Banta Singh

Banta Singh came to Canada from a village near Hoshiarpur in Punjab.

"I arrived in Vancouver on the 20th of April, 1930, abroad the Empress of Russia. I was just a few months past my 18th birthday but my passport said I was a few months under 18 so the immigration officer let me through. I had an uncle living in North Vancouver and my first job was chopping wood at the lumber and coal company where he worked. I had several other jobs and I took a course in operating a radio. I liked it here a lot. In India, we were poor but here I could work and afford decent groceries. I was able to become self sufficient rather than depending on my parents. There was a little discrimination by the white people but nothing compared to what we do to the lower caste in India. I returned to India in 1940 aboard a Japanese ship. The war had started and while we were on the ship we heard the Empress of Britain had been sunk by the Germans, as well as many other ships. I couldn't come back here until the war was over. Until 1946 I worked in Lahore repairing radios. I came back aboard a ship to San Francisco then took a train to B.C. My second wife - we got married in 1940 - followed me here from India a year or two later. My first marriage took place when I was 12 years old and my first wife passed away in 1935. My daughter from my first marriage was born two months before I came to Canada. During my second marriage, we had two daughters and one son. We had some problems and got divorced. In 1976, after I retired, I returned to India and married a widow with two daughters.

Banta Singh came to Canada from a village near Hoshiarpur in Punjab.