Select Page

Asian Heritage: Dr. Sarjit Siddoo

Asian Heritage: Dr. Sarjit Siddoo

In celebration of Asian Heritage Month, Surrey604 will share inspirational stories of South Asian pioneers in B.C., in collaboration with 100 Year Journey project.  The 100 Year Journey Project is providing readers around the world the gift of being able to read the extraordinary stories of South Asian Canadian Pioneers in all formats with a digital release.

The 100 Year Journey Project’s publication tells the stories of some of the first South Asians in Canada, detailing how they provided shelter and support for new immigrants, fought tirelessly for the voting rights of all communities, and spent years away from their loved ones as they set up new lives for themselves and their families. For more information visit

sarjit-sidhoo-postSarjit Siddoo’s parents decided their children were going to become doctors – even before their two daughters were born in 1926 and 1927 on Vancouver Island.

“My parents decided their kids were going to be doctors and help the poor in India,” says Siddoo, who did indeed go on to become a doctor, as did her sister. Sarjit graduated from medical school in 1950. Her sister Jagdis, graduated a year earlier.

“We were the first Canadian-born Indians in the country, male or female, to become doctors,” says Siddoo. “Sometimes people would say, ‘Why don’t you become nurses?’ But Dad would say, ‘Why become nurses when you can become doctors?”

Dr. Siddoo’s father, Kapoor Singh Siddoo, was a leader in Gadar Party, a Canadian-based organization formed to help free India from British rule. His dedication to the people of India inspired his dream to build a hospital near Aur, the village where he was born in the district of Nawanshar, Punjab.

The two Siddoo sisters visited India for the first time in 1951. “Mom and Dad wanted to show us the village. There was no running water, no sewage system. We weren’t too impressed,” recalls Dr. Siddoo.

Although they didn’t immediately fall in love with the country, the two young doctors did embrace their father’s vision to provide free medical care to those in need. In 1959, after years of hard work by the Siddoo family, Kapoor Singh Canadian Hospital was finished. “Mrs. Indira Gandhi formally opened it,” says Dr. Siddoo.

Since then, Dr. Siddoo and her sister have returned to India to work at the hospital virtually every year.

This interview originally appeared in the November 2003 edition of **Mehfil Magazine**

Dr. Sarjit Siddoo was born on Vancouver Island where her father, Kapoor Singh Siddoo, owned a lumber mill. In 1964, she married Dr. Avtar Atwal, who went on to become dean of Punjab Agricultural University. Dr. Siddoo passed away in Feb 2013.

About The Author

Daman Beatty

The creator of, Daman Beatty (AKA ‘Beatler‘) is originally from Sackville, New Brunswick. A longtime blogger, visual designer, marketing and communications specialist, Daman loves travel, tech and photography. He has taught online marketing at BCIT, and Brighton College and is also the Marketing Manager for Microsoft Education Partner, CCI Learning.


Recent Posts

Mastering Your Business For Maximum Profit & Success Workshop Event

Published 12/9/2017 in Surrey604 Magazine


This 2-hour event is jam-packed with tools and strategies that you can implement in your business immediately. This is not another fluffy “introductory event” like you may have experienced, it’s designed to get you on the right track to maximizing growth, sales and profit.
This is the first step in getting your Business… read more ❯

Last night I promised you wouldn’t die – I rescind that promise.

Published 12/7/2017 in Surrey604 Magazine

This is the written response to a real event which took place on Tuesday night at the shooting at 148th and 64th. 
Last night I promised you wouldn’t die.

I am now rescinding that promise.

Last night as I was driving home, I came upon what I thought was a car accident scene. I could hear you yelling for help. I could vaguely see your shape lying on the road in the dark.

I saw the… read more ❯

Coffee Lovers – Make Your Next Brew A Level Ground Trade

Published 12/3/2017 in Surrey604 Magazine

level ground trading, fair trade, victoria bc, coffee, taslim jaffer writer, surrey604

Coffee lovers – pay attention!

Stacey Toews and his team at Level Ground Trading are bringing something incredible to the global economy that is lacking in most transactions – something so powerful it changes the way we think about the products we purchase and our consumer impact.

They are bringing the human narrative into the story.

“There is so much of the global economy that has… read more ❯

The World-Wide Inspiration Behind Surrey’s Light Rail Transit

Published 12/3/2017 in Surrey604 Magazine

LRT, light rail transit, transportation city of surrey, city of surrey, taslim jaffer writer, surrey604

Surrey is the second largest city in British Columbia and by 2041 it is expected that another 300,000 residents will be joining our neighbourhoods. One of the top questions from Surrey residents is, “How are we all going to get around?” We want to know what will happen to our roadways and the infrastructure. And we are concerned that if something isn’t put in place soon, we’ll not only be… read more ❯

How Surrey’s Coastal Flooding Affects The Crescent Beach Community

Published 12/3/2017 in Surrey604 Magazine

coastal flooding, crescent beach, city of surrey, taslim jaffer writer, surrey604

Crescent Beach is a unique landmark, a popular destination among residents of Surrey and surrounding areas, and a community with an extensive history. Because of where it’s situated, there have always been changes to its shoreline and beaches from natural forces. The first dyke at Crescent Beach was constructed in 1913 and since then other layers of protection have been added. However, due to… read more ❯