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Canada Remembering Kuldip Singh Sodhi (blog Of Maple Leaf Sikh)


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
I regret to inform you that Sardar Kuldip Singh Sodhi passed away last Saturday after after a lengthy illness. His Path & Bhog (Final Prayers) will take place on Sunday December 26 at 1:30pm at Old Rexdale Gurdwara located at 47 Baywood Road, Rexdale, Ontario M9V 3Y8. All friends and family are welcome to come and pay their respects.

He was a great Sikh and a proud Canadian. His contributions were many, but here's some notes that his daughter Gurpreet shared this week.

Kuldip was born in Rawalpindi (present day Pakistan) but his family was forced to move to India during the partisan of India and Pakistan in 1947. His two memories of leaving Pakistan were carrying his youngest brother, who was a baby, and his mother begging for her children's lives. His family settled in Ambala Cantonment, (now Haryana) where his nephews, nieces, sister and cousins continue to live. Kuldip left home at 14 years old to learn his trade – heating, ventilation and air conditioning – so he could help his family financially. Helping people continued to be a theme throughout his life.

At 16 years of age Kuldip met his future wife Amarjit. They married 10 years later in 1962 and they were married for over 40 years.

Kuldip moved to Toronto in 1964 just in time for Beatlemania. In the late 1960s he moved his family to Beautiful Bowmanville as he liked to call it. While living in Bowmanville he established and built a successful business in air conditioning and refrigeration. He and his wife Amarjit raised a loving family and Kuldip was very active in town affairs and volunteerism in Bowmanville. For example, for more than 20 years he assisted St. Paul's United Church with their annual Christmas Naivety Scene. To ensure the Naivety Scene was accurate the Church felt the Three Wise men should wear turbans so they called Kuldip to tie them. Every year for three days before Christmas, Kuldip happily tied turbans on the Three Wise men for over 20 years.

Kuldip always saw potential in youth. He also helped many Bowmanville area youth learn a trade by taking young apprentices into the family business. The Sodhi family were well known for opening their home to kids from their neighbourhood and across town as a place to play, eat and just "hang out."

Kuldip is well known and regarded in the Sikh community for helping newcomers acclimatize and settle in Canada, just like he did. He and his wife welcomed newcomers into his house where he let them stay for an undetermined amount of time, taught them about Canada and provided them with Canadian work experience.

He is also remembered for his inspirational fight against human rights abuses against Sikhs in Punjab. He worked closely with all of the political parties educating them about the human rights abuses in Punjab. He also lobbied governments around the world to seek help to end the abuses.



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