Franklin farewells com­mu­nity leader

Franklin County News - - OUT & ABOUT -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.