Jagat (Jack) Uppal passes away

Jagat (Jack) UppalJAGAT (Jack) Uppal, a pioneer, a well -respected family man, a pillar of the community and a philanthropist, passed away on Sunday (May 4).

Jack (born February 27, 1925) arrived from India as a baby in 1926 following his father’s arrival in 1906.

Recently, Jack was honored with a Doctorate of Law by Simon Fraser University. Although this was only one of the many acknowledgements he had received over the years, he felt blessed by the mere mention of his name, and grateful for the recognition of his and his father’s contribution to the South Asian community, his family said in a statement.

Jack leaves behind children Cindy (Harjinder), Paul (Manjit), Davie (Kay) and Pam (Jinder), 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Jack was a storyteller. He shared his stories of love, religion, and life in every speech he presented with hope that it would instill the same sense of pride he carried in his heart for his community and family. His humble beginnings fuelled his determination and fight to provide a quality of life for his family that would allow the following generations an opportunity to pursue their passions. He had an incredible work ethic that he shared with his children and as a result his company, Goldwood Industries, came to become one of many successful lumber mills in British Columbia.

His family said: “Jack will always remain in our hearts, and his love forever in us all. It was an honor to have met him, a privilege to have known him, and a blessing to call him our father.

“We ask that you join his family as we celebrate the life of our father and his legacy on May 11, 2014, at the Riverside Funeral Home 7410 Hopcott Road, Ladner, at 10 a.m., followed by temple services at Guru Nanak Niwas, 8600 No. 5 Road, Richmond.

“In lieu of flowers the family ask that you please donate to the charity of your choice.”

PREMIER Christy Clark issued the following statement:

“British Columbia’s South Asian Community lost one of its pillars with the passing of Dr. Jagat Uppal – better known to everyone as Jack.

“Dr. Uppal lived the quintessential Canadian story. The son of immigrants, he was one of the first Sikh children to attend public school in Vancouver. He went out of his way to support others looking to build their lives in British Columbia, hiring them with his successful lumber company, Goldwood Industries, or helping them integrate with Canadian society as president of the Khalsa Diwan Society.

“He was recognized as a leader, receiving a British Columbia Community Achievement Award in 2010, and an honorary doctorate from Simon Fraser University in 2012.

“My thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Uppal’s family. He will be missed.”