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Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

Tribute to Wadahawa Singh Gill

March 6, 2009

House Chamber, Washington, D.C.  March 6, 2009.  M. Speaker:

I rise today in tribute to Rev. Wadahawa Singh Gill, who passed away last week at the age of 87. 

For many years, Rev. Gill was the spiritual leader of the Sikh community in Northern California.  He was an amazing man who not only ministered to the more than 100,000 Sikh faithful in the Sacramento region, he made himself a bridge between the Sikh community and the general public.

No religious group has suffered more at the hands of Islamic extremists than the Sikhs, yet because a turban is part of traditional Sikh clothing, his parishioners suffered greatly from public reaction after the attack of September 11.

It was Rev. Gill who reached out across that gulf of misunderstanding and began a remarkable process of assimilation that has made Sacramento’s Sikh Community an integral part of the interfaith life of Northern California. 

His spiritual leadership will live on not only in the many books that he published, but through the example that he set for those of all faiths who share the Sikh tradition of peace, tolerance and goodwill to all mankind.