Tributes paid to 'generous and caring' community leader who lived to help others
A Sikh community leader who helped hundreds of people gain UK citizenship when they first arrived in Britain has died at the age of 86.
Master Malkiat Jaspal moved to the UK in 1963 and settled in Wolverhampton, where he worked for many years as a crane driver for GKN.
He became widely respected for his voluntary work, assisting immigrants from India and Pakistan to complete and file the documents required to ensure they could remain in the UK.
His son, Wolverhampton councillor and former Mayor Milkinder Jaspal, said: "He always wanted to help others to settle in and never once charged them a penny.
"He was an extremely generous and caring man and as a family we are really proud of him."
Master Malkiat Jaspal was born in 1934 in the village of Isharwal, India, the son of Sardar Hukam Singh and Sardarni Amar Kaur Rai.
His mother died protecting him from a runaway horse when he was young. His father was a Lambardar and Safedposh Zamindar – a landlord and regional leader who controlled 32 villages.
Master Malkiat Jaspal initially worked as a maths teacher in his village school and was part of the Indian reserve army.
He married Sardarni Nashatar Kaur in 1952 and moved to England the following year, arriving in Gravesend and securing his first job immediately, helping to build the Dartford Tunnel.
After a few weeks he moved to Wolverhampton, where he bought a house which he shared with an Indian family and a Jamaican family.
He put his literacy skills to good use in his spare time, helping immigrants who could not read and write to prepare citizenship applications and advising them of their rights.
He valued education highly, and all five of his children went on to attain university degrees. A keen dog owner, he kept German Shepherds and also enjoyed gardening and cooking.
Master Malkiat Jaspal died peacefully at 8.30am on June 21 in his own room at home, with his two great grandchildren playing in front of him.
He is survived by five children and 11 grandchildren.
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