September 15, 1958 – September 21, 2010
Sindi Satinder Kaur Ahluwalia Hawkins passed peacefully with her loving family by her side on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 in Calgary Alberta.
Sindi was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in January 2004. She was a courageous and determined warrior through her six and a half year battle, undergoing two stem cell transplants from her sister Seema. She selflessly and tirelessly dedicated her life to helping others, as a nurse, an MLA and an advocate to raise awareness for cancer and the importance of blood and stem cell donations particularly among ethnic communities.
Sindi was born on September 15, 1958 in New Delhi, India to Manohar Singh and Sharanjeet Kaur Ahluwalia. She immigrated with her family to Canada in 1963 and grew up on the “prairies” in Sturgis, SK and spent many years living in Saskatoon and Calgary before finally settling in her beloved Kelowna in the late 1980’s. Before being elected to provincial office in British Columbia Sindi was a registered nurse in general duty, intensive care, management, education and consulting. She also had a post-graduate certificate in neuroscience nursing from the Montreal Neurological Hospital. She was recognized as one of the first nurses in Canada to be certified in neuroscience nursing by the Canadian Nurses Association. She then earned a law degree from the University of Calgary and set up her own company as a lawyer with an interest in medical-legal issues.
Sindi was first elected to the British Columbia legislature in 1996 and was re-elected in 2001 and 2005. She served as the MLA for Okanagan-West and Kelowna-Mission from 1996 to 2009. After first being elected in 1996 she started the annual Sindi Hawkins and Friends Charity Golf Classic for Cancer Care, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the local cancer agency. During her tenure she served as Deputy Speaker, Minister of State for Intergovernmental Relations and Minister of Health Planning. As Minister of Health Planning, she was responsible for a long-term strategy to train more doctors and nurses in British Columbia. As a result of this planning, BC added medical school campuses at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, the University of Victoria and at UBC Okanagan in Kelowna. Through her efforts she was able to expand the number of nurses being trained around the province. On the day of her passing, Premier Gordon Campbell announced that the BC Southern Interior Cancer Centre will be named the Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins Cancer Center as a lasting legacy of her kindness, her passion for helping others and her generosity of spirit.
Since her own leukemia diagnosis in 2004, Sindi was a tireless supporter of the cancer cause. As co-chair of the BC Cancer Foundation’s Tour of Courage in 2007 and with a new endowment fund, she helped raise millions of dollars for the BC Cancer Foundation.
Sindi is survived by her parents Manohar Singh and Sharanjeet Ahluwalia of Calgary; her sister Rupie (Dr. Ashok) Sachdeva and their children Rajeev of Saskatoon, SK, Nikki of Philadelphia, U.S.A. and Sonny of Calgary, AB; sister Moni (Allan) Snell and sons, Michael, of Kelowna, BC, Robert of Regina, SK; sister Seema Ahluwalia (Carl Boneshirt) and son Mahto of Vancouver, BC; sister Pamela (Scott) Anderson and their children, Amber, Justin and Joshua of Regina, SK; and beloved brother Lakhvinder (Lucky) Ahluwalia of Kelowna, BC; as well as many relatives and friends around the world.
A memorial service will be held at the Radisson Hotel (2120 – 16 Avenue N.E.) on Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. At 4:00 p.m. prayers will commence at the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Sikh Centre on 81st Street & 7th Ave (Old Banff Coach Road) SW, Calgary followed by Guru ka Langar. As well, at a later date a memorial service will be held in Kelowna, BC. You may forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, the family would appreciate donations in Sindi’s memory to the Sindi Hawkins & Friends Education and Endowment Fund care of the BC Cancer Foundation in the Southern Interior or donations of blood or stem cells through Canadian Blood Services to “save a life” in order to continue Sindi’s legacy to help others fight and beat cancer.
In living memory of Hon. Satinder Ahluwalia a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park, Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot Chapel, 82 CROWFOOT CIRCLE N.W. Telephone: (403) 241-0044.Print This Obituary & Condolences