Jubilee winner rejects honour

White Rock author Pummy Kaur has given back her Queen
White Rock author Pummy Kaur has given back her Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.
— image credit: Contributed photo

White Rock author, retired educator, political candidate and community activist Pummy Kaur has said “thanks, but no thanks” to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Kaur, author of What Would Gandhi Do? said she is returning the medal – presented to her at a Feb. 1 ceremony at Surrey’s Grand Taj Banquet Hall – as a matter of conscience, protesting the British monarchy’s historic subjugation of many peoples around the world, including her native India and Canada’s First Nations.

The event, hosted by Surrey NDP MLAs Harry Bains, Jagrup Brar, Sue Hammell and Bruce Ralston, and NDP MP Jasbir Sandhu, included presentation of medals to 45 local residents, as part of 60,000 being distributed across the country to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 60-year reign.

In a Feb. 1. letter sent to Gov. Gen. David Lloyd Johnston returning the medal, Kaur said she attended the ceremony that same day “only to show my respect and gratitude to those in my community who saw value to my existence and in my contributions to making Canada and the world a better place.”

Kaur said she would be “delighted” to have the medal returned to her “when the British monarchy apologizes and makes restitutions to all the nations it violently and insidiously invaded, occupied and decimated for its own benefit.”

She told Peace Arch News, “I have to be able to look my children in the eye,” noting she is not anti-monarchy or disrespectful of the present Queen, but wants past “wrongs to be acknowledged and rectified.”

Kaur noted that many members of her family "stood with Gandhi" in his resistance to the British Raj, before India won its independence in 1947.

"My ancestors spent time in prison for trying to free India," said Kaur.


We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

ICBC frauds include fires, faked thefts
More than 30 per cent of Fraser babies not fully vaccinated
Retailers demand province abandon separate transit tax
Surrey mom who hired hit men to kill ex-husband freed from jail
Plastic barrier testing begins to shield Metro Vancouver bus drivers
Man dies in fiery dump truck crash on Highway 99
City staff asked to research whether White Rock pier holds national record
Officer ‘shot taxi after being struck’
LETTERS: No longer a peace-loving nation

Community Events, January 2015

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jan 29 edition online now. Browse the archives.