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Gurdwara Nanak Niwas’ Three Wise Men

Los Angeles, May 08, 2023 Sanghera
Ramesh/ A.Gary Singh

India Cultural Centre of Canada Gurdwara Nanak Niwas on Richmond’s Highway to Heaven has been serving the Metro Vancouver community for 40 years. In addition to various services this Gurdwara is very popular for weddings and visits from students and various other groups. Our management team is doing the best it can to serve the community. In this context, every member of the committee has been working hard. However, there are certain individuals who stand out in this regard. They are our well respected seniors, Chain Singh Batth, Gurcharn Singh Grewal and Avtar Singh Saddhar. Affectionately, we call them our Gurdwara’s Three Wise Men.
Chain Singh Batth and Avtar Singh Saddhar are both retired teachers whereas Gurcharn Singh Grewal is a retired businessman. Mr. Batth and Mr. Saddhar were also colleagues in the Punjab education community. Gurcharn  Singh Grewal was born in village Narangwal of district Ludhiana.  His family was a close neighbour of former chief minister and high court judge Gurnam Singh. Grewal  moved to London, UK with his younger sister at a young age of 20. After working in a rubber factory for a short period, he got a job with BOAC (now BA- British Airways) and worked there for ten years before moving to Canada in 1968.Here in Canada, he became very popular as a skilled salesman with Carter Pontiac GM dealership in Burnaby. Grewal worked at this dealership from 1969 till retirement in 2005. He has a big family-three sons, eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren. He enjoys sports, spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren and taking them out for treats...
 Saddhar is a very well respected  teacher and an esteemed scholar. He started his teaching career at Khalsa High School, Mazari, district Hoshiarpur in 1958. His career took him to various schools including Government High School Takoli, in Kangra district, Khudda in Hoshiarpur district, Ambala Jattan, and then to Government Higher Secondary School in Harjipur as lecturer in Punjabi in 1981. From there, Saddhar was promoted as Headmaster at Badal familiy’s hometown Badal , district  Faridkot (now district Muktsar).In 1984 Saddhar moved back to Khudda as principal and then took early retirement in 1991 when he headed to Canada. After staying in Edmonton for couple of years, Saddhar moved to Metro Vancouver. Here, he met his fellow BT student and colleague Chain Batth at a wedding. Batth convinced Saddhar to join him at Gurdwara Nanak Niwas in Richmond in 1995.  Avtar Singh Saddhar has been serving diligently at this Gurdwara since then.

Chain Singh Batth was born and raised in Bathlan village in district Hoshiarpur. He trained and served as a teacher in the Punjab before moving to England in 1962. He served as a certified welder and driver for a municipal bus company there before moving to Canada in 1969. Batth worked in the lumber industry for a few years before joining the BC Ambulance Service as a paramedic in Richmond. He was the first South Asian to become a paramedic with the BC Ambulance Service. Batth has been honoured with a number of awards as a result of his dedication in saving lives and helping others. Though Batth retired as a paramedic a few years ago, yet he talks about his service as a paramedic for 22 years with great pride. He also fondly speaks about his four grandchildren all of whom are doing very well. Chain Singh Batth has been a very dedicated volunteer at Gurdwara Nanak Niwas and has served on the Executive in various positions. He is also the proud owner of a blue berry farm in Richmond. All three of these wonderful people are a great credit to our community and Gurdwara Nanak Niwas. We wish them well!

Balwant Singh Sanghera
General Secretary, India Cultural Centre of Canada Gurdwara Nanak Niwas, Richmond, BC Canada.