Lest we forget a Legend

With a sense of utmost grief and sorrow, we announce the sudden passing away of Mr. Charan Pal Gill, Founder and Founding CEO of Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society, on February 2, 2021.

With a sense of utmost grief and sorrow, we announce the sudden passing away of Mr. Charan Pal Gill, Founder and Founding CEO of Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society, on February 2, 2021.

Mr. Gill was a great human being imbued with extraordinary qualities of head and heart and it was his vision and able leadership that became a driving forcebehind PICS Society. His tireless efforts made PICSdevelop into a major community organization in the Lower Mainland offering multiple programs and services to the community, including language and settlement services, employment programs, housing for seniors, second stage transition home for immigrant women, training, and programs for women and youth.

At a very young age, since the day he landed in Canada, Mr. Gill involved himself in community work and social activism. He was a founding member of the Canadian Farm Workers Union and also served as the President of the BC Organization to Fight Racism. Mr. Gill followed his heart and loved to work for seniors, immigrants, youth and the working poor. He was honoured with many prestigious awards including the Order of British Columbia, for the yeoman’s work he carried out in the field of human rights and social cause.

Mr. Gill, devoted his entire life to work for the betterment of the community and even time will never be able to blur the memories of this great man, whom we fondly used to call “The Living Legend”. His firm belief in people’s democratic rights to live a happy, healthy and prosperous lifeendeared him to all sections of the society.

The staff, management and Board of PICS Society have decided to preserve and honour Mr. Gill’s legacy in the following manner:

• Name one of the wings in the “Guru Nanak Diversity Village” facility (his dream project) after him, the citation could tentatively read:

“This wing is dedicated to the everlasting loving memory of Dr. Charan Pal Gill, Founder and Founding CEO of PICS Society”

• Prominently display a plaque in the reception area of the PICS Head Office recognising Mr. Gill as the “Founder and Founding CEO of PICS Society”

• Institute awards to commemorate Dr. Charan Pal Gill –in different categories (this Award Ceremony could be a part of PICS Annual Fundraising Galas)

• Create a virtual memorial for Mr. Gill on the PICS website – celebrating his life and saluting his achievements.

We also urge the community to help turn into reality Mr. Gill’s dream project- Guru Nanak Diversity Village-by supporting PICS in realizing the target to fundraise the initial $5 million to launch it.  This initiative, envisioned by Mr. Gill as a futuristic community need, will be another milestone in PICS’s endeavour to ensure that our seniors are able to receive Long-Term Complex Care in a culturally sensitive environment.

Please call PICS at 604-596-7722 Ext.103 to learn about the naming opportunities within the “Guru Nanak Diversity Village” facility and the options to donate.

Many of us, at PICS, feel proud to have been mentored by him and also entrusted with the responsibility of carrying forward his legacy and we all resolve to strive to take it further and make his dream project become a reality.

PICS, in consultation with Mr. Gill’s family, will celebrate his life as part of the next PICS Gala and we hope that by that time, we will leave the current pandemic situation behind to be able to hold this event to memorialize this doyen of social service in a befitting manner.

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