Dr. Amarjit Raghbir Singh Manhas hails from V & PO Bhungarni, Distt. Hoshiarpur. His father, Raghbir Govind Singh Manhas, a freedom fighter came to Mumbai in 1937. Dr. Manhas has lived in Mumbai since birth. he has been active in politics since his college days. He has been a Senate member of University of Mumbai from last 20 years. He has been a Treasurer of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee and Member of the Maharashtra State Council for Higher education. On November 14, 2007, he was elected to the office of Chairman, Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA).
Surinderpal Singh Rathor hails from V & PO Khurampur, Tehsil Phagwara, Distt. Kapurthalla. He has been living in the city of Williams Lake, British Columbia (Canada) for over 34 years. He has been married to Sharanjit Kaur Rathore for 35 years and has two children, Roop (Harminder Parmar) and Robin (Susan). He has 4 grandchildren, 2 boys and 2 girls. He is a recipient of three commerative medals for community service, on Canada’s 125th Confederation Year (1992), the Queens 50th Golden Jubilee (2002) and in 2005; he received the BC Community Achievement Award. Surinderpal Singh is in his 7th term on City Council and is the longest serving Councilor this term of office. He is also the first ever appointed Deputy Mayor for the City.
S. Surjit Singh Minhas, former Speaker of Punjab Legislative Assembly, hails from V & PO Daroli Kalan, Distt. Jalandhar. He was born on Dec 14, 1935. His father’s name is Sardar Bhagat Singh “Akali”. He obtained his primary and secondary education from village Daroli Kalan and Khalsa High School Kalra (Distt. Jalandhar). He did his Graduation and Masters in Political Science from St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta. He then obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B) from University of Calcutta. During the college days, he remained General Secretary of Punjabi Literary Society and Urdu Society at St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta for 3 years from 1951 – 1954. He founded a unit of Sikh Students Federation in Calcutta and later on became the President of the All-India Sikh Students’ Federation and held the position for 2 years from 1960 – 1962. In his political career, Mr. Minhas was elected member of Panchayat Samiti, Adampur Doaba, and Distt. Jalandhar and remained in office for 5 years from 1972 to 1977, chairman of Improvement Trust Jalandhar for 3 years from 1977 to 1980. In 1985, he got elected as MLA from Adampur Assembly constituency in 1985. He served as a Minister of State for Irrigation, Power and Parliamentary Affairs from 6th May 1986 to 2nd June 1986 and subsequently was elected to the position of Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha on 2nd June 1986. He relinquished his office on March 16, 1992. He became a Member of the Senate and Syndicate of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar from 1986 to 1991 as well. During his political career of 50 years, Mr. Minhas participated in many Aali Morchas amd agitations and had been to jail on several occasions. He has been involved in many educational and social organizations as well. He is one of the founder members of Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Daroli Kalan, Distt. Jalandhar. Mr. Minhas has been to Amsterdam (Holland), Stockholm (Sweden), Frankfurt (Germany), Paris (France), London (UK), Geneva (Switzerland), Rome (Italy), Athens (Greece), Cario (Egypt), Dubai (U.A.E), Hong Kong, Seoul (South Korea), Tokyo (Japan), Honolulu (Hawaii Islands, USA), Jakarta (Indonesia), Manila (Philippines), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Singapore, Moscow (Russia), Kiew (Ukraine), Tallinn (Estonia), Toronto and Vancouver (Canada) to learn about their culture, social and political systems. Presently, Mr. Minhas is living at 120 New Jawahar Nagar, Jalandhar, – 144001 and can be reached by phone at 0181-2458422 or 0181-508036.
Councilor Jasbir Singh Parmar, Bedford Borough Council (UK) was born on April 26, 1958 in V & PO Panjaura, Thana Mahilpur, Distt. Hoshiarpur (Punjab). After early schooling in St. Joseph School, Allahabad UP, he finished his Higher Secondary in Kendriya Vidyalaya (Central School) Jalandhar, Punjab. In 1976, he started his B.Sc Agri (Hons) at Punjab Agricultural University. However, in 1979, he immigrated to UK without completing his degree. He said “this has to be one of my regrets in life, so near yet so far”. He is a family man, married for thirty years and has three beautiful daughters. He and his wife and daughters are staunch Arsenal supporters and he has two season tickets at club level. Whilst he is a keen fair-weather golfer and holds a private pilot’s licence, his wife and daughters are 2nd degree Black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He has been actively involved in the Sikh community in Hitchin and Bedford. In 2006, he was elected to Bedford Borough Council by defeating the Labour Group leader and Deputy Mayor in a seat she had held in a safe Labour area since 1972. The following year, he was elected as the Deputy Group leader. A former Metropolitan policeman between 1982 and 1987, he served in Royalty protection and mainly in South London. Since 1987, he has been involved in retail and wholesale trade. In retail, he has owned grocery stores, post offices, restaurant and wine bar. Currently he owns a large commercial post office in Kempston, Bedford. He is looking forward to the political challenges ahead.
Yadwinder (Yad) Minhas hails from V & PO Paldi, Thana Mahilpur, District Hoshiarpur. He has been living in Grande Prairie, Alberta with his family since 1974. He is a well established entrepreneur for over 30 years with experience in forestry, automotive industry, land development, retail sales and the hotel businesses. He was elected Alderman (City Councilor) to the Grande Prairie City Council on October 15, 2007. Presently, he is serving on the various Council Committees which includes: General Government Services Committee, Arts Development Committee, Assessment Review Board, Centre 2000 Committee, Grande Prairie Airport Commission, Joint Council Committee, Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, Grande Prairie Regional College Forest Management Advisory Committee. He has been the past president of the Sikh Temple Gursikh Missionary Society, a member on the Development Appeal Board and a past member on Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Karn Manhas’s ancestral village is Paldi in Hoshiarpur District of Punjab. He was first elected in the riding of Port Coquitlam-Burke Mountain in the 2001 provincial general election. He was the youngest member ever elected to the BC Legislature. During his tenure as MLA, Karn served on the Legislative Assembly’s Special Committee of Selection, the Government Caucus Committee on Education and Multicultural Committee, chaired the Tri-City Caucus and served on the Legislative Assembly’s Select Standing Committee on Education. Before becoming an MLA, Karn was the Director of Business Development and Operations Planning for a local commercial/residential property management firm with holdings throughout the Tri-Cities, the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island. He was also President of a start-up application software programming company, which he founded and operated in Port Coquitlam as a young entrepreneur. Karn has also conducted public consultation work on regional transportation issues, which continues to be a passion of his. A third-generation British Columbian, Karn was raised in the Tri-Cities and lives in Port Coquitlam. After graduating from the International Baccalaureate program at Port Moody Senior Secondary, Karn was recognized with the community’s Citizenship Award. Karn has volunteered at schools and hospitals, including Eagle Ridge Hospital. He has been active in raising funds for overseas volunteers. Karn helped manage a $4.7 million non-profit organization, was a founding member of an inner-city tutoring club for kids, and produced a live cultural show aimed at raising money for charity which drew 2200 people and had a cast of over 200. In 1995, he volunteered in northern India for a non-governmental organization providing free rural and remote health care, building access to running water, and teaching skills development and literacy. Karn graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, specializing in the genetics of inherited diseases. He minored in Biotechnology, examining the use of scientific knowledge in biology to commerce, technology and environmental applications. After graduation in 1997, he completed a further year’s study in Arts, Economics and Commerce at the University of British Columbia. Karn speaks English and French and is conversant in Punjabi and Hindi. In his spare time he enjoys amateur photography, adventure travel, reading, hiking, and exploring BC’s unique natural wilderness.
Kuljit Kaur Jaswal hails from V & PO Narur, Tehsil Phagwara, Distt. Kapurthalla. She has been elected Councillor for the Town of Golden for the first time in year 2007. She has been living in the Town of Golden for past many years and owns Jita’s Cafe for six years. She has been very active in the community. She sat on the Board of Directors for the Golden Woman’s Resource Centre for six years and the Golden and District Arts Council for one year, and is a founding member of the Golden Chapter of the Council of Canadians, a citizens’ organization that addresses the social and economic concern of Canadians. At her cafe she has held many community events, like the recent climate change forum, and numerous documentary discussion nights. She says she was brought up in an active social environment and engages herself in issues that affect the community. Kuljit Jaswal describes herself as progressive and proactive rather than reactive, energetic young and interested, and a good listener to different points of view. She says she is very interested in what goes on around the community, with issues like affordable housing and would like to get more youth involved.