Mr Balwant Singh Bassi presided over the August meeting of the Yorkshire Sikh Forum, conducting the meeting with great passion, honour and professionalism.
It was unanimously decided that Mr Nirmal Singh MBE should be re-elected as the chair due to the good work, which he had carried out for the organisation over the 32 year period with his general secretary. Mr Hardev Singh Sidhu, who has served the Yorkshire Sikh forum for 32 years in his capacity as an accountant and secretary.
The organisation also appointed patrons, Mr Balbir Singh Panesar DL , who is a deputy lieutenant of Yorkshire and a successful businessman originating from the Sikh community. The other patrons elected were Joginder, Singh Teja, and Narinder singh Sekhon, a barrister together with long-standing businessman Mr Karnail Singh Chatha and Mr Duleep Singh, Cheema of Leeds.
The organisation has been operating since 1989, when the then Home Secretary, Kenneth Clarke and minister, Anne Widdecombe requested the Sikh community to establish an organisation for liaison between the communities and the West Yorkshire Sikhs to ease tensions, which had subsisted during this difficult time originating from 1984 events from Amritsar Mr Hardev Singh Sidhu was joined by Mr Kawaljeet Singh, as his assistant secretary who are both from the accounting community.
Mr Simmy Sekhon of the Sekhon group was elected as the spokesman, stage secretary, and for his legal knowledge and expertise to serve the committee as he has done previously on an informal basis. The treasurer post was taken by Mr Harpal Singh Sudle, and Mr Raghbir Singh Sanga who are experienced dealing with Treasury matters within the Sikh community in various committee settings, especially within the Sikh temple of Bradford at the Guru Gobind Singh Sikh temple on Leeds Road.
The organisation also welcomed the new advisory board and events advisor. Mr Nirmal Singh MBE, FRSA stated that the organisation is the pride and joy of the Indian community in West Yorkshire and always supports harmony and well-being of interface related issues. He went on to say that it is important that every faith has a leadership group to ensure that there is a direction.
He is pleased that the organisation has subsisted for at least three decades and believes that the organisation will continue its good work for the foreseeable future with the participation and good work of the members who have participated honestly and with high integrity for the organisation.
Mr Singh has gone on to say that the sea community are well respected in the British society, and he is pleased to report that the West Yorkshire police have complimented the conduct and behaviour of Sikhs in the United Kingdom with less than 0.1% of the prison population.
They are one of the largest ethnic minority homeowners in the country and have positively worked for this country and are proud to be called British Sikhs. Mr Singh is proud of his Indian heritage and the opportunity that he has been given since arriving to the United Kingdom in 1967.
He has stated that many of his members have a similar story to tell with only £3 in their pocket, arriving into a new country with hard work, discipline, and the intention to achieve success; Punjabi seeks have made him very proud.“