Sikhs Honoured at the House of Lords

According to Gurmukh Singh, Geoffrey Godbold was not aware that the Sikh British were lobbying for a Sikh Regiment in th...

At a charity event organized by the British Community Honours Awards (BCHA) 2016 at the House of Lords on 21 October, three identity Sikhs were honoured. This was the 16th anniversary of the charity led by Yasmin Sheikh CBE (BCHA founder) and hosted by Professor Lord Patel of Bradford OBE.

The function was attended by about 150 dignitaries from diverse British communities. This was a milestone achievement for BCHA which recognized the important role which the minority communities play in the British mainstream society. Community awards are presented by the BCHA to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the welfare and integration of minority communities into mainstream British society.

The Sikhs honoured for their community work were S. Gurmukh Singh OBE (retired Principal Civil Servant), S. Karnail Singh Punnu MBE and S. Gurdev Singh Rayat BEM. All are well-known for their community services.
Such high profile recognition of the contribution the Sikh community is making to the British way of life, is matter of much pride for the British Sikh community.

The awards were presented by Colonel Geoggrey Godbold (L), the Common Cryer and Serjeant-at-Arms for the City of London. Along the margins of the event, S Gurmukh Singh, a prominent Sikh community mentor, took the opportunity to raise the question of a British Sikh regiment with Col Geoffrey Godbold who is well connected with senior army personnel and himself trains army cadets.

According to Gurmukh Singh, Geoffrey Godbold was not aware that the Sikh British were lobbying for a Sikh Regiment in the UK. He expressed great admiration for the Sikhs as outstanding soldiers and was surprised to learn that UK's Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallen, had opposed the start of a Sikh regiment saying that it would be wrong because the Sikhs are a "religion". Gurmukh Singh has written about this and related issues concerning young Sikhs in recent weeks.

 

Amrik Singh Ahdan
London, United Kingdom
E-mail: [email protected]

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