Franklin farewells community leader
Hundreds of people were on hand to farewell a true gem of the Franklin community.
Ganges Singh, passed at the age of 79, and the well-known Franklin figure was farewelled by family, friends and members of the community at the Indian Association Centre on Thursday.
Singh was well-known in Pukekohe for his work within the community.
He was a Justice of the Peace, a Queen Service Medal recipient, a former elected trustee of Counties Power Consumers Trust, a Franklin County News’ Franklin’s Finest award winner and a respected member of the Pukekohe Indian Association.
Singh was also honoured for his work in bridging cultural boundaries and was made a life member of the New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils. He was key organiser of the Franklin Multicultural Festival and Pukekohe’s annual Waitangi Day celebrations.
Former Franklin District Council mayor and policeman, Mark Ball, knew Singh for more than 30 years.
‘‘I certainly got to know him through the police network and from there the relationship just blossomed.’’
Ball said Singh was always out and about at community events with his trusty old camera, and he considered him a Jack-of-all trades.
‘‘He had a really broad knowledge on most things - he’d raise questions and he’d raise issues.’’
Franklin Local Board chair- man, Andy Baker, said Singh was an incredible advocate for the community.
‘‘He had an overwhelming desire to help people and to battle for causes or things he viewed as injustices,’’ Baker said.
‘‘He loved a debate, stood firm on his views but was always hugely respectful and respected which can often be challenging when you are out spoken.’’
Baker had known Singh since he was a child when his father use to work alongside Singh.
Singh was an absolute gentleman and someone Baker said who’d be sincerely missed.
‘‘I considered him a friend and our citizenship ceremonies where he joined me on stage to welcome new citizens will not be the same without his colourful turban and equally colourful personality.’’
Ganges Singh was a Queen Service Medal recipeint, Justice of the Peace and former Franklin’s Finest award winner.