Death of Dr HB Singh in London solemnly remembered

The Singh family members Narend, Suren, Vanesh, Rajen, Johnny, Laloo Martin, Preetham and Sudhama.

The recent get-together of the Singh family of Umkomaas was different in many ways. Some 72 years ago, young Harry Singh (23) emigrated to Birmingham and pursued his studies in medicine.

Having qualified as a doctor, he practised medicine in the UK.

Dr Singh and his family were in regular contact with their counterparts in South Africa and vice versa. Born on July 25 1922, the retired doctor passed away on April 5, last year and his cremated remains (ashes) were in safe keeping.

Dr Singh’s son Martin, a lawyer who recently came to SA with his wife Nikki and two children, Harry Singh Junior (17) and Zara (13), said that although his late father had settled in the UK, his heart was always in Umkomaas.

The historical background is that the patriarch of the family, Bendasari Singh arrived from India in April 1890 and at first worked on a sugar cane farm in Port Shepstone.

Later, having acquired a piece of land he relocated to this property on the banks of the Umkomaas River.

The property on which the Sappi mill is presently situated once belonged to the Singh family.

Respecting the historical and emotional ties, Martin said that the family felt that it was only fitting and proper that their late father’s ashes be disposed of in Umkomaas. Hence the recent family visit to South Africa.

MP Narend Singh paid tribute to his late uncle, Dr HB Singh on this solemn occasion when close family members assembled on the banks of the Umkomaas river.

Together they performed the ceremonial disposing of the ashes into the flowing waters. Whilst it is rare to bring the ashes of a deceased relative from abroad to the land of birth, the little ceremonial occasion helped to bring closure to the family in South.

MSCRS Reporter

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