Photo by Chung Chow
On the eve of our nation’s 150th birthday July 1, Balwant Sanghera stressed he’s never been prouder to be Canadian.
“This is a wonderful country and we have (a responsibility) to continue to try to make it even better,” said the president of Richmond Multicultural Community Services, which strives to build a diverse and inclusive society.
Canada is a very welcoming country, the first western country to adopt a multicultural act in 1971, he noted. But, he added, it is incumbent on all Canadians to learn at least one of the two official languages (English and French) “so that we can interact with each other.”
“We should certainly be proud of our heritage and who we are are, but at the same time be equally proud to be Canadians,” he said.
Since first arriving in Canada in 1966, Sanghera has made it his life mission to serve others. In addition to a long and rewarding career in education, he also served on municipal council in Lillooet. Since retiring in 2004, the longtime Richmondite has only become more active in the community.
“I think everyone should volunteer,” Sanghera said. “Volunteers are the backbone of every community and we should try to find time out of our busy schedules. It’s a great way to give back.”
Additionally, as a member of Richmond’s Highway to Heaven Association, representing Richmond’s multi-faith community, Sanghera was looking forward to participating in the annual Steveston Salmon Festival as well as the India Cultural Centre’s Canada 150 celebration this Sunday (July 16) starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Gurdwara Nanak Niwas, 8600 No. 5 Rd. Everyone is invited.