FIJI NEWS

Obituary – Raj Singh 1935 – 2012

By George Rubine Raj Singh passed away in Gurgaon, New Delhi, India on August 23, 2012 after a short battle with cancer. He was 77 years old. After degrees in
04 Sep 2012 12:39

By George Rubine

Raj Singh passed away in Gurgaon, New Delhi, India on August 23, 2012 after a short battle with cancer. He was 77 years old.
After degrees in history, political science and education from the University of Delhi, he briefly taught at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial School and Marist Brothers High School.
He then moved into government service, first working as an Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and later in Economic Planning and Development, Tourism, Transport and Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He served on multiple delegations including to the South Pacific Conference, the South Pacific Regional Trade Agreement (SPARTECA), PATA, and so many bilateral trade missions. He was also a board member of the Fiji Visitors Bureau from 1973-1980.
During a tour of duty at the Permanent Mission of Fiji to the United Nations in the mid 1980s he was vice-chairman of the UN Fifth Committee (Budget) and also the UN Committee on Trans-National Corporations. He chaired the consultation committee on the UN Financial Crisis and Financial Emergency, the consultation committee on Conferences during a significant period of UN’s evolution.
Following retirement from his diplomatic career, Mr. Singh served as Registrar of the Fiji Institute of Accountants. He moved to India to retire with his wife in 1994. In this regard he enjoys the singular distinction of being the first person to fly a Fiji- bred German Shepherd from Suva to New Delhi.
He was very active in various community activities ranging from the Hibiscus Festival Committee to the Holy Trinity Cathedral. He was also on the steering committee involved with the planning of the Fiji Independence Day celebrations in 1970. Raj Singh was very much of the first post-Independence generation of foreign educated individuals who helped shaped the early period of the country’s nationhood, harbouring a robust belief in the civic project that was Fiji.
While a student in Delhi, he was president of the Foreign Students’ Association and spent time with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. This has a profound impact on him, shaping his convictions about nation building and service as a vocation. He was well known wherever he lived for having a generosity of spirit and helping people.
Raj Singh was gregarious and loved people but also enjoyed his solitude-reading books, smoking his pipe, doing the newspaper crossword puzzle, watching international TV news.
He also never stopped being irritated by what he considered foolishness, although he did mellow over time. His final years were largely spent in devoted care of his wife, Joan Rajsingh, who passed away last year.  He is survived by a son in the United States of America.




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