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A-G Pays Tribute To One Of Ba’s Best

A-G Pays Tribute To One Of Ba’s Best
The late Jogindar Singh Kanwal of Ba.
July 20
11:00 2017

The late Jogindar Singh Kanwal of Ba was described by the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum as a man of dignity, honesty and humility.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was invited by the family to deliver the eulogy at the distinguished educationist and award winning author’s funeral in Ba yesterday.

He said Mr Kanwal, one of Ba’s respected residents, would always be remembered for the person he was and the work he had done in Fiji.

The A-G said Mr Kanwal’s life showed the qualities of a good leader.

“Despite his age, he was always open to new ideas.

“He certainly had strong principles as his life showed that.”

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum comforts Mrs Kanwal on July 19, 2017.

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum comforts Mrs
Kanwal on July 19, 2017.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said one thing that stood out was the number seven, which is associated with God and it was fitting to note that Mr Kanwal died on the 17th day of the seventh month in the year 2017.

This was after a long illness.

He said Mr Kanwal’s life, the work and achievements he had received best described him.

In a statement, the family expressed their heartfelt gratitude to all the friends, well wishers and members of the community who were in attendance at the family residence to celebrate his life.

“As a family we especially valued the presence of the Honorable Attorney-General, Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum,  Honorable Pravin Bala and Honorable Rosy  Akbar, Mr Biman Prasad, Mr Krishna Datt, Dr Ganesh Chand, and Mr Ahmad Bhamji.”

There was a big congregation at Varoko Crematorium for the final rituals.

A collection of Mr Kanwal’s books.

A collection of Mr Kanwal’s books.

Mr Kanwal was born in Punjab, India, and came here where he made a name for himself in the fields of education, literature and culture.

He was a former principal of Khalsa College in Ba (1960-1987), lecturer in English for Business Communication at the Fiji Institute of Technology (1987 to 1991), Administrator of Fiji Indian Cultural Centre (1993 to 2003), ex-chairperson of Multi-Ethnic Cultural Council Ba and Justice of the Peace.

He was a recipient of multiple national and international awards including Member of Order of Fiji, University of the South Pacific Honour for promoting language and literature, Oustanding Citizen Award from Ba Town Council for exemplary services rendered in the field of Literature, Pravasi Bharitya Parishad Award (Council for Overseas Indians) 1981, Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthaan, Lucknow, India,1978, Bhartiya Sanskiriti Sanvardhan Parishad, Delhi, India, 2001, Fiji Hindi Sahitya Samit Award (2001, Government of India Award – Vishwa Hindi Samman, World Hindi Honor, New York 2007 for immense contribution in the field of language and literature.

On behalf of the Indian government, the High Commissioner of India in Fiji then, Professor Prabhakara Jha, organised a function here in 2007 to commemorate the award, which was to be held in New York in that year.

Mr Kanwal was an author and writer of seven novels including the much read Love Story: 1920, non-fiction books, poems, short stories and multiple articles in the daily media in the country.

He was a Member of the Association of Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies, Fiji Writers Association and Pacific Writers Forum, New Zealand Poetry Society, Fiji Hindi Sahitya Samiti and Past Vice President of Hindi Maha Parishad.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra


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