School In Brampton Named After Pte. Buckam Singh, First Sikh Soldier To Serve Canada In World War 1

Image Source: Bramalea Rd

The influence of Punjabi Culture and Punjab on Canada is huge. It is rightly known as ‘Mini Punjab’ by the Punjabi people. Another example has been set by Canada, representing their recognition for the Punjabi people. An elementary school in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, called Newest Elementary School has been named after Pte. Buckam Singh.

The school opened its doors for the first time ever and named it after Pte. Buckam Singh. Private Buckam Singh is an important Sikh figure. He was one of the first Sikhs to be allowed to serve with the Canadian Forces during the First World War. At the time of WW1, 9 Sikhs were incorporated in the Canadian Forces and Private Buckam Singh was one of them.

Sources tell that Buckam Singh moved to Canada in 1907 and was enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces in 1915. He is believed to be one of the earliest Sikhs to ever reside on the land of Canada. He has his grave in Kitchener, Ontario, which is the only known WWI Sikh Canadian Soldier’s military grave in Canada.

Pte. Buckam Singh arrived at Kitchener’s Freeport hospital in 1917, where he was treated for about a year and half before he died. He was also buried in the city. (CBC)

The Newest Elementary School named after Private Buckam Singh also has his photo in the official logo of the school. It is a mixture of a lion on one side and Pte. Buckam Singh on the other side. The logo is inscribed on a Maple Leaf, symbol of Canada. It has been designed by a supremely talented student of 6th grade, Gunit Bhangu. Interestingly, the logo was made as a part of an art project for the Sikh Heritage Month. 

The ‘Mini Punjab’ does not leave any stones unturned to recognize the contribution of Punjabis to its history. No doubt it is the first place destination for Punjabis for their higher studies and better employment, lifestyle and growth opportunities. Recognitions like these fill every Punjabi, all over the world, with a different feeling of pride that cannot be put to words!

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