By Rochelle Baker, Abbotsford Times
Sucha Singh Thandi gingerly unwraps the tissue paper from around a small, creased black and white photo of an elderly Sikh man sporting thick dark-framed glasses, a turban and a snow-white beard.
Sucha, 77, contemplates the image of his uncle Sundar Singh Thandi, affectionately known to Abbotsford's Sikh pioneer families as taya ji or uncle.
Thandi was critical to the establishment of the historic Gur Sikh Temple on South Fraser Way that celebrates its 100-year anniversary this year.
Yesterday afternoon Mayor George Peary and city council made an extraordinary proclamation to kick off a yearlong celebration of Abbotsford's national historic monument, completed in 1911 by struggling Sikh pioneers.