A prominent South Asian community activist Joginder Singh Mander who died last month was remembered at a public meeting organized in Surrey Thursday evening. The event was held under the aegis of Radio India at Ashiana Restaurant where the speakers described his death as “a loss to the entire community’’.
64-years-old Mander went missing from his Surrey home only to be found dead two weeks later under unknown circumstances. His body was recovered from the Frazer River.
Mander was a dedicated supporter of the NDP and a regular caller at Radio India and other community radio stations. He was always in the forefront of various social justice campaigns and political rallies.
Among those who spoke on the occasion included NDP MLA Harry Bains and prominent Sikh leader from the Dashmesh Darbar Gurdwara Jagtar Singh Sandhu. Both Bains and Sandhu insisted that everyone need to learn from the life of a true activist like Mander to make this world a better place.
Bains recalled that Mander was a diehard NDP worker yet he had courage to criticize his own party whenever he felt it was doing something wrong.
The Progressive Intercultural Community Services leader Charan Gill said that Mander was like heart and soul of the NDP and will always be missed by the party.
Sunil Sharma of the Sikh Nation that organizes blood donation camps every year in memory of the victims of 1984 anti Sikh pogrom remembered how Mander regularly donated blood and was always ready to offer his volunteer services to the campaign. Thousands of Sikhs were murdered across India in November 1984 following the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. The blood donation drive is still on and according to Sharma Mander is being greatly missed these days.
Others who spoke on the occasion included Radio India Managing Director Maninder Singh Gill, Radio India Hosts Devinderpal Singh Benipal and Umendra Singh, besides Radio Sher-E-Punjab Host Jasbir Singh Romana, Joginder Singh, Sardara Gill and Mander’s nephew Narinder Singh.
Among those present during the event were former MLA Jagrup Brar.
A moment of silence was also observed and the clips of Mander’s voice from radio talk shows were played. There were some emotional moments during the event and a few women were seen wiping their tears.