COLUMN: A farewell to Simbi Dhillon

Abbotsford lost a very special person recently who devoted much of her time serving others in our community

  • Oct. 22, 2016 8:00 a.m.

Simbi Dhillon

On the Spot by Ken Herar

Abbotsford lost a very special person recently who devoted much of her time serving others in our community.

Harsimran (Simbi) Kaur Dhillon, who came to Canada in 1974 and lived in Abbotsford for the past 42 years, passed away suddenly on Sept. 15.

I had the opportunity to meet with Dhillon on many occasions and she was always willing to step up and assist our Cycling4Diversity team in any capacity and believed in our message.

She was an active member of Khalsa Diwan Society on South Fraser Way (Sikh Temple) and was the first female to serve on the committee. Her dedication and commitment to make the temple a welcoming and warm place for everyone is something that will be sadly missed.

Her service is especially important and should be duly noted that females can and should play a instrumental role within the temple and that’s a great legacy to leave for generations to follow.

Despite volunteering at the temple twice a day, once in the morning and later in the evening, I would see her helping and speaking with people on the streets. Her vision of Sikhism wasn’t just confined to the walls of the temple. It was all about Seva in her heart, (which means “service” in Punjabi) and connecting with community.

Her grandson Justin shared these words with me: “Her relentless strength was unmatched, her efforts of kindness and loving deeds will deeply be missed. She will be remembered and continue to be an inspiration for not just the Indo-Canadian community, but for Abbotsford as a whole.”

* * *

I like what I’m hearing about the 2016 edition of Festival of Light: Diwali on Oct. 26 at Mission Clarke Theatre.

It has a lot to do with the dynamic team putting it together: Pam Alexis, Sanjay Gulati, Rick Rake, Satti Grewal and Laura Wilson – all individuals who believe in cultural diversity.

This year’s Mission Community Services Society (MCSS) event has a multicultural feel to it, and excitement is building through the support of some 20 sponsors, a squad of volunteers, and talented South Asian instrumental and bhangra performers who will be sharing the stage with Mexican, Ukrainian and Irish dancers.

This Diwali celebration has grown to be the biggest in the Fraser Valley and has drawn crowds of close to 1,000 people.

The Clarke Theatre foyer will be filled with commercial and community booths showcasing everything from jewelry and henna to new-to-Canada services and Cycling4Diversity.

Rake tells me the entrance to the theatre will be adorned with more than 1,000 small lights, and free samosas, chick peas and rice will be served.

Donations of non-perishable food for MCSS Food Centre will be accepted. Doors open at 5 p.m. If you have questions about Diwali 2016, call 604-826-3634 or email rick.rake@missioncommunityservices.com.

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