Khalsa Diwan Society
Sikh Society in Vancouver 1909
Formed on 13 March 1909 at Vancouver in Canada, with Seva Singh as president, was incorporated on 23 February 1915 under the Societies Act, with the primary object of promoting Sikh teaching and way of life, establishing and maintaining gurdwaras and appointing ministers and missionaries. With fresh influx of Sikh immigrants during the 1960’s the scope of the Society’s activity widened. One of the major concerns then was to secure the immigrants their rights as full partners in the life of that nation, and the constitution was amended to this end in 1970.
The Society influenced, both directly and indirectly, the individual and collective activities of its members. Besides providing them with a moral anchor, it was their meeting point socially as well. Under its auspicies, several new gurdwdrds such as those at places like New Westminster, Abbotsford, Victoria, Port Alberni, Lake Cowichan and Nanaimo were established. The Society set up a library, published books on Sikh religion and history and sponsored competitions in gurbani recital .
The gurdwaras affiliated to it also published a bi-weekly newspaper, Canadian Sikh Samachar. The society steadfastly campaigned for the recognition of the legitimate rights not only of the Sikhs but of all Indian immigrants. It helped them acquire,
in 1947, the municipal, provincial and federal franchise and, in 1951, a special agreement which annulled the 1908 legislation, commonly known as `the continuous voyage legislation’ and fixed a quota system for Indian immigrants. This agreement was terminated in 1968 whenceforth, under the new immigration regulations, the immigrants from India were to be treated on the same basis as those from other countries.