Short history of Akali Singh Sikh Society,Vancouver, BC.

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Tel No. 604-254-2117, 604-254-3572,FAX-604-254-5309


Akali Singh Sikh Society was established in Apr 1952 by some members of Sikh Community. Previously they were the members of Khalsa Diwan Society Vancouver.

According to some available information, there were some differences between these members and Management of Khalsa Diwan Society Vancouver over the practices of Sikh Principles mentioned in SIKH REHAT MARYADA ( SIKH CODE OF CONDUCT). These members wished to run the Society according to Rehat Maryada but the Management at that time did not accept their request and continued to run the Society according to their own way.

Those members who wished to follow Rehat Maryada decided to form an other Sikh Organization and to conduct every function strictly according to the SIKH PRINCIPLES given in the Rehat Maryada.

Accordingly they formed a separate Sikh Organization in April 1953 under the name of SIKH PRINCIPLES DEFENCE COMMITTEE. They made a special decision that all members of the Executive Committee must be AMRITDHARI, i.e., Baptised according to the Rules mentioned in the REHAT MARYADA.

Though all founding and general members of this newly formed Organization were not Baptized Sikhs, they were all in favor of running the Organization according to Reheat Maryada and that the members of Executive Committee must be AMRITDHARI.

In short, the main objective of forming this Organization was to perform each and every ceremony of this Gurdwara Sahib (Sikh Temple) in accordance with the Principles contained in Sikh Rehat Maryada. Since then, this Organization is being run according to the wishes of our original founders and members.

To begin with, they rented a Church at 467 East, 11 Ave, Vancouver, BC owned by THE EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH OF AMERICA and started functioning as GURDWARA SAHIB (SIKH TEMPLE) to do all Sikh Religious ceremonies.

Later on they purchased this Church on 20 October, 1959 for $14,000.00 (Fourteen thousand dollars only).

Due to the increase of membership, the space provided by the building of this Gurdwara Sahib became insufficient. To meet the seating requirement the building was extended towards the back side in 1974 with a total cost of $22,000.00 (Twenty two thousand dollars only), according to the meetings of Feb 9, 1974 and Feb 20 1974.

As per the minutes of the meeting of Mar 18, 1972, the sovciety had puchased an adjoining house No 471 E 11th Ave for $18,500.00 on 20 Apr 1972 and consolidated both lots together.

After a while, due to significant increase in number of its congregation, this building became insufficient to hold all the functions.

Considering the dire need of a bigger place for the Gurdwara to deal with the increasing number of the congregation, the Society started looking for a suitable and large place. After hard search, the Society found a piece of land with a total of 3.8 acres at 1890 Skeena Street, Vancouver, BC, owned by the City of Vancouver.

With the great help of Dr Setty Pendakur, former Councilor of Vancouver City Council, this land was purchased at $100,000.00 per acre.

Construction started in 1981 and the building was completed in 1983. The Society moved to this new location of 1890 Skeena Street, Vancouver, BC on Aug 13, 1983 in a big NAGAR KEERTAN (Procession). Cost of this new building was approx $3 million, some of which was collected from the donors from all over BC while some money was borrowed from individual families as interest free loan.

Mortgage was arranged with IWA Credit Union, New Westminster at 23% interest rate giving house grantee by some good families.

The Society was incorporated on 13 Feb 1956 under the name of AKALI SINGH SIKH SOCIETY VANcouver, BC with the Incorporation number – S4897 .


First Constitution and By-Laws of the Society were filed with the Registrar of Companies of BC on Feb 13, 1956 when the Society was Incorporated.

Keeping in mind the better functioning and peaceful running of the Society, several amendments were made to the Constitution and By-Laws.

  2000     $ 41,911.75  
  2001     $ 56,301.00  
  2002     $ 25,776.68  
  2003     $ 113,944.19  
  2004     $ 114,001.00  
  2005     $ 19,498.00  
  2006     $ 348,174.00  
  2007     $ 114,158.00  
YEAR AMOUNT DONATED 2000 $ 41,911.75 2001 $ 56,301.00 2002 $ 25,776.68 2003 $ 113,944.19 2004 $ 114,001.00 2005 $ 19,498.00 2006 $ 348,174.00 2007 $ 114,158.00 2008 $ 131,158.00 2009 $ 52,728.00 2010 $ 32,451.00 2011 $ 16,000.00 2012 $ 24,952.00 2013 $ 61,882.00


Akali Singh Sikh Society has been playing a very active role in different social and cultural activities.

The Society sent $25,000.00 to Govt of India in 1962 at the time of Indo-China War.

It also sent $7,000.00 as relief for the Andhra Pradesh Cyclone effected public in 1978.

Donated $4800.00 to the families of Amritsar Sikh Martyrs of Vaisakhi 1978.

Due to the generous donations of its membership this Society has made significant donations during the last forty years.

This Society has provided room and board to hundreds of visitors from India, especially from Punjab during 1968 to 1972. Society also helped them in immigration and employment matters. Those visitors are well settled now some of which have their own successful businesses and they are very thankful to the Society for the help this Society rendered to them. This Society always helps the homeless people by providing free vegetarian dinner from Monday to Thursday every week for whole year, provides blankets and quilts in winter season to homeless people. This Society provides non-pershable food to Food Banks. This Society always takes part in all community social, cultural and sports events and pays equal share of the cost of such events. Akali Singh Sikh Society renders financial and moral help to all needy Gurdwara Sahib in Canada as well as in India and other part of the world. This Society provides free Computer Training Classes, runs Punjabi and Music Learning classes to children from 6 years to 16 years of age, runs free Yoga Fitness classes. It runs Resource Centre which provides different kinds of free services which include filing individual Income Tax Returns, filling of different kinds of forms like immigration, citizenship examination knowledge, ICBC Forms, EI Forms and so on. Holds seminars on health, family violence and gang violence. POLITICAL ROLE. This Society is purely a Religious Society. It does not take part in political activities. It gives full respect to all Political Parties/Individuals. All Political Parties/Individuals are welcomed in the Gurdwara Sahib of this Society to share their political manifestoes with the congregation and request for their help but they are not allowed to say anything against any other Political parties/individuals. Its membership can have their own political party and are free to vote for any political candidate but no one is allowed to discuss or propagate any political agenda within the premises of this Society NAMES OF FOUNDERS AND GENERAL MEMBERS According to the available details, the names of FOUNDERS and GENERAL MEMBERS are as under:- 1) SORAN SINGH (MAHIM), 2) NAINA SINGH KANDOLA, 3) HARDHAN SINGH (RAKHRA), 4) KARAM SINGH, 5) GIANI NIRANJAN SINGH THAULI, 6) JARNAIL SINGH SULL (Plahi).7)HARMOHAN SINGH KULLAR, 8) SHIV SINGH THAULI, 9) SANTA SINGH DHALIWAL, 10) BEANT SINGH , 11) SAHIB SINGH, 12) GURBAX SINGH THAULI, 13) ARJAN SINGH DHALIWAL (Kangniwal), 14) MAHAN SINGH SULL, 15) GULZAR SINGH BHILOWAL, 16) JARNAIL SINGH KOONER, 17) SOHAN SINGH KOONER, 18) DARSHAN SINGH KOONER, 19) PYARA SINGH BAINS (Hardaspur), 20) DIDAR SINGH BAINS (HARDASPUR), 21) BHAGAT SINGH BAINS (Hardaspur), 22) SEWAK SINGH CHILLIWACK, 23) MOHAN SINGH SARAI, 24) HARBHAJAN SINGH SANGHA, 25) BHOLA SINGH, 26) HARNAM SINGH CHILLIWACK, 27) SOHAN SINGH RANDHAWA, 28) SHAM SINGH BHERU ( Jandiali), 29) WARYAM SINGH, 30) GIANI JOGINDER SINGH CHILLIWACK, 31) TEJA SINGH, 32) LAL SINGH, 33) GIANI HARDIAL SINGH MANN (Society’s FIRST GRANDHI JI), 34) MALKIT SINGH PARHAR 35) KASHMIR SINGH, 36) GURNAM SINGH, 37) SURAIN SINGH SULL, 38) SHIV SINGH, 39) GIAN SINGH POHAR, 40)HARDIAL SINGH, 41) WATTAN SINGH DHOOT, 42) NAND SINGH PLAHI, 43) KABAL SINGH PLAHI, 44) THAKAR SINGH PLAHI, 45) MOHINDER. SINGH DHOOT. 46) BAKHSHISH SINGH LASHAR, 47) AJIT SINGH, 48) URBACHAN SINGH, 49) GOPAL SINGH, 50) NITTORA SINGH BARA, 51) UDHAM SINGH, 52) BHAN SINGH, 53) DARSHAN SINGH SANGHA. Following are some main details of the Society at a glance:- DATE OF ESTABLISHMENT - APR 1952 - AS SIKH PRINCIPLES DEFENCE COMMITTEE.. DATE OF INCORPORATION – 13 FEB 1956 –AS AKALI SINGH SIKH SOCIETY. CERTIFICATE OF INCORPORATION NUMBER – S4897 CHARITY BUSINESS # WITH CANADA REVENUE AGENCY -10669 0936 RR0001 ORIGINAL LOCATION OF GURDWARA SAHIB – 467 EAST 11TH AVE, VAN BC FROM APR 1952 TO 12 AUG 1983. DATE OF MOVING TO NEW LOCATION– - 13 AUG 1983. AT 1890 SKEENA STREET, VAN BC TOTAL ACRAGE OF THIS PROPERTY - 3.8 ACRES. PURCHASE PRICE OF THIS PROPERTY - $380,000.00 (At $100, 00.00 per acre). NOW WE HAVE TWO DARBAR HALLS. THEIR BRIEF DETAILS ARE AS UNDER:- DARBAR HALL NO -I DARBAR HALL NO - 2 CONTRACTOR – COVE EXCAVATING & - LALLI DEVELOPMENT LTD LANDSCAPING LTD CONTRACT SIGNED ON – SEPT 14, 1981 - 18 APRIL 2000 ORIGINAL CONTRACT SUM - $2,725,000 - $3,900,000 + TAXES NET CHANGE BY CHANGE ORDERS-$210,378 - $0, 284358.50 taxes &extras TOTAL PAID TO CONTRACTOR - $2,935.378 - $4,184,358.50 TOTAL COST OF THE PROJECT - $3.25 Million.. - $5,329,030.00 ARCHITECT - MR BRUNO FRESKI - KENT LEE AND KC MOONEY STRUCTURAL ENGINEER – D.M. SARTER - LONDON MAH AND ASSO. ASSOCIATES ASSOCIATION BUILDING COMMITTEES FOR EACH DARBAR HALL NUMBER 1 DARBAR HALL NUMBER 2 DARBAR HALL DR SETTY PENDAKUR (CHAIRMAN) MR SADHU SINGH DHESI (CHAIRMAN) MR MOHAN SINGH SARAI MEMBER MR KARNAIL S. PURHAR MEMBER MR SADHU SINGH DHESI “ MR RATTAN SINGH GIRN “ MR DHARAM SINGH BANSAL “ MR PIARA SINGH BASSAN “ MR HARBHAJAN S SEHMBI “ MR SUCHA SINGH MANN “ MR SURAIN SINGH SULL “ MR SARANGURDEV.S.BAL “ MR GIAN SINGH THAULI “ MR GURDEV SINGH SAHOTA “ (27 MAR 1977 MEETING REFERS) DATES OF GROUND BREAKING CEREMONY HELD NUMBER 1 DARBAR HALL NUMBER 2 DARBAR HALL 20 SEP 1981 18 APR 2000 NAMES OF INDIVIDUALS WHO PARTICIPATED IN GROUND BREAKING CEREMONY BABA NIHAL SINGH JI (HARIAN BELAN), GIANI GIANI JASBIR SINGH JI, GURMUKH SINGH JI(AKALI SINGH), GIANI GIANI SATWANT SINGH JI, MAL SINGH JI (NEW WEST GURDWARA),GIANI S. SADHU SINGH DHESI, BALBIR SINGH JI(KDS VAN), GIANI KULDEEP S. MOHAN SINGH SARAI, SINGH JI (GURU NANAK SIKH TEMPLE SURREY) S. RATTAN SINGH GIRN, GIANI KULWANT SINGH JI BA S. KARNAILS PURHAR S. PIARA SINGH BASSAN S. BALBIR SINGH PARHAR DATES OF ISSUE OF OCCUPANCY CERTIFICATES NO 1 DARBAR HALL NO 2 DARBAR HALL 16 APR 1985 1ST APR 2004 DATE OF OPENING – 13 AUG 1983 07 JUL 2001 TOTAL SF MAIN FLOOR 6702 SF 6072 SF TOTAL SF LOWER FLOOR 6086 SF 4064 SF MAZZANINE 1200 SF 686 SF NOTE – The above mentioned Square Footage does not include the following:- DARBAR NO 1 :- 3 stores, Priest’s suite, Care Taker’s suite, washroom, elevator, office library. clock rooms and mechanical room DARBAR NO 2 – Priest’s suites, wash rooms, meditation rooms, clock rooms. DETAILS OF MANAGEMENT OF THE SOCIETY 1. PARMUKH SABHA - This is a Senior Governing and Disciplinary Committee of the Society. There are FIVE members who are appointed for five years. First five Purmukhs /Executive Committee Members of the Society were:-Param Parmukh/President – Mr SORAN SINGH (MAHIM), Parmukhs/Members Executive Committee – Mr. HARNAM SINGH CHILLAWACK, MR HARDHAN SINGH (RAKHRA), GIANI NIRANJAN SINGH THAULI, MR KARAM SINGH) . DETAILS OF PARM PARMUKHS NAME PERIOD S. SORAN SINGH (MAHIM) - 1956 TO 1967 GIANI NIRANJAN SINGH THAULI - 1968 TO 2 NOV 1979 S. HARDHAN SINGH (RAKHRA) - 3 NOV 1979 TO 19 DEC 1981 S. HARMOHAN SINGH KULLAR - 20 DEC 1981 TO 18 MAY 1991 S. MOHAN SINGH SARAI - 19 MAY 1991 TO 29 MAY 1998 S. SADHU SINGH DHESI - 30 MAY 1998 TO 27 FEB 2006. S. HARBHAJAN SINGH DHAMRAIT - 28 FEB 2006 TO 24 JUN 2009 S. HARDEV SINGH PARMAR - 25 JUN 2009 TODATE 2. CHAIRMAN/CHAIRPERSON – In the beginning they were elected for two years. In 2006 their term was fixed for THREE YEARS, conducts all meetings, Maintains Society’s Membership Register , holds election of the Executive Committee and Audit & Advisory Board, presides over all meetings of the Society and keeps minutes thereof. DETAILS OF CHAIRMEN/CHAIRPERSONS NAME PERIOD S. MOHAN SINGH SARAI - 1967 TO 1971 AND 1974 TO 1976 S. DARSHAN SINGH SANGHA - 1972 AND 1973 S. SADHU SINGH DHESI - 1977 TO 1980 S. RESHAM SINGH SANDHER - 1981 TO 1983 S. MALKIAT SINGH DARRED - 1984 TO 21 SEP 1985 S. GURBAKHSH SINGH SAHOTA - 22 SEP 1985 TO 31 DEC 1990 S. KARNAIL SINGH PURHAR - 1991 TO 2015 3. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE – In the beginning there were 7 members in Executive Committee which consisted of President, Vice President, Secretary, Asistant Secretary, Recording Secretary, Trearsurer, Assistant Treasurer and one member. More members were added and at present there are THIRTEEN members which includes President, Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer and SIX Members. At present they are being elected for THREE YEARS term to operate and manage the general business, functioning and operations of the Society. In the beginning the term of membership , Chairman/Chairperson, Executive Committee and Audit & Advisory Board was ONE YEAR, changed to TWO years with effect from 1 Jan 1996 ( Revised By-Laws on 18 Oct 195, Article 4 Section -1 refers) and further changed to THREE Years with effect from 1 Jan 2007 (Revised By-Laws on 31 Aug 2006. 4. DETAILS OF PRESIDENTS NAME PERIOD S. SAHIB SINGH - 1953 TO 1955 S. SORAN SINGH (SURAIN SINGH) MOHIM.- 1956 S. SEWAK SINGH (CHILLIWACK) - 1957 GIANI NIRANJAN SINGH THAULI - 1958 S. SORAN (SURAIN) SINGH MOHIM - 1959 GIANI NIRANJAN SINGH THAULI - 1960 TO 1967 S. GURBAX SINGH THAULI - 1968 TO 1973 S. SADHU SINGH DHESI - 1974 TO 1976 S. DHARAM SINGH BANSAL - 1977 AND 1979 S. PRITAM SINGH AULAKH - 1978 S. PHERA SINGH BHOGPUR - 1980 S. MALKIT SINGH DARRED - 1983 S.RESHAM SINGH SANDHAR - 1984 S. KARNAIL SINGH PURHAR - 1981, 82,84,86,87 & 90 S. RATTAN SINGH GIRN - 1985, 88, 89 AND 1991 TO 2015 DETAILS OF SECRETARIES NAME PERIOD S. KARAM SINGH - 1956 AND 1957 GIANI HRIAL S MANN (STAGE SECRETARY)- 1956,57 AND 1959 TO1967 S. GIAN SINGH POHAR - 1958 S. HARBHAJAN S SANGHA - 1968 S. PYARA SINGH - 1969 to 1970 S. HARMOHAN SINGH KULLAR - 1971 S. SADHU SINGH DHESI - 1972 TO 1973 S. DHARAM SINGH BANSAL - 1974 AND 1976 S. PIARA SINGH BASSAN - 1975, 1977, 78, 81 TO 84, 86 TO 89 AND 1991 TO 2015 S. SHAMSHER SINGH AULAKH - 1990 S. JASBIR SINGH NIJJAR - 1979 S. GURDIP SINGH ATHWAL - 1985 S. HARBHAJAN SINGH SEHMBHI - 1980 5.AUDIT AND ADVISORY BOARD – Formed in 1968 with the name – INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE and renamed as AUDIT & ADVISORY BOARD on 31 Jul 1971. Consists of SEVEN members which include President, Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary and THREE members. Elected for THREE YEARS Term to AUDIT all the accounts documents and present to the membership Society’s financial statement for every three months and Yearly Financial Statement prepared by the Accountant is also presented in the AGM. They also assist the Executive Committee in running the operation of the Society smoothly and successfully. Names of the FIRST INVESTIGATING COMMITTEE MEMBERS are as under:- President - Pyara Singh, Secretary – Darshan Singh, Members – Hardial Singh, Surain Singh and Lal Singh. DETAILS OF PRESIDENTS AND SECRETARIES OF AUDIT AND ADVISORY BOARD – 1982 TO 2015 YEAR PRESIDENT ECRETARY 1982 TO 1985 S. SARANGURDEV S BAL S. BALBIR S PARHAR 1986 AND 1987 S. HARBINDER S SANGHA S. RAJINDER SINGH TUR 1988 S. RAJINDER S TUR S. BALBIR S PARHAR 1989 AND 1990 S. HARBINDER S SANGHA S. BALBIR S PARHAR 1991 AND 1992 S. BALBIR S PARHAR S. HARBINDER S SANGHA 1993 S. BACHAN SINGH SULL S. BALBIR S PARHAR 1994 S. BALBIR S PARHAR S. HARBINDER S SANGHA 1995 S. BACHAN S SULL S. BALBIR S PARHAR 1996 TO 1999 S. SUCHA S MANN S. GIAN S DHESI 2000 TO 2004 S. GIAN S DHESI S. HARBINDER S SANGHA 2005 AND 2006 S. BACHAN S SULL S. KARNAIL S SIHOTA 2007 TO 2015 S. SARANGURDEV S BAL S. KARNAIL S SIHOTA PROPERTY DEALS 1. First property purchased by the Society and used as Gurdwara Sahib – Address of the property – 467 East, 11th Ave, Van BC. Previous Owner of the Property – THE EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH OF AMERICA. Date of purchase - 20 Oct 1959, Purchase price - $14,000.00 (Fourteen thousand dollars only). Purchased by - AKALI SINGH SIKH SOCIETY (Note- This property was first rented and opened Gurdwara Sahib since the establishment of this Society under the Name – SIKH PRINCIPLES DEFENCE COMMITTEE in Apr 1953). 2. A house ( next to the temple) No 471 East – 11th Ave Van was purchased for $18,500 on 20 Apr 72 and possession was taken on 1 May 72 (18 Mar 72 meeting refers). 3. Two adjacent houses were purchased for $96,500 (9 Mar 75 meeting refers). 4. Purchase of 3.8 Acres of land at 1890 Skeena Street, Van @ $100,000.00 per acre from City of Van for New Temple was approved by City Council and our representatives which include Dr Setty Pendakur, Mr Mohan Singh Sarai, Mr Sadhu Singh Dhesi and Mr Dharam Singh Bansal on 21 Oct 76 (21 Oct 76 meeting refers). This deal was approved by the membership on 31 Oct 76 (31 Oct 76 meeting refers). 5. House No 473 East 11 Ave Van was sold for $40,000.00. (15 Apr 78 meeting refers) 6. Old Akali Singh Gurdwara Sahib Building at 467 East and adjoining House No 471East – 11th Ave Van BC were sold to Hindu Society for Mandir on 19 Oct 1990 for total price of $328,000.00 (Three hundred twenty eight thousand dollars only). This deal was approved by the membership ( 19 Oct 89 and 16 Dec 89 Meetings refer) GRANTHIES OF THE SOCIETY FIRST GRANTHY – Giani HARDIAL SI NGH MANN was the FIRST Granthy of the Society. He started this job as volunteer and rendered free services for some time. Society started paying to Giani Hardial Singh in 1967 as per the following details:- (a) $50.00 per month in 1967. (b) $75.00 per month from 1 Jan 1968 (20 Jan 68 Meeting minutes refer). (c) $ 100.00 per month from 1 Jan 70 (24 Jan 70 Meeting minutes refer). (d) $150.00 per month from 1 May 76 (17 Apr 76 Meeting minutes refer). (e) $170.00 per month from 1 Dec 77 (6 Nov 77 Meeting minutes refer). (f) $300.00 per month from 1 Jun 80 (19 Jul 80 Meeting minutes refer) (g) $450.00 per month was his last pay scale. Giani HARDIAL SINGH MANN served till his death. He died in Apr 94. 2. Giani GURMUKH SINGH - Hired in 1974. Starting pay - $300.00 per month. Pay revised to $425.00 pm wef 1 Jun 80 (19 Jul 80 Meeting minutes refer). Quits his job on 1 May 1981. 5. Giani JASBIR SINGH – Hired on 1st Feb 1987. Starting Pay - $300.00 + Offerings per month Present pay - $2800.00 + offerings. 6. Giani SATWANT SINGH BATH. Hired on – 1st Jun 1989. Starting pay = $250.00 + Offerings per month. Quitted his job – 1st Sep 2005. 7. Giani BACHITTAR SINGH Hired on 16 Aug 2005. Starting Pay - $500.00 + Offerings per month. Quitted his job on- 31 Mar 2006. Last Pay Rate - $1100.00 + Offerings. 8. Giani DIDAR SINGH RANA Hired on – 1 Mar 1999. Starting Pay = $700.00 + offerings. Quitted his job on 1 Sep 2003. Last Pay rate = $1000.00 + offerings 9. Giani SURINDER SINGH SAINI - Hired on 1st Apr 2006. Starting Pay- $1100.00 + offerings. Present pay - $1800.00 plus offerings + Free accommodation and all facilities till 31 Mar 2014 when he purchased his own House and moved on 1st Apr 2014. NOTE – I collected all above mentioned details of Akali Singh Society from different sources which include, 1) Minutes Books from 1967 to 2013, Annual Reports from 1956 to 2015,Community members of that time having right information about this Society like Mr Harbhajan Singh Randhawa, Mr Bikar Singh Dhillon, Mr Manjit Singh Dhillon (nephew of Bikar Singh Dhillon), Piara Singh Bassan, Sucha Singh Mann, Mr Raghbir Singh Bains ( A note in his Encyclopedia ) and more. I request anyone who has more information about the history of Akali Singh Sikh Society with sound proofs, to contact me at Cell 604-833-4162, Tel 604-254-3572, Email – akalisinghsikh and share his valuable information. Thanks. RATTAN SINGH GIRN, President . 08 Jul 2014. MANAGEMENT AKALI SINGH SIKH SOCIETY, 1890 SKEENA STREET, VAN BC , V5M 4L3

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