The Punjabi Society of The British Isles (PSBI) held its 90th Anniversary Celebration Dinner at the InterContinental Hotel, Park Lane, London in support of Combat Stress, an Armed Force’s charity looking after the mentally traumatised soldiers on 31st October 2018.
The President of the Punjabi Society of the British Isles, Dr Atul Pathak OBE along with Dr Rami Ranger CBE, Patron, introduced the Guest of Honour, Rt. Hon. Penny Mordaunt MP, Secretary of State for International Development.
The Rt. Hon. Penny Mordaunt MP, in her address thanked the Punjabi Society of the British Isles President, Patrons, Executive Committee and the guests in attendance. She applauded the hard work and dedication of the Punjabi Community and its contribution to Britain and how pleased she was that the designated charity for the annual dinner was Combat Stress, the charity for war veterans who in particular have suffered mental trauma in the line of duty.
The Welcome Address was given by Dr Atul Pathak OBE, President of the PSBI. Dr Pathak OBE, spoke about how the PSBI in celebrating its 90th anniversary, had played a formidable role as a Community organisation for the Punjabi community and for the work it has carried out to support the good causes within the UK and how proud he was that Combat Stress was the designated charity for the 90th Celebration Dinner for the PSBI. He further highlighted that being Punjabi cuts across all boundaries and represents people of all faiths and beliefs. Dr Pathak said Punjabis are true to their word, supporting their family, friends, community and above all their country and how proud Punjabis are to call Britain their home and their duty to contribute to our great nation.
Hon. Richard Harrington MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Business, Innovation and Industrial Strategy, paid tribute to the Punjabi Community and in particular to the PSBI Members, President Dr Atul Pathak OBE, Patrons Dr Rami Ranger CBE, Mr Anil Sharma and Dr Ravi Gidar. The Minister mentioned how the Punjabi Community shared universal values and are an asset to Britain.
Chairman of Combat Stress- Lieutenant General Andrew Graham, highlighted the most important work carried out by Combat Stress, and how the charity supports veterans who are suffering from mental trauma. He mentioned the need for society to support such good causes and reminded the guests of the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces and how poignant it was with this year being the First World War Centenary anniversary.
Dr Ravi Gidar, Patron of the PSBI, took on the unenviable task as the auctioneer for the charity auction, he showed great skill and fortitude to help raise the bidding from the guests to achieve the most for Combat Stress. Dr Gidar did not stop there after the auction was completed; he looked to raise further funds for Combat Stress through the seeking of pledges from the guests, he was able to raise a further several thousand pounds for the charity. The target figure of £20,000 was raised to the delight of the PSBI and the Combat Stress Charity.
The highlight of the event was the announcing of the winners of the Pride of Punjab Awards. The citations for the recipients was read by the Vice President, Mr Ajay Chadha. The Pride of Punjab Awards for 2018 being presented by Rt.Hon. Sajid Javid MP, Home Secretary to Superintendent Davinder Singh Kandohla, for his outstanding contribution to Community Policing and his popularity as a highly regarded senior officer by his peers.
The second recipient was Mr. Jasminder Singh OBE, his Pride of Punjab Award was given for his outstanding contribution to the hospitality industry and philanthropy. Due to tragedy in the family he could not collect the award in person and it was collected on his behalf by his daughter Karishma Singh.
The third recipient of the 2018 Pride of Punjab Award was the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Home Secretary. The Home Secretary was presented his Award by the Chairman of Combat Stress- Lieutenant General Andrew Graham. The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP mentioned how delighted he was to have received the award and how proud he was to be a Punjabi. He dedicated the Award to all Punjabis, the grandparents, parents and children, all of whom have played a significant role in contributing to Britain as Punjabis.
The Vote of Thanks was given by Patron Mr Anil Sharma, he thanked the President in holding such a successful 90th Anniversary event, the Guest of Honour Rt. Hon. Penny Mordaunt MP, Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid MP, Rt. Hon. Theresa Villers, Hon. Richard Harrington MP, Mr Virendra Sharma MP, Mr Paul Scully MP, Mr Mike Freer MP, Mr Alan Mak MP, Lieutenant General Andrew Graham. He further thanked caterers Ragas an, Zee TV, B4U TV, Venus TV, the Gatsby Girls, the Angle dancers and violinist Marsha Skinns for the most enjoyable entertainment. In closing he thanked the guests in making the Annual dinner a grand success and for their support in raising the £20,000 for Combat Stress