Om Parkash Sachdeva died in his sleep on September 29, 2019 at Victoria General Hospital, Victoria, British Columbia. He was 94 years old.
Om was a devoted husband to Swadesh for more than 64 years, a wonderful and supportive father to Ajay (Tracy), Priti and Atul (Ariadna) and a loving grandfather to Travis, Jade, Abigail and Avrielle. He was predeceased by his brothers, Dr. Tilak Sachdeva, Dr. Krishan Sachdeva and Mr. Justice Surrinder Sachdeva, and sister, Mrs. Bimla Verma. Om was greatly admired by many nieces and nephews, and their children and grandchildren, in Canada, Kenya, India, UK, Australia and the USA.
Om was born in Kenya, the second son of Ram Lall and Maya Devi (nee Chabbra) who had emigrated from India in the 1920s. Ram Lall had no formal education and impressed upon his children the importance of education. Om taught school for 5 years to save money to attend law school in London, England. In 1948, he traveled to London by sea, a two week journey. He obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of London and became a barrister-at-law of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, London. Om was called to the bar in England in 1951 and Kenya in 1952. He practised law in Kenya with his youngest brother until the latter was appointed to the bench. Om was also appointed to the bench and served as resident magistrate from 1963-1968.
In 1968, at the age of 43, Om immigrated to Canada, a country he loved so well. He was proud of having come to Canada as an independent immigrant. The family lived in Toronto while Om articled at the law firm that was then called Blake, Cassels and Graydon. Following his call to the bar in Ontario in 1970, Om took the first job he got, which was to run the Beamsville office of Reid, McNaughton, a law firm based in St. Catharines. He became a partner of the firm, where he practised law until his retirement in 1992.
Om and Swadesh wholeheartedly embraced their new home and the community of Beamsville. They never looked back and focused on building a new life and better future for their family in Canada. Long after he retired, former clients dropped by to seek Om’s sage counsel and “life advice”.
For all of his life, Om was committed to community service and volunteerism. He served in many capacities with Lions International, including as District Governor, and was on the board of the Walker YMCA in St. Catharines. Om was also involved with many other community organizations, including the Folk Arts Council in St. Catharines and the Arya Samaj (Vedic Church) in Burlington, Ontario.
Although he will be sorely missed, we are grateful that we had Dad in our lives for as long as we did. We are also extremely thankful to Mom for taking such good care of him over the years, and to Atul and Ariadna for the care and support they have provided since Dad moved to Victoria in 2015.
We also wish to thank the staff at Victoria General Hospital, Dr. Marlene Muller, Dr. Wayne Gruber (St. Catharines) and the late Dr. Nemi Pillay (Beamsville). Many thanks also to the wonderful caregivers, friends and neighbours in Beamsville and Victoria for the loving care and support they provided to Dad and the family.
If desired, donations in Om’s memory may be made to the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides, the Canadian Diabetes Association or a charity of your choice.