Asa Singh Johal, Indo Canadian legend and one of British Columbia’s most prominent businessmen and outstanding citizens has passed away at the age of 98. He leaves behind his wife Kashmir Kaur Johal, son Darshy, daughter-in-law Manjit, daughter Geven Oppal, son-in –law Avtar Oppal, six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
Asa Singh Johal immigrated to Canada with his parents in 1924 and started working at the age of 12 years with his father operating a portable mill in Alta Lake. The Johal family’s acts of kindness have earned him various awards and recognitions.
These include Order of British Columbia, Order of Canada.
- The highest civilian honor of the province: He was awarded Doctor of Law by the University of British Columbia for his generosity and community service.
- He is the first and only Indo Canadian billionaire being noted as one of British Columbia’s most prominent businessmen and outstanding citizens
- He was in the board of governors of University of British Columbia for 3 years and is the director of BC children’s hospital.
Harjit Sajjan, National Defence Minister, tweeted: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Asa Singh Johal. His loss is felt across British Columbia and for many Punjabi Canadians like myself. Asa Uncle Ji was a pioneer in our community whose humble beginnings and drive to succeed was inspiring.
“He was a visionary who went on to own and operate Terminal Forest Products. His legacy and impact in our community touches so many lives, including my own.
“Uncle Ji was the first to help a new family looking to adjust in Canada. His passion for helping others could be seen through his philanthropy, community service and seva.”
According to India Cultural Centre of Canada Gurdwara Nanak Niwas, 8600 #5 Road, Richmond, an Akhand Paath Sahib will begin at the gurdwara on Friday, July 9. The Bhog will take place on Sunday, July 11 at 5 p.m. Further information can be obtained by phoning the gurdwara at 604-274-7479.