SURREY – Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society celebrated its 34th anniversary by honouring the Late Mr. Charanpal Singh Gill, the “Founder and Founding CEO” of PICS Society (1987 – 2017), by unveiling a picture/plaque in his honour within the PICS Head Office.
Mayor Doug McCallum unveiled the picture/plaque in the presence of local MLAs, PICS Board members, staff and management, media and other guests. Some of the founding members and founding Board members of PICS were also present at the ceremony. The Mayor acknowledged Mr. Gill’s lifelong accomplishments, dedication, hard work and vision over the years.
In September 1987, Mr. Gill got together with a few friends and decided to start an organization to support and help new immigrants. They collected $80 to register the society. It was Mr. Gill’s vision, tireless work and able leadership that developed PICS into a major community organization in the Lower Mainland, offering multiple programs and services to the community, including language and settlement services, employment programs, housing for seniors, second stage transition home for immigrant women, and many other programs. He was able to take the organization from $80 in 1987 to $8 million in 2017 when he retired.
Speaking at the ceremony, PICS President and CEO, Satbir Cheema said, “Mr. Gill, devoted his entire life to work for the betterment of the community and he firmly believed in people’s democratic rights to live a happy, healthy and prosperous life. He was a mentor, coach, role model, and leader for our generation, and we used to fondly call him ‘Bhaji’ and later on named him ‘The Living Legend’. It was indeed our privilege and honour to have worked with him.”
Serving the Lower Mainland since 1987, PICS has more than 221 employees across 7 locations and will continue in its vision to build a healthy and just society which values and respects all cultures.