Shingar Singh, a hard-working grandfather who was awarded the Imperial Service Medal for 25 years of dedication in Portsmouth Dockyard, Buckland resident Mr Singh Taak touched the lives of people throughout the city.
He was a a pillar of the Sikh community who has passed away aged 90.
Born on March 3, 1930, he was a first generation Sikh migrant from India to the UK, living in Birmingham before moving to Portsmouth in the 1950s and establishing his family here.
Mr Singh Taak, a devout Sikh, was a founding member of Guru Nanak Sar Gurdwara temple in Margate Road, which was established in 1963.
He passed away peacefully at home on July 22, and is survived by two sons, four daughters, more than 20 grandchildren and more than 30 great-grandchildren.
In tribute to his grandfather, proud grandson Amarjit Singh said: ‘We are remembering his life and the fact that he touched so many hearts up and down the land. It’s a great loss as someone who was the first generation of his family to come to the UK but also a strong and humble patriarch.
‘He was so community oriented in all he did and he has been a role model to younger generations. In his values what always stood out was honesty, hard work and integrity. He always adopted a humble approach to whatever he did.’
Mr Singh Taak could read and write four languages – English, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu – and was often described as a fountain of knowledge, particularly about the Sikh faith, history and Indian culture.
He had a particular passion for poetry, and would recite poetry to the family to instil deeper values in them.
Amarjit, from Southampton, added: ‘Throughout his life he shared wisdom with everyone he came into contact with. There was always a sense of upliftment whenever you were in his company.
‘He was a towering figure looking over the family and someone who was regarded by all in Portsmouth as a pillar of the community.’
Mr Singh Taak’s funeral takes place on Wednesday 29th July 2020 in the afternoon, with the congregation paying respects at the Southsea temple after the service.