Penticton’s Karnail and Bachini Sidhu have recently made a major donation in support of the Penticton Regional Hospital.
The Sidhu’s decided to help fund the purchase of medical equipment for the PRH expansion project through the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation, which will see the new wing of the hospital opened on April 29, because this community is “where (they’ve) built a life.”
The pair and their five children are originally from India, immigrating to B.C. over four decades ago. Karnail made a living working full-time at the Weyerhaeuser sawmill in Okanagan Falls, as well as in orchards, until he retired in 1996.
“That’s where we, as kids, have seen the hardships that our parents have gone through since coming to Canada,” said Bira, Karnail and Bachini’s daughter. “He was working at least 16 hours a day, if not more.”
Aside from rearing five children at home, Bachini also found work at the Aylmer cannery and in orchards in the area. Bira said her parents set an example by helping others succeed.
“We were one of the first (Indo) families here. The immigrants my father helped come to Canada were welcomed to live with us until they were able to get on their own feet,” Bira recalled. “My father accommodated them in every way possible – for them to feel as part of the family and to pursue their dreams of one day having their families join them.”
“Mom is definitely my Dad’s anchor. I don’t know how she did it, but we can never thank her enough,” Bira added. “They’re both incredible because they have really big hearts and they have always wanted to be part of the community as well.”
The family has also invested greatly into the community, with Karnail having served as vice president of the committee that built the Penticton Sikh Temple on South Main Street. His son later served as vice president of the Temple board as well.
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