Sardar Joginder Singh – A personal eulogy

One of the last founding members of Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia passes on

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Joginder Singh speaking at the SNSM Samelan in Port  Dickson in 1962 – Source: Family collection
By Dya Singh | AUSTRALIA

S. Joginder Singh Ji (Tanjong Malim / Malacca / Adelaide) peacefully passed away on 4 July 2018. He was 94 years old.

A great deal can be written about this great humble Gursikh who touched the lives of thousands of Sikhs especially youth, not only in Malaysia but also in Adelaide, South Australia. This is a personal eulogy with some special comments which I have received since I passed on the news within my network.

“He was one of the greatest souls that I have known. In fact he changed the whole course of my life. He introduced me to SGGS [SriGuru Granth Sahib] and guided me. Every Sunday was spent reading SGGS after the gurdwara service back in 1995 (in Adelaide, South Australia) when I was pursuing my studies in aviation. He was a great scholar and was also the student of Sant Baba Sohan Singh Ji of Malacca. In fact Baba Ji performed his Anand Karaj! He was a scholar in the Malay language and wrote on Sikhi in Malay too. God bless his soul.” (Jaspal Singh, Melbourne).

Yes, he wrote ‘Ugama Sikh’ which hopefully SNSM will reprint for newer generations in Malaysia.

“Gurmukh janam sevaar, dargheh cheleya… . The last time I met him he insisted that the next time I came, I would have to play chess with him. The body might have aged, but his mind was as sharp as a razor.” (Jusbir Singh – Melbourne/Malaysia, last met him in December 2017 – see picture below).

Joginder Singh (left) when visited by Jusbir Singh (standing), a fellow Malaysian-born now living in Australia – Photo courtesy of Jusbir Singh

Master Daljit Singh Ji, a former Sikh Naujawan Sabha Mlaysia (SNSM) Jathedar rang me to get more details. His words: “S Joginder Singh Ji played a huge part in my life. He was firstly responsible for my posting as a teacher from Kelantan to Tanjong Malim and then later, my deeper lifelong involvement with Sikhi, Panthic sewa, and the Sabha.”

“Sorry to hear (about Sardar Sahib passing on). We were together in SNSM. He was responsible to get Dr. Ganda Singh as first eminent person to visit. Was also the founder member (of Sabha), as first treasurer starting with an opening balance of RM10. That has grown handsomely!” (Sangat Singh Ji)

“The passing of a great soul…” (S. Gurdarshan Singh, another founding member of Sabha now residing in Melbourne)

I knew Sardar Sahib since 1960. I was 10 years old. A staunch upright Sikh who looked like a lion but a humble human being inside. Sikhi perchar, especially for youth was an inbuilt trait. His love and devotion for Guru Ji used to shine in his eyes as he spoke of Sikhi.

I remember many a lecture in my youth in Naujawan Sabha smagams, especially in Port Dickson in the first few samelans in the early 1960’s. I was later, lucky enough to have his ‘sangat’ in Adelaide for almost the last 40 years where he was the ‘mentor’ to the Adelaide sangat. He was always available for any kind of sewa including regular gurbani and Punjabi classes.

A man of great punctuality, I remember once, on his way to our abode, to conduct the Janam Sanskar of my daughter, he arrived almost an hour late! He had taken a wrong turn and found himself on the highway from Adelaide to Melbourne! He always brought that up in later years as a moment of great embarassement, to our amusement.

A number of brahmgianis played their part in my upbringing in ‘mainstream’ Sikhi. Sardar Joginder Singh Ji was certainly one of my mentors. Older Sabha members and the Adelaide sangat will remember him with great reverence and fondness.

CREMATION DETAILS

Cremation: 10 July 2018 (Tuesday), 11.30am

Centennial Park, Goodwood Road, 5034

Ph.+61884459955 (Swaran Singh)

 

Malaysian-born Dya Singh, who now resides in Australia, is an accomplished musician and a roving Sikh preacher. The Dya Singh World Music Group performs full scale concerts on ‘music for the soul’ based on North Indian classical and semi-classical styles of music with hymns from mainly the Sikh, Hindu and Sufi ‘faiths’. He is also the author of SIKH-ING: Success and Happiness. He can be contacted at dyasingh@khalsa.com

* This is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.

 

RELATED STORY:

SNSM founder member Joginder Singh passes away (Asia Samachar, 5 July 2018)

The stalwarts who inspired Malaysia’s ‘Sikh Naujawan Sabha’ (Asia Samachar, 2 July 2016)

 

[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs / Punjabis in Asia. How to reach us: Facebook message or WhatsApp +6017-335-1399. Our email: editor@asiasamachar.com. For obituary announcements, click here]

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