A local man with strong ties to both Mission and Abbotsford turns 100 years old May 14.
Paul Singh Dhaliwal left Ludhiana, India on March 7, 1932, arriving in Vancouver May 9, 1932 after a voyage by train and boat.
Dhaliwal wound up in Abbotsford, living with an uncle. Dhaliwal started work three weeks after arriving and worked at a lumber camp in Green Lake, outside of Squamish, eventually working in mills in Duncan, New Westminster and Vancouver.
At this time, Dhaliwal had been participating in local wrestling matches and eventually he began to train professionally. In 1945, after being spotted by a promoter, he toured throughout the United States and locally. This endeavour culminated in a professional wrestling contract, and a scout from Hollywood had spotted Dhaliwal and wanted him to try out for a movie role.
But in 1947, Dhaliwal learned his mother was ill and he returned to India for a few years. While there he married Mohinder Kaur Dhaliwal, and returned to Mission in 1949 to start a trucking business, Paul Bros.
Mohinder arrived in 1950, and they raised six children in Mission.
The business was situated in Mission flats, and changed names to Mission Fuel Ltd.
Dhaliwal delivered fuel to many families in the local area, and as the need for wood and sawdust as home fuel began to drop, he started to work as an independent trucker, eventually retiring in 1998 at the age of 84.
Currently residing in Matsqui, Dhaliwal has over the years been presented with the Order of Abbotsford, Citizen of the Year and has been recognized by the National Historic Gur Sikh Temple and the Khalsa Diwan Society.