I have been a proud resident of White Rock for over 26 years. During this time, I have given back to this great community through numerous volunteering efforts. These include: Chairperson of Community in Bloom, Vice Chair of the Arts and Culture Committee, Director on the Board of the Newbridge Academy (a school bridging the Chinese immigrant community, and, the White Rock Society), President of the White Rock Tennis Club for three years, and volunteering at both the Sea Festival, and, Tour de White Rock, as well as the White Rock/South Surrey Hospice Society. To further support the growth of our multi-cultural community, I founded and have been President, over the past four years, of the Multicultural Festival of Lights in White Rock.
My wife Rama and I, find ourselves very fortunate to live in this community, but our community is changing. We have been married for 53 years and as parents of three children and four grandchildren, we want to ensure the change is for the good of the community and will support families with affordable housing and well-paying jobs. We want a community that supports and listens to its residents, a community that is progressive but responsible. That’s why I am running for Council.
My commitment is to speak with and listen to the residents of White Rock, to seek out their views, bring transparency to council, and ensure this community changes in a way that we can all be proud of.
I believe my work in the private sector along with my many years of service to this community, make me a strong candidate and someone who will make White Rock a better place for both families and businesses to grow.
I look forward to hearing from you and earning your support. Below is a more detailed biography.
I was born in Uganda, East Africa and moved to Canada in 1972. As a child, public service was engrained in me by my father, a doctor who performed pro bono medical procedures to those less fortunate. In high school, I was student president, and my passion for athletics and the outdoors led me to climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro as part of the Outward Bound program, and to this day I continue to live by the motto: “To Serve, to Strive, and Not to Yield.” This drive and commitment later afforded me the opportunity to compete nationally in both tennis and badminton and work as a sportscaster in radio and television. I obtained a joint Bachelor Degree in Economics and Political Science from Jai Hind College in Bombay, India where I was named ‘Top Athlete’ and ‘Best Student’ for three consecutive years. Next, I became a Principal of City High School in Kampala, Uganda which gave me the good fortune to lead and inspire students to strive for academic and athletic excellence.
In Kampala, we lived next door to the President of Uganda, Idi Amin. We left in 1972 when he expelled all Asians with British citizenship of which category we belonged. For my public service contributions I was given a special citizen exemption to remain in the country, but chose to leave, given the political injustices and turmoil.
I first lived in North Delta and worked three jobs in order to sponsor my wife and two young children (at the time). I coached tennis, worked as a security guard at the peat moss plant, and, worked as a shift supervisor in the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Data Centre. It took me two years before I was able to sponsor my wife and daughters to this beautiful country we now call home. We became Canadian citizens in 1977 which was the same year that our son was born. We then moved to White Rock in 1992. In Canada, I continued to compete at the provincial and national level in tennis, was the captain of the Stanley Park Tennis Club and, later became the President of the Sunshine Hills and the White Rock Tennis Clubs. I also volunteered as a tennis coach at Matsqui prison whenever I had the time. All of these experiences and opportunities have made me realize how fortunate we are to live in a democratic society with endless possibilities; I have been blessed to have worked with and learned from so many wonderful and inspiring Canadians along my journey.
At first, life in Canada was very different from the affluent life I had previously had in Africa, but I was determined to remain optimistic, work hard, provide for my family, and show our children that anything is possible if you are willing to work for it. Both my wife and I were fortunate to have worked in the banking industry where opportunities were provided to those interested in advancing and working hard. Our careers allowed us to take leadership positions and provide comfortably for our children. The lesson to our children has been to work hard, work honestly, and give back to your community whenever you can. I do my best to lead by example. We came to this country with very little and eventually achieved success through dedication, commitment, and an unwavering belief that if you want something badly enough, you can obtain it through hard work and perseverance.
My volunteering is a reflection of my desire to make a positive difference in the community that I live in. I am willing to put in the time and energy towards this endeavour. This past year I was honoured to be a recipient of the Paul Harris Fellowship Award for community service, and an Outstanding Canadians On The Peninsula Award from The City of White Rock, but I am not done yet!
If elected as a councillor for the City of White Rock, I pledge to continue to volunteer my time to represent all residents of White Rock with the goal of making this community a great place to live for all. I look forward to continuing to serve, work with, and learn from the amazing citizens of White Rock.