Mr Baldev Singh Padda is a Trustee of Central Gurdwara Singh Sabha Glasgow and has held this position right from its inception in 1981. He has also been President for the Gurdwara on several occasions during the period of 1982-87, and is still actively involved in its day to day activities.
Having been a past President, he is well versed in every aspect of the Gurdwara, and his knowledge and experience is still sought on Gurdwara related matters. He is also an active sewadar for the Gurdwara as well as an Akhand Pahtee (one of the readers of the complete Guru Granth Sahib which is continuously recited from start to its finish 3 days later – an event which is called an ‘Akhand Paht’).
Standing in the Community
Mr Padda is a very well established and liked member of the Glasgow Sikh community. His whole family are very well known throughout Glasgow, and are very highly spoken of, helped significantly by the fact that his children, of particular note – his son Mr Balwinder Padda – have continued with the outstanding community work of their father Mr Padda Senior, to build the excellent reputation that the Padda family name enjoys in Glasgow.
Mr Padda started his new life in the UK in London back in 1957. However, he left there after one year, and moved to Glasgow, where he worked as a bus conductor for the next 10 years or so. After this time, he went into business for himself, by opening a grocery shop along with his friend Mr Mohinder Singh Gill – the Gurdwara‘s current President – and so started their longstanding friendship and partnership. During the 1970s, when they both used to attend the Gurdwara which is now in Nithsdale Road (although at that time it was actually based in different location). However, they both thought that the Gurdwara was too far away for the Sangat in the North of Glasgow to travel to regularly, even although a bus was provided as transport for the Sangat, as it still meant long and slow journeys. They eventually came to the realisation that the only real solution was to open another Gurdwara in the north of the city, and together they organised the purchase of the new property and continued working together for the new Gurdwara. The rest, as they say, is history.
What being a Sikh means to Mr Baldev Singh Padda?
“I have always looked to Sikhism for my direction in how to live my life. I keep my own Guru Granth Sahib Ji at home and read Gurbani regularly. It gives me peace. I have come to realise that there are always two paths to choose from in life. One is to work hard and to serve others. The other is two always think about yourself, and not others. I choose the first path, and I have found that by seeing humanity as my bothers and sisters, and serving them, I have found that it has given me inner peace. I live my life based on the belief that we are born into this World and we are going to die one day. So we only have one short opportunity in which to help and do some positive deeds, and when you look back on your life you can see that you have made a difference. A positive one. So I do whatever I can for them, help with any problems that they might have, as sometimes they may have nobody else to turn to, so I always make myself available for them. Sikhism teaches this.
I say to the whole Sangat that whatever problem they may have, whether personal, marital or other family problem, to write it down on a peace of paper, even anonymously and post it to Gurdwara, and I will take it from there to help. I have had to learn how to live in this world. I have learnt that it is good for you to do something good for others. You get the inner peace as a reward. Everyone needs to learn this for themselves, and they will get that reward too. Teaching this is what the Gurdwara is there for. It is based on selfless service.”