Asian Heritage Month

Goin' Down the Road with Darshan

By Anu Sahota

When last we saw Darshan Singh Gill he had arrived from the Punjab to Victoria B.C. and was set to begin his job hunt. As I've described in previous posts, opportunities for visible minority immigrants at this time were usually limited to labour work in farms and the forest industry (the latter, for men folk only). Darshan arrived in Victoria only 12 years after Indo-Canadians were granted the franchise - not enough time, I'm sure, to meaningfully diminish long-standing social barriers and prejudices. Limited knowledge of English, as well as Canadian culture and pleasantries, would have further burdened Darshan's search.

As you can observe in this clip, Darshan darkens the doors of lumber yards and the like, though his handsome coat and coiff betray the hopes of a gentleman who would like to go much further. Fortunately, his new job (as we see in the clip) puts him in a union - a protection that would at least afford him a measure of job security and, importantly, a sense of community. Check this site on May 31 to see Darshan in his new working class ensemble.


View a clip of Darshan from Here and There (1958) (runs 8:41)

You can view a list of significant dates in Canadian Sikh history at explorASIAN External Link

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Comments: (3)

lorraine hawkes () wrote:

I first met Darshan a couple of years ago at the gym at Juan de Fuca. Darshan stays in good physical shape and gets himself ready for Weight Lifting Events in BC and other parts of Canada. I know from our conversations that he also is quite involved in volunteer work in his home country of India. He is a dear man and it is great to be able to see a little bit of his history.
Lorraine Hawkes

Posted October 4, 2007 01:12 PM

Deepak Gill () wrote:

Hello. My name is Deepak Gill and I am the youngest daughter of Darshan Gill. Thank you so much for posting this as it not only means a great deal to our Dad, but also to us.If you could send us a copy of that dvd, we would really appreciate it!

Posted October 1, 2007 08:59 PM

Ruth Dosanjh () wrote:

Hi Anu. My name is Ruth. I am one of five daughters of Darshan Singh Gill. We both just viewed this video clip of my dad as well as my husband and two children. I must say, it brought a huge smile to my father, who now at seventy years old is still residing in Victoria. He is amazed at what magic the internet holds. While the three of us were just sitting here teaching my dad about the "magic" of internet, i decided to google my dad and this is what we came up with. I would like to know if it is possible to get a dvd copy of this video in full. I know the original is roughly 22 minutes long. We have a vhs tape, but it is now in pretty rough shape and CBC did send us an ancient version of the projector reel after 24 years. Please email me and let me know if this is possible. My father as well as my entire family would really appreciate it. Thank you.

Posted September 29, 2007 01:05 AM

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