggle with the Legion in 1993, but it is also much more than that. This book chronicles the struggles and accomplishments of an immigrant Sikh-Canadian, and the lifelong service he has given to his community.

The official launch, which took place on Saturday Nov 30th, 2013 from 11 am to 1 pm at the Surrey Library’s Newton branch featured a keynote address by Master Warrant Officer Mullick and a number of speakers including the supporters who stood by Pritam Singh during the Legion battle in 1993. These included Penny Priddy and Sue Hammill. MLA Dave Hayer also spoke about Pritam Singh and MP Jasbir Sandhu presented Pritam Singh with a congratulatory plaque in honour of his accomplishments in life.

There were well over 60 people in attendance at the launch including members of the print and television media, as well as members of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Society of BC-a Society originally created and founded by Pritam Singh.

To inquire about purchasing a copy of the book, please contact Sharn at or call (604) 851-6325.

DSC_0632 DSC_0633 DSC_0688 DSC_0693 DSC_0695 DSC_0696