Dr. Gurdev Singh Gill fonds

Fonds/Collection, 2022_15

Dr. Gurdev Singh Gill arrived in Canada from Punjab, India in 1949. He became the first South Asian Canadian to practise medicine in Canada, and the first to graduate from the University of British Columbia’s medical school in 1957. As a student, Dr. Gill was active in student groups, co-founding the East India Student Association, and serving as its first secretary. In 1957, soon after he graduated, he opened his own medical practice in New Westminster. In 1958, Dr. Gill returned to India and married Narinder Kaur. They had two children, a daughter and a son. After Narinder Kaur passed away, Dr. Gill married Jasinder Kaur in 1988. An advocate for South Asian Canadians, Dr. Gill participated in the continuous push for greater voting and immigration rights for minorities in Canada in the 1950s. He has also been active within the Sikh community, and served as the President of the Khalsa Diwan Society in Vancouver and helped to raise money for the Ross Street Gurdwara in 1970. Furthermore, he was involved in other charitable and community organizations including the East Indian Canadian Citizens Welfare Association, in which he served as President, and the India Cultural Centre in Canada, in which he served as Vice President. In 1974, he founded the Indo-Canadian Friendship Society of British Columbia, a group focused on creating greater relationships and understanding between South Asian Canadians and the overall Canadian population. The society is currently still running, and works now to bring greater infrastructure to rural villages in India. In recognition of his work, Dr. Gill received the Order of BC in 1991 and in 2012, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 1996, Dr. Gill sold his medical practice and retired. Since his retirement, Dr. Gill continues to focus on philanthropy with his volunteer work in India through the Indo-Canadian Friendship Society of BC. He spends around 6 months out of the year working in India on various projects with the goals of providing greater access to drinking water, providing local schools with computers and technology, and assisting in the construction of waster-water treatment plants, sewage disposal systems, paved concrete roads, and solar street lighting. Sources: 1990 O. B. C. Recipients. Dr. Gurdev Singh Gill - Textual records. South Asian Canadian Digital Archive. 2022_15_02_011, https://sacda.ca/Detail/objects/18431. ; Baldrey, Keith. “B.C. honors 23 for pursuit of excellence.” The Vancouver Sun. June 22, 1990. Dr. Gurdev Singh Gill - Textual records. South Asian Canadian Digital Archive. 2022_15_02_025, https://sacda.ca/Detail/objects/18445. ; Biographical Sketches: University of British Columbia M.D. class of 1957. Dr. Gurdev Singh Gill - Textual records. South Asian Canadian Digital Archive. 2022_15_02_026, https://sacda.ca/Detail/objects/18446. ; “Making a Difference Village by Village.” Indo-Canadian Friendship Society of British Columbia. Accessed August 2023. https://icfsbc.com/; Mehfil Magazine. 100 Year Journey. Surrey, B.C.: Mehfil Magazine, 2014. ; Alumni, UBC. “Gurdev Gill MD’57, DSc’96.” The University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine Alumni Engagement. Accessed August 2023. https://alumni.med.ubc.ca/alumni-profile/gurdev-gill-md57-dsc96/#:~:text=In 1957, Gill became the,to practice medicine in Canada. ; Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee Medal certificate awarded to Dr. Gurdev Singh Gill. Dr. Gurdev Singh Gill - Textual records. South Asian Canadian Digital Archive. 2022_15_02_018, https://sacda.ca/Detail/objects/18438.