Dr. Andy Singh Sidhu has been named this year’s recipient of the Order of Abbotsford.
Sidhu, currently the chancellor of University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), was raised in Malaysia and came to Abbotsford in 1974 as a member of the Sikh diaspora.
He brought with him an understanding of the challenges and the opportunities of living in a multicultural context.
Sidhu was an accountant by trade before immigrating. He first worked on a dairy farm and then as a bookkeeper for the Canada Farm Labour Pool.
There, he also served as an assistant manager, helping to bridge the cultural and language gap between Punjabi-speaking workers and employers.
Sidhu has also volunteered with organizations such as the Abbotsford Hospice Society, Abbotsford Community Services, United Way of the Lower Mainland, the Abbotsford Police Foundation, the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation and the Canadian Diabetes Association.
In the business community, he has been owner and publisher of the Punjabi Patrika for over two decades.
The weekly newspaper is one of the few truly bilingual newspapers in Canada and B.C.’s first multi-language newspaper.
Sidhu is a member of the Fraser Valley Indo-Canadian Business Association and has served as its president.
In addition, he has been a participant for over 30 years with the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce.
Since 2011, he has been a board member of the UFV Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies.
In 2017, UFV granted Sidhu its highest formal recognition – an honorary doctorate – and the following year appointed him as chancellor, the most distinguished ceremonial and ambassadorial position at the university.
Mayor Henry Braun said he is pleased to recognize Sidhu with the Order of Abbotsford.
“Andy has been an integral part of our community for many years and I commend him for his commitment to community service,” Braun said.
“There are very few individuals like Andy, and I know that his work will continue to inspire others to bridge cultures and identities across our community.”
The Order of Abbotsford is bestowed each year to an individual who has demonstrated a high level of contribution or length of service to Abbotsford and its residents, and who has had outstanding achievement in areas such as culture, community service, sports, the environment and heritage conservation.
Recipients have their names recorded in the Order of Abbotsford Merit Book, which is maintained by the mayor’s office.
Sidhu will receive the honour on July 1 during the Canada Day ceremonies at Exhibition Park.