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S. Gajinder Singh Babraa


   "  Gajinder Singh was born on 3 January 1936 to Smt Sheel Kaur in Lahore, which in now in Pakistan.  Gajinder’s father Sardar Narain Singh was running a very successfully established family marble business in Lahore.  Unfortunately during the time of the partition of India in 1947, they had to leave everything behind and move to India for safety and to start life again in Delhi.  Gajinder was eleven at the time and cannot forget the gruesome scenes of the slaughter of people and destruction of property. "

Gajinder’s family when in Lahore and later in India were popularly known and recognised as Pathranwale due to their business in marble.Having had his primary education in Lahore, he continued his secondary education in Delhi.  He went to Panjab University in Amritsar and obtained a BSc degree in 1955.  As was Gajinder’s wish, after gaining work experience in different fields, he came to Britain in 1957 to study architecture at the Brixton School of Building.  It was difficult to fund his education from India due to very strict monetary foreign exchange regulations, so Gajinder took up work first with T P Bennett & Sons and then with Co-operative PlanningLtd, both architectural firms, so that he could fund his education and continue to study as an external student.  He received his BSc BArch degree in 1972 and by this time because of his very good work had already become a team leader at the Co-operative Planning Ltd.  He later became the CEO of the practice. During his time with the Co-operative Planning, to his credit Gajinder designed many housing schemes, community centres, old peoples’ homes, office buildings and churches around the country, as besides the London office, Co-operative Planning had branch offices in Manchester and Liverpool.  Gajinder remembers with great pride the designing of five Mormon churches, the biggest being in London. 

      Gajinder who had the reputation of being a very good leader, a very good architect and a disciplined worker, had the opportunity to serve as a Director of the International Housing Developments.  He has also been an Advisor to the Ministry of Overseas Development for Housing.  After voluntary retirement, Gajinder went into private practice in 1980 and established his own business in the name of Harpreet Developments Ltd.  Whilst in his own practice designing the Sikh Gurdwara South London in Southfield was a landmark in the many projects he did.  He also designed the dome and porche of Shepherds Bush gurdwara.  He was also involved in the renovation work of Ramgarhia Gurdwara in Woolwich and served on its Executive Committee in 1986/87. In their continuing thematic series on Design and Technology, Thames Television made a programme on Places of Worship based on the making of Southfield Gurdwara and Gajinder Singh its architect.  The programme was televised on Channel 4 in November 1992.  The series were about telling and showing secondary school children about what an architect has to know about the requirement and use of the building before designing it.  He also had the opportunity of giving a very informative talk on Gurdwaras and Sikh Architecture to a large London audience.

         Gajinder is married to Davinder Kaur.   Davinder, daughter of Sardar Kehar Singh Panesar and Jaswant Kaur, came to Britain in 1972 during Idi Amin’s expulsion order from Uganda, where she was a secondary school teacher.   In Uganda amongst the many voluntary and community organisations she worked for, she was a County Commissioner for Girl Guides, was on the executive committees of Discharged Prisoners’ Aid Society, Busoga Joint Welfare Advisory Council, Uganda Council for Women, YWCA and YMCA.  Davinder was one of the founder members and vice chair for Sikh Youth Council with its origins in Jinja


    In England, apart from continuing her teaching profession she fully participated in the country’s community work.  She has given talks on Sikhism to several educational institutions and has delivered a very successful training on the subject of Sikhism for teachers of Religious Education at the Brighton Teachers Centre.  She also organised a highly successful programme on Sikh religion and culture for United Reform Church in Maidston, Kent, for the ‘Week of Prayer for World Peace’ and ‘One World Week’.  Davinder has participated in many conferences on ‘Sikh Christian’ dialogue and Inter Faith meetings.  She was invited by the World Council of Churches to speak and to participate in a two week conference on Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation held in Norway. Davinder has served as the first woman General Secretary of the Ramgarhia Sikh Association’s Gurudwara in Woolwich.  She was actively involved in the Greenwich Pensioners Forum the Association of Greater London Older Women.   She worked as a Local Coordinator for London for The British Thyroid Foundation and was also a Trustee to the Foundation for nine years.  She was the first County President of the Girl Guide Association of London South East.  

    Davinder also took part and contributed in the making of a Design and Technology programme on Places of Worship based on the design of gurudwaras.  The programme was made by Tetra Films for Thames Television and was screened on Channel 4.   Davinder is the author of two books, the first one ‘Visiting a Sikh Temple’ and the second one ‘Religion through Festivals – Sikhism.  Both books were published in the United Kingdom. Their son Harpreet Singh is the head of Integrated Management Systems at Ramboll, an international civil engineering company.   Harpreet’s wife Tina is educational psychologist.  Gajinder and Davinder have two grandsons, Jaipal Singh and Nivraj Singh

M  E  S  S  A  G  E  .  .  .
"we have to educate our children about the rich heritage of ramgarhia  "

Address : Meadow ,West London UK

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