Leading city Sikh mourned
TRIBUTES have been paid to a founder member of the Peterborough Sikh community as hundreds of mourners attended his funeral.
The funeral of Gurcharan Singh was held at the Gurudwara Baba Budha Sahib Ji Temple, in Royce Road, yesterday morning.
Hundreds of mourners travelled from all corners of the country, and even as far afield as Canada, to pay their respects.
Mr Singh (85) is survived by wife Santokh Kaur and was well respected in the city for his knowledge of Sikh holy scripture.
He was an elder of the community and his funeral procession, which took place at 7.30am, included a float and members of the temple reading from the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book.
At the open-casket funeral, mourners were able to pay their final respects to Mr Singh in the traditional Sikh method, by touching his feet.
The coffin was then taken away to Peterborough Crematorium in a horse-drawn carriage.
The great-grandfather had lived in the Peterborough area for more than 50 years before his death and was one of the founder members of the first Sikh temple in the city – in Cromwell Road – in the 1960s.
His son Puran Singh (61) now lives in Ottawa, Canada, but travelled back to Peterborough for the funeral.
He said: “He came to Peterborough in 1952 from Punjab in India.
“He stayed in the city for a while before moving to March – but he came back to Peterborough shortly afterwards and lived in Line Tree Avenue for most of his life here.
“He was one of the founder members of the temple here and was a major part of the Sikh community while he lived in Peterborough.
“He was very knowledgable about religion and especially Sikh holy scriptures.”
He said his father carried out a service every week, in which he sang scripture. He was a clothes salesman by trade, but did lots of work in the community.
Mr Singh was father to three daughters and two sons. He had 16 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. His son Puran said he was proud that so many people had turned up to the funeral.
He said: “People came from Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham and Canada, as well as from across Peterborough, to be here.
“It makes me very proud that so many people came and made so much effort to be here. The casket was open for people to pay homage to him and to touch his feet, as is the tradition.”
RESPECT: Hundreds of mourners gather round the coffin of Sikh community stalwart Gurcharan Singh at his funeral. (METP-17-06-10BD108)
TRIBUTE: Musicians perform at the funeral of Gurchuran Singh. (METP-17-0610BD109)
FAREWELL: Mr Singh (right) and his funeral carriage.