Historical Photo Series

Time Warp Tuesday

Take a step back in time with this week’s vintage photos of Sikh women in Canada ranging from 1929 to 1956. If you have old photos that you’d like to share, send them to! To see other vintage photos we’ve featured, click here.


Siblings. Left to right: Harinderjit “Pandit” Singh Rai, Gian Singh Rai, Harinderjit Kaur Rai. Year 1942. Most likely in Canada. Source:


A family portrait of the Dhaliwal family taken at the Yucho Chow Studio, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Paul Singh Dhaliwal holding daughter, Vicky Gurjit Dhaliwal, with wife, Mohinder Kaur Dhaliwal. Date: Aug 30, 1952. Source:


Left to right: Kapoor Singh, Raj Kaur, and Baljit Singh. Date: 1956. Canada. Source:


The Gill family. Left to right: Tej “Lucy” Gill holding Gary Gurdeep Singh Gill, her husband Sewa Singh Gill with Richard Malkit Singh Gill, and Mangle Singh Gill (Sewa’s father). Mangle Singh Gill arrived in Canada in 1906 and was joined by his son, Sewa in 1947. Date: 1952. Source:


Sardis Elementary School class photo. Karm Kaur Koka, 13, center second row from bottom, and Tej Kaur Koka, 12 years, beside, her, third from right second row from bottom. In an interview with Karm, said they faced some discrimination from classmates and even from teachers. One teacher, would not even speak to the girls or grade their work. Canada. Year: 1940. Source:


Thandi family. Left to right: Sucha Singh Thandi, Ossi Thandi, Harnam Kaur Thandi holding Gurdale Thandi, Gopal Singh Thandi, Sundar Singh Thandi, Jeeto Harbajan Kaur Thandi, Gurbachan Singh Thandi. Canada. 1953. Source:


Karam Kaur Rai (Canadian born as Koka) Gian Singh Rai (Indian born). This photo was taken shortly after their wedding in Spencer Studio, Chilliwack, Canada. March 1949. Source:


Mrs. Daya Singh at the casket during the funeral of her husband Daya Singh, granthi at the Gur Sikh Temple. In a 1978 interview with Mrs. Gosling she recalled the cortege carrying the casket across the street to the empty lot where the cremation took place. The Abbotsford, Sumas & Matsqui News carried an article about Daya Singh’s funeral: Sunday Crown Witnesses Cremation of Sikh Priest, Abbotsford, Sumas & Matsqui News, June 5, 1929. “Daya Singh, 52, priest of the Abbotsford Sikh temple, succumbed to a heart seizure while at work in the mill yard last Saturday and died on the way to the hospital. The funeral was conducted on Sunday in accordance with Sikh rites, cremation of the body taking place in a field opposite the temple. Sixty Hindus arrived from Vancouver and New Westminster to accord their departed countryman the funeral honours of his sect, conducting an impressively solemn Oriental ceremony, which was witnessed by a large crowd of spectators of all ages and various nationalities. Following Sikh custom in the burial of those of high rank, the body had been bathed in holy water within the temple, and brought out in the casket and placed upon the front steps, where the upper lid was raised and several photographs taken of the corpse.  June 1929. Source:

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