Paul Hundal Family fonds

Fonds/Collection, 2023_17

Hakam Singh Hundal first came to B.C. in October 1906. Hakam and his brother, Jiwan Singh Hundal arrived in North America through San Francisco in 1905. They worked their way up the coast until he entered Canada. Hakam settled in Vancouver, B.C. while his brother Jiwan settled in Astoria, Oregon. Hakam initially worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway and then at other jobs, including clearing the land for the Vancouver Golf Club in 1910 and later worked at the False Creek Lumber Company as a laborer, circa 1918. Hakam Singh Hundal’s family (Hakam’s mother, Bishan Kaur and children Atma Singh Hundal, Ikball Singh Hundal, Teja Singh Hundal, and Jerry Singh Hundal) originally tried to join Hakam in Canada in 1911. They sailed from Hong Kong to San Francisco but were refused entry in San Francisco and forced to sail back on the three week journey to Hong Kong. They stayed in Hong Kong while Hakam lobbied for permission to bring in his family with the aid of a lawyer. After almost two years of waiting in Hong Kong, the Hundal family was permitted to enter Canada in June 1913 through an Act of Grace issued by the federal government. Hakam’s brother purchased Lot 24 in Port Grey on December 10, 1912 and Hakam built the house that the whole family moved into in July 1913 when they finally were admitted to Canada. Ikball Singh Hundal was born on August 22, 1902 in Dhudial, District of Jullundar in India. After he arrived in B.C. with his brothers and mother in 1913, he went first to Queen Mary and then to the Point Grey King George V High School (which was later renamed as Magee). Ikball Singh was top of the class in his Junior Fourth year. He graduated from the Point Grey High School in June 1919. Ikball was accepted to the University of Washington and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1925. During his time at the University of Washington, he signed up for the Reserve Officers Training Corp (ROTC) and achieved the highest rank of Lieutenant. He also trained as a pilot while serving the ROTC. After graduating from the university, Ikball encountered a strict race bar that effectively barred him from becoming a professional engineer, a pilot or any other professional. He was told the only work for him, as a South Asian, was on the "green chain," one of the lowest paid and highest risk jobs in the industry pushing wood through the saws. Instead, Ikball chose to return to India, under the sponsorship of the Ghadar Party in 1930 to take up the activist cause to end the British rule of India. He committed to not marrying until the British were out of India. He kept to that, getting married to Ranjit Kaur Bains in 1948 after the British left India and had four children with her. He returned to Canada in 1955. He died tragically on December 26, 1965 as the victim of random violence after a minor traffic incident in North Vancouver.