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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Jewels of the Qila

The Remarkable Story of an Indo-Canadian Family

This is a story about a remarkable Sikh family and the communities they lived in and supported in both Canada and India. Kapoor Singh Siddoo arrived in British Columbia in 1912 and overcame racial prejudice and legal discrimination to transform himself from labourer to lumber baron. He and his wife, Besant Kaur, fostered in their daughters a vision of service and activism that they fulfilled by establishing a hospital in Punjab and introducing an Indian spiritual tradition to their new home in Canada. Hugh Johnston tells their story with warmth and perceptiveness, while telling a larger tale about the trials and tribulations faced by immigrant communities in Canada.

336 pages

Table of Contents




1 Pioneers

2 Jagirdar Families

3 Emigrant Jathas

4 Settling in Canada

5 Trouble in British Columbia

6 Refuge in Ontario

7 Lumber Business

8 Women and Children at Mayo Siding

9 Village Life in Canada and India

10 Ending a Partnership: Life in the City

11 Citizens without Votes

12 A Real United Nations in Practice

13 Lessons about India and Spirituality

14 The Hospital at Aur

15 Finding a Teacher and Losing a Father

16 Marriages and Losing a Mother

17 Canada and India

18 The Span of a Century



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