As I was tearing down the road, in my sedan, to have a maiden interface with Sr. Amar Singh Dhaliwal Chairman Western Community College Surrey, the images of the journey of this 5 year
young college started flashing on the horizons of my mind. Being in the same field, I was thinking how humongous it is, to set up a college in this vying age of competition and successively steer it out of the gravitational pull of initial operating losses, which usually gives sleepless nights to all of the promoters involved.
With these thoughts, I was climbing up the stairs of this immaculately clean college building and was greeted by Sr. Amar Singh Dhaliwal and others. After the initial courtesies were over, I asked Mr. Amar Singh, how the brain storming exercise was conducted; how the pendulum shift finally stayed, towards the risky education field and the idea was finally conceived and locked? Now I saw him losing half of his connection with me and the surrounding environment, and he started rummaging through the early days when brain storming exercise was conducted. After a pause and a deep breath, pat came his reply,”All the three of my daughters are in the medical profession and we, their parents, are from the education field. Our son Gurpal, President of this college, has over two decades of managerial experience in Canada. Though this project is a brain child of my son we all took the brave decision by calculating the risk quotient. Primarily there are two types of people. Type one is work hard and type two is work hardly. This septuagenarian- born at the end of silent generation era- definitely belongs to the first type.
Though every potter praises his pot, yet- during my conversation he informed me that the unflinching support by a very experienced Core- Think-Tank of very hard working close family members, board executives and the dedicated team of promoter employees/staff of this college made this happen, as one flower makes no garland. As black will take no other hue, in the same vein, hardworking persons will always be productive to the community.
This duo of father- son team is behind the successful launch of this college, which is now making further forays in its area of operations. Slowly and surely this college added many courses one by one. Presently, this college is doling out 27 courses and many more are in the pipeline. Over 1000 students have completed HCA program with 99% employment rate. The Unique Selling Point (USP) of this college is: it offers various programs during the day, by the evening or on the weekends so that immigrant students can work on the sidelines to pay their bills. Second, students pay their tuition fee conveniently, on monthly basis. There are about 150 to 200 students enrolled at any given time around the year.
Back home in India Mr. Amar Singh, born and brought up in Malwa ethnicity in Punjab, served as a lecturer for over a decade in various government schools and finally worked as Principal in Baba Lachhman Dass Sidh College for Women Mallianwala [Distt Moga in Punjab] before hanging up his boots in India. As a lecturer he loved his students even more than his own children, he stated. He was ably supported by his post graduate wife- Mrs. Amarjit Kaur Dhaliwal who also retired as a Lecturer in a government school in Punjab India. On the sports front, he played Kabaddi, Soccer. He is a person of giving nature. Being a post graduate in Punjabi , it is but natural for him to have passion for Punjabi literature/ poetry. He informed that, he has read the works of many legendary writers namely, Shiv Batalvi, Baba Bulley Shah, Amrita Pritam , Surjit Patar to quote a few. What fascinates me is his simple living and great thinking. When I asked Mr. Gurpal the CEO of this college about the fierce competition in education industry, he stated,” Competition is in every field. Ultimately hard work separates the chaff from the wheat. Our future depends on our hard work done at present”. God has been kind to all of us. Our hard work is rewarded as we got accreditation within 3 years. We are blessed with a great team of hard working executives and teaching staff.
Needless to add that he is presently serving as a Manager of a Real Canadian Superstore chain. For over 2 decades he has dedicated himself to this organization. In fine, I can say, Good mind good find. Long live this organization which serves as a base for the citizens of the area to get well equipped as education is an ultimate bread earner. People who make this happen certainly are deserving of a well earned pat on their back.
Prof. Surinder Kochhar (Shaun)
LPN, FCN, M.Com, CAIIB, DIM A freelance writer with 36 Years Exp. A Diabetes Coach of University of Victoria