In Loving Memory of Bhai Nirmal Singh

Bhai Nirmal Singh Ji, lovingly known as Kernal (colonel), passed away on the 13th March 2009 after a brief but fierce battle with a rare form of cancer. He is still deeply missed by many across the world but we know he has gone on to a better place of which he wholly deserves.

Sachee Dharageh Jaae Sachaa Pirr Maliaa||
There in the True court (of Vaheguru), he gets his True place
— Bhai Gurdas Ji

Bhai Sahib was an amazing brother, friend, husband, father, uncle and mentor to many. He was absolutely instrumental in starting parchar in colleges and universities throughout the UK and was one of the founding members of the British Organisation of Sikh Students (BOSS). During this time he regularly travelled up and down the country to visit universities and colleges across the UK in his capacity as advisor, helper and speaker. He worked tirelessly with many organisations and jathas to inspire and encourage old and new to embrace their faith, history and great heritage. 

 Kernal in his element - working with the British Army in exploring Anglo-Sikh history

Kernal in his element - working with the British Army in exploring Anglo-Sikh history

Kernal also helped to organise BOSS's annual retreat, BOSS Sikhi Camp and was masterful in mentoring, guiding and inspiring the attendees. He showed tough love when it was needed and also blinded everyone with an intense love for Sikh history. His late-night talks on the subject of the Shaheeds of the Panth were legendary and memorable to all. The practice of this late discussion on Sikh history still continues at BOSS Camp to this day - now named the Bhai Nirmal Singh Shaheedi talk.

 Speaking with the fiery passion that Bhai Sahib was known for! BOSS Sikhi Camp in 2006

Speaking with the fiery passion that Bhai Sahib was known for! BOSS Sikhi Camp in 2006

As one of the eldest of the British born generation of Sikhs, he was regarded with dignitary type status. On the rare occasion that any issues would arise within the UK Sikh community, he was often the person who spoke to all involved to resolve the issues. He was seen as someone who would say what needs to be said with complete honesty and integrity. He was able to deal with problems truthfully, without being a politician. 

He was an avid collector of Shaster, a huge fan of the outdoors and a talented photographer. But most of all, and what the majority of us will remember him for was his intense passion and love for Sikhi. His Pyar for the Gurus, our Shaheeds, Sikhs in the World Wars and for the Panth was unparalleled. Maharaj gave him a unique gift to ignite and inspire this flame in others too. Thousands of young Sikhs in the 80's to 00's have been touched by his talks and many have walked away and applied this to their lives. Such was the power of persuasion and dedication that Bhai Sahib Jee had.

 Captivating BOSS Sikhi Camp attendees at the first camp in 1996

Captivating BOSS Sikhi Camp attendees at the first camp in 1996

He is sorely missed by all that have been left behind: his family, his wife Mandeep Kaur, his children: Akaljot Singh, Asess Kaur and Anand Singh as well as his dear friends. We can picture him right now standing over with his arms folded looking at us with his intense eyes, slowly unfolding his arms to show us his pointy finger asking "What are *you* doing for Sikhi?"

He will be remembered as always radiating happiness and having immense pyaar for Sikhi. Thank you to Guru Sahib for sending such a Gursikh who was able to carry out such great seva by inspiring us and countless others. Dhan Guru, Dhan Guru Ke Piaare!

Jo Har kaa piaaraa so sabhanaa kaa piaaraa
One who is dear to the Lord, is dear to all
— Guru Amar Das Ji

A true gem, always inspiring, greatly missed.