Saturday, January 31, 2015

Paul Dhaliwal will be missed, by many

COLUMN: Friendly giant is sadly gone

Paul Dhaliwal Sr., a living legend, passed away over a week ago at the age of 100.
He was a wonderful person with so many amazing stories that were so valuable for all of us to hear. I enjoyed many conversations with him about how our pioneers lived many decades ago.
One thing that always stood out to me was he often spoke about the love that people had for one another and how they would help each other, and not just about the hardships and racism.
Dhaliwal first arrived in Canada from Chananwal, Punjab in 1932.
He initially worked in lumber camps in B.C. In 1942, he established Mission Fuel Ltd., his own business to deliver sawdust, and later hauled lumber and logs. On his initial journey to Canada at the age of 18 and in the steps of his father, Dhaliwal studied wrestling at the Gamma School of Wrestling in Hong Kong and while managing his business, he continued to participate in amateur wrestling until 1945, when a promoter invited him to the professional arena.
Dhaliwal was the recipient of the Order of Abbotsford in 2009, named the Citizen of the Year, recognized by the National Historic Gur Sikh Temple and the Khalsa Diwan Society.
He also gave me lots of insight into the life of legendary Mission mayor Naranjan Grewall and spoke about their friendships and how they regularly played cards. Later, a group of them went to Seattle to investigate the mystery around Grewall’s death in 1957. Last time I met with Dhaliwal was a year ago, wearing his fedora at the Mission Sikh Temple, where he would go each day and spoke on a documentary that was being recorded on the South Asian community of Mission. My father and him were lifetime friends and always held him in high regards. There is much to learn about our pioneers and the many sacrifices they made to make our community what it is today. We can all take a page or two from our local history books and we should share them more often.
Our friendly giant is sadly gone, but will be always be remembered with greatness.
The Abbotsford News in partnership with Cycling4Diversity Foundation will be again offering an essay and a colouring contest to students. Over the course, of the next few months, members from the Cycling4Diversity team will be cycling to schools and handing out the contest entries with the deadline ending on April 30.
The question we are asking  middle school students is: In 30 days, how you would impact cultural diversity in Abbotsford/Mission, and explain the significance of multiculturalism in the community to you and your family?
A question that is action-oriented, and hopefully, there are a few fabulous ideas we can implement.
The colouring contest is for students ages 5-10 and its always nice to see the creativity and artwork. The deadline for the Abbotsford News Diversity Challenge is April 30 and forms can be picked up at The News and should be emailed to or dropped off at The News on Gladys Avenue.
I am very excited to again be part of this contest and if you are a school or someone who wants to participate and would like more information, contact me at the email below.
Ken Herar

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

                                                       Cycling4Diversity certificates 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cycling4Diversity posing on the tracks

Cycling4Diversity's Ken Herar posing on railway tracks in Mission. Please, be careful if you are ever on the tracks.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Work, Weather, Wife


Work Weather Wife is a Win Win Win. It deals with the reality of what happens in some Punjabi households when it comes to arrange marriages. It is a well scripted and produced film, which keeps you in your seats throughout the duration of the film. The acting, crew did a fantastic job in demonstrating what can be a difficult subject to tackle full of drama and suspense. Being Canadian born and raised there are many myths of arranged marriages and Work Weather Win addresses some of the concerns and can lead the way in changing some of these stereotypes that exist and behaviors. Work Weather Wife is more than just an ordinary Punjabi film, its about the message of creating a life of healthy living and respect. I don't watch many Punjabi films, but I thoroughly enjoyed this film and look forward to seeing another film by the same acting crew. They all deserve a round of applause and I highly recommend going and seeing this film. Job well done!
Ken Herar
Founder, Cycling4Diveristy Foundation

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Friday, January 2, 2015

COLUMN: Working towards a community dialogue

by  Contributed - Abbotsford News
By Ken Herar
As we all get ready to ring in the new year tomorrow, 2015 is going to be a special one for me. I’ll be celebrating my 20th year as a columnist come June and our fifth year for Cycling4Diversity Foundation in May.
All I can say is that I have been honoured and privileged to have this opportunity and thank The News for having faith in me to carry this valuable discussion. I have grown to view myself as more of a bridge builder than someone who just simply focuses on diversity matters. Not that it’s not important, but it’s through bridge building that we’ll see positive relationships grow amongst our diverse communities.
It’s all about building a better tomorrow and continuing to be a inclusive community. Let’s not kid ourselves;  there still remain large cultural gaps that need to be closed,  and our C4D team – which includes:  Coun. Dave Loewen, APD Deputy Chief Rick Lucy, Bill MacGregor and Elizabeth Lloyd, just to name a few – have worked hard to establish a dialogue and conversation in our schools and almost every corner of our community.
I also encourage all of you to continue to write to me and provide me with feedback and ideas that may benefit us all in 2015 and beyond.  One of first things, I will be doing in the months ahead is our annual Abbotsford News Diversity Challenge, asking students from Abbotsford/Mission to write on a diversity subject and selecting the top choices to be featured on these pages. It’s always tons of fun showcasing the next generation of leadership and minds.
Cycling4Diversity Foundation recently traveled throughout the District of Mission for its first food drive. Having been part of the event, I can share with you that this experience was life-changing in so many ways and made my Christmas. The C4D team stopped at many households and almost everyone gave some kind of food donation to the Christmas Bureau. When it comes to donating food, people often do it in big ways and that’s a wonderful gift for families in need at this time of the year. Approximately $1,000 was raised throughout the day on Dec. 21.
If you are still looking for a special gift in the new year and being a tennis player myself, I recommend you go check out the tennis bubble here in Abbotsford where a book is being sold and covers the rich history of local tennis. Flipping through the many pages, you’ll see many interesting stories and faces from the past. I even found myself and some of my family members on the pages and bought a book that I will share with folks to use. It’s a fabulous investment and everything is all in one package.
Adrian Oziewicz, from Great West Fitness and head tennis pro, said: “I decided to do a tennis photo book about Great West because one of my co-workers showed me a tennis scrapbook of old newspaper clippings and pictures she had collected over the years.
“Reading through them I discovered that the tennis club had been around since 1978 and there was a long history of indoor tennis in Abbotsford. There weren’t very many indoor tennis clubs in Canada in the ’70s and early ’80s.
I scanned the clippings into my computer and also came across more pictures when one of the offices at Great West was renovated.
“I have been going to The Reach gallery in Abbotsford every year and going through the newspaper archives to find any more tennis articles and pictures so I can add to the photo book every year. The book roughly covers 40 years of tennis history in Abbotsford.”
Happy New Year. See you all in 2015.