Hira Singh (1876- )

Hira Singh was one of the very few pioneer Sikhs to manage to bring his wife to Canada. He had been three years in Vancouver, working as a mill hand, when he left for India in January 1910. When he came back the next year on July 21 he had his twenty year old wife and young daughter with him. Their passage from Calcutta had taken seven months, with two weeks in Hong Kong and four months in Shanghai. His wife and daughter were initially refused entry because they had not come by continuous passage. Hira Singh’s lawyers, McCrossen and Harper, began Habeas Corpus proceedings. The file went to the new Prime Minister, Sir Robert Borden as he assumed office in October 1911; at his request, Hira Singh’s wife and daughter were landed as an act of grace.

Sources: I.M. Muthanna, People of India in North America. Part First (Bangalore: Printed at Lutus Printers, 1975); Library and Archives Canada, Immigration Files, RG 76, particularly, vol. 384, file 536999 pt. 4, Individual Cases re: East Indian Immigration to Canada (Summaries); Vancouver and Victoria passenger lists.