Norman Ginder Sangha

Norman Ginder Sangha lived in Vancouver since the age of three and ran Best Lumber and Supplies Ltd., a wood supply business, for 50 years.

"I went to school at 21st and Penticton, as they call it now. I wore a turban. Once Kids were playing and one of the lads grabbed my turban with one hand and ran so it began unwinding. I grabbed him and punched him in the mouth and broke his tooth. Later, my dad had to pay $70 for the tooth. At that time they were working for one dollar a day. About a year after I started school, I took my turban off. We were fairly poor at the time. My dad had several children and there were low wages and low income and it was very hard for a man to get by. Mind you, our people were getting by better than others. Dad had two horses and two cows. He used to deliver milk, a few quarts to a few friends. One day, I spilled one and lost about an inch off the top. I didn't want to go back and tell Mother because I would have gotten in trouble. So I put water in from a ditch to fill up the difference. Our neighbor, John Simon, was drinking it and he complained to Mother and I got in a little bit of trouble. I should have known better.

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

Norman Ginder Sangha lived in Vancouver since the age of three and ran Best Lumber and Supplies Ltd., a wood supply business, for 50 years. He was among the first group of Sikhs in the 1940s and ‘50s to pressure the Canadian government to allow Indians the right to vote and to sponsor their relatives. When he passed away in 1999 at the age of 80, more than 1,500 people attended his funeral, held at the Richmond gurdwara that he was instrumental in helping to build.