Magar Singh Rai

Magar Singh Rai arrived in Vancouver on May 18, 1929, and spent the next 52 years of his life in the sawmill industry, working as a laborer and superintendent before becoming the owner of two mills.

"I got married in 1944. Mine was the fourth marriage in the East Indian community of B.C. I was 35 years old, my wife was 15. We had to go to a special court because she was under age. Her mother used to be very sick with asthma so we explained that her mother was sick and wanted to see her daughter get married. We set the date for our marriage on a Sunday, but my wife's mother went to the hospital that weekend. She was pregnant. On Saturday night, she and her baby boy both passed away. We didn't even find out. We thought she was still in the hospital. My father-in-law kept this secret from us so we could get married. To get married, we told the court that my fiancee's mother wanted to see the wedding, but she never did have a chance to see it. That was the worst part of it."

This interview originally appeared in the October 1996 edition of **Mehfil Magazine.**

Magar Singh Rai arrived in Vancouver on May 18, 1929, and spent the next 52 years of his life in the sawmill industry, working as a laborer and superintendent before becoming the owner of two mills.