WINDSOR, Ontario: History was made when a practicing (Amritdhari) turbaned Sikh Canadian Harjinder Singh Kandola, the president of the Sikh Cultural Society of Metropolitan Windsor, was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his outstanding contribution to Canada through community service.

During a special community ceremony at Windsor Ciociaro Club on Saturday August 25, 2012, Ontario Finance Minister and Deputy Premiere Dwight Duncan presented this award to Kandola. Kandola humbly accepted the recognition but said it should be shared by his fellows, family, friends and community.

This well attended ceremony was emceed by Mansimran Singh Kahlon of United Sikhs and local Sikh youth Gursimran Kaur Virk.

Introducing Harjinder before inviting him to receive this national honour, Duncan said Kandola “has made an extraordinary contribution to our community and made our province a better place to live. We are proud of him and his terrific accomplishment and we thank him for the difference he is making in the lives of not only just the Sikhs but all Ontarians. Indeed, he is a true reflection of Her Majesty’s legacy. Earlier this year, I was pleased to nominate him for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Governor General of Canada has approved Mr. Harjinder Singh Kandola as recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal”.

“Born in India and he immigrated here in 1994 to join his wife Kamaljit Kaur Kandola in Brampton. His pursuit to higher education brought him to Windsor, where he now lives with his wife, his parents and his two children Japman Kaur and Triman Singh. We are very lucky to have him in Windsor where he has devoted his spare time for educating youth and Sikh community on Sikh values, heritage, scripture and culture. And moreover, he has helped to educate the broader community about Sikh values to help foster greater understanding of the Sikh Culture that all of us have come to respect and admire”, added Duncan.

Duncan said Harjinder Singh Kandola has worked particularly hard at bringing the Sikh community into the broader community, especially working with young Sikhs to help them understand the broader Canadian community. He said this ultimately heightens the understanding between Sikhs and non-Sikhs.