Capt. Mohinder S. Jaswal
Captain Mohinder Singh Jaswal was born on March 10, 1935. He retired from the Indian Army after 32 years of services. Capt. Jaswal came to Canada in 1995 and one year later he joined the Indian Exservicemen Society, which was formed in 1995 to deal with pension benefits for the Indian Defence veterans. He is the President of the Society. Capt. Jaswal has done a tremendous and exemplary voluntarily task for restoration of pension of nearly 600 – 650 veterans claiming arrears of their pension and grant of family pension to widows of those veterans who expired. Capt. Jaswal has a team of highly qualified skill veterans in various fields, who visited various schools on call to educate the young students. A function on epic battle of “SARAGRHI” fought by British Indian Army is also organized on September 12 each year to encourage the young generation to join Canadian Armed Forces. On November 11 every year Capt. Jaswal participates in Remembrance Day Parade with his team.
Charles Quon Lee
Mr. Charles Lee was born on Dec 29, 1923 and raised in Vancouver. His parents arrived in BC from China in 1889. In 1942, during WWII, Charles joined the Canadian army and became a member of Special Operation Executive Force 136, a Chinese Canadian commando unit specifically trained to do dangerous spy and guerilla warfare behind Japanese enemy lines in Burma. This Unit was given the campaign code name of Operation Oblivion as the risk of capture or death was extremely high. Charles was trained specifically as a wireless radio technician. Charles is currently a member of the Army Navy & Airforce Veterans Chinatown Unit 280 and one of the founding members of the Chinese Canadian Military Museum. Because of Charles and his comrades who served Canada so gallantly in WWII, they were able to persuade the Canadian Government to repeal previous racial discriminatory laws towards Asians in 1947 and grant them the right to vote and to sponsor family reunification immigration to Canada from China.
LEE Woo Seok
Mr. Lee Woo Seok is the serving president of the Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA) Western Chapter. He is co-founder of the association. Woo Seok Lee served in the Korean War and Vietnam War as a member of the Korea’s Marine Corps. As president of KWVA, he hosts meetings and coordinates events and activities to ensure that Korean War Veterans stay connected; and provides outreach to members who are in long term care facilities or unable to participate due to illness. As president, he is recognized widely as a leader and spokesperson of Korean Canadian veterans; and attends various commemorative ceremonies, official meetings on behalf of KWVA. In recognition of his unsung heroism in two wars, outstanding leadership and contributions to the greater society, he was awarded the Senate of Canada 150 medal in 2017. He was instrumental in helping establish the first Gapyeong Memorial Stone, a 6-tonne rock from Gapyeong County where the historic April 1951 Battle of Kapyong took place in which Canadians demonstrated unparalleled valour and resistance. The Gapyeong Memorial Stone, established in 2019, will forever stand as a reminder of Canada and Korea’s deep-rooted friendship.
Elder Larry Grant
Elder Larry Grant, a Musqueam Elder, was born and raised in Musqueam traditional territory by a traditional Musqueam family. After four decades as a tradesman, Larry enrolled in the then First Nations Language Program, which awoke his memory of the imbedded value that the hənqəminəm’ language has to self-identity, kinship, culture, territory, and history prior to European contact. He is presently assisting in revitalizing in the Musqueam Language and Culture Department and co-teaching the introductory hənqəminəm course through UBC. Larry is Adjunct Professor and the Elder-in-residence at UBC’s First Nations House of Learning. He is a Faculty Fellow at St. John’s College and the inaugural Honorary Life Fellow at Green College. in 2019 he was awarded the President’s Medal of Excellence for service to Community and UBC, and Elder in Residence at Justice Institute of British Columbia New Westminster campus. In his role as an Elder of Musqueam he shares stories and histories to numerous intercultural audiences.
Mr. Bill Gruenthal, age 86, was born in what is now Israel. In 1947 his family immigrated to Canada and in 1952, Bill moved to Vancouver where he joined the Insurance Industry. Since the 1960s, Bill has devoted countless hours of volunteer work. Bill served as the President of Burquest Jewish Community Centre for five years, and as the President of JNF, for 3 years. In November 2001, Bill became President of the Jewish Historical Society. In this position, he saw the organization through the transition into the Jewish Museum and Archives of BC. In the years since, Bill has remained a Director and become a member of the Council of Governors. More recently, Bill has joined the Board of Directors of Temple Sholom, overseeing the monthly Seniors Lunch Program. Bill is equally committed to community work outside the Jewish community. In 2015, he concluded fifteen years as a Director of the Nikkei Place Foundation. For over twenty years he has been a Director of the Canada Japan Society of BC.
Michael K. H. Leong
Mr. Michael Leong was born in the Lion City of Singapore in 1941, where he received his education. In early 1970’s, he joined a local shipping company as the Shipping Manager where he operated over 200 vessels plying between Singapore and Indonesia. He graduated as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, U.K. in 1976 and was elected Chairman of the Singapore Branch of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers in 1980. He was also a Fellow of the Institute of Shipping Management in Singapore. Mr. Leong came to Canada in 1991. A year later he helped revitalise the Vancouver Branch of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, Vancouver and went on to become its Hon. Secretary. Mr. Leong had been elected President of the Vancouver Singapore Club for over 20 times and he is the longest serving President of the Club since its inception in 1990. In 1994, he helped organize the Canada Singapore Business Association for Singaporeans with business interest in Vancouver and later he formed the Singapore Business Council in Vancouver.
Mr. Robert Rollke is in his eighties and has recently suffered a broken neck from a fall and now requires constant supervision to ensure no further injury. Robert is the son of a German pastor and was born in Germany on April 17th, 1938 in Pommern, in what is today Poland. Robert’s family was evicted from Poland in 1946. Robert has been a dedicated volunteer at the Scandinavian Centre looking after the flowers and landscaping regardless of the weather, and he has also helped with a multitude of other tasks at the Scandinavian Centre for the Danish House Society.
Bai Yu Li
Mr. Bai Yu Li was born in Singapore on April 5, 1939 and returned to China in 1948. After graduating from South China Normal University in Guangzhou in 1962, he taught at the Chengguan Middle School in Lechang City, Guangdong and later became a middle school principal. In 2002, he immigrated to Vancouver to reunite with his family. Since 2015, he has served as the president of the Wenxi branch of the Vancouver Association for the Elderly. Over the years, he has been diligent in serving the elderly by organizing outings and birthday parties and comforting the elderly in pain. Since the Covid-19 epidemic, he has served as a music teacher for online singing and taught a harmonica group. He also organized a party in the cloud and enthusiastically made videos and wrote articles for students and the elderly to enrich their lives. Mr. Li is the organizer and lecturer of the Wenxi poetry study class. He is the editor-in-chief of the Lanting Yunyan Calligraphy and Painting Magazine.
Satwant Ginder Sangha
Mrs. Satwant Sangha has unselfishly devoted her time and energy to promote diversity, intercultural relations, and community volunteerism. She has contributed to the welfare of the Indo-Canadian community through her service as past Vice-President National Indo-Canadian Council, Lifetime Director Five Rivers Society, Member India Cultural Centre of Canada and member of the India Mahala Association. In addition, she has reached out to the mainstream community through her work with the Burnaby Rotary Club and the Canadian Eyesight Global organization in raising funds for humanitarian causes. She went to India five times to support various eye camps which provided cataract removal for the underprivileged. Satwant Sangha has received many honours over the years, including the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Medal, Rotary Club International’s Paul Harris Award 8 times and the Khalsa Diwan Society Community Service Award. Her dedication to volunteerism for over 40 years is an example of community building, promoting goodwill and harmony in making Canada a better place in which to live and grow.
At his ripe age of 81, and with his motto in life which is: to serve others is the greatest gift I can give to mankind – FELIPE TAWAGIN is the “GO TO GUY” in the Filipino-Canadian Seniors Community. He is a member, and at times served as member of the Board of Directors of various senior services volunteer associations such as: Filipinos Seniors Club of BC, Historama, Seniors Brigade Society of BC, South Vancouver Neighbourhood House, Multicultural Helping House Society of BC, 411 Seniors Centre Society, and Filipino Association of BC. As a community seniors advocate consummate, he is a familiar face at the 411 Seniors Centre being a Karaoke Facilitator Volunteer. He also volunteers at Seniors Brigade Society, using his own car and own money for gas, to deliver groceries to seniors who are in need. Felipe Tawagin will forever be in the hearts and prayers of Filipino Canadian Seniors who he served well.