A self-confessed ‘proud Bradfordian’ was honoured by Her Majesty the Queen earlier this week in commendation of his dedicated community work.
Ranbir Singh Rai, from Thornbury, is the current elected president of the Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara in the city and was royally invited to a garden party on Tuesday 3rd June at Buckingham Palace.
The avid community worker has lived in Bradford for more than 35 years and tirelessly worked to improve his surroundings, whether it be through his role at the Gurdwara or just as a city resident.
Ranbir has already met prime ministers and politicians in the past, and visits the House of Commons on a yearly basis, yet he says he had never expected to be granted the ‘honour’ of meeting a member of the Royal family.
Speaking before his visit to the capital, he explained how proud and surprised he was when he first received the invitation.
“When I opened the letter I was just shocked,” he said.
“I was standing there in my shop and the postman came in. He gave me this letter and I just thought ‘where has this come from?’
“When I opened it up I was of course very excited and so was my whole family. It will be a real honour for me to meet the Queen and I feel very proud for my family, the Gurdwara and the whole of Bradford.”
Ranbir’s daughter, Sandeep Kaur Ranhawa, added that she spoke for the whole community when she said her father deserves all the plaudits for the amount of work he does.
She said: “It is no surprise to me that he is invited to such a place because I have seen him do so much work which has benefited so many.
“He loves what he does here at the Gurdwara and I know everyone here respects him for that.”
Ranbir is currently serving as president for the Leeds Road based Gurdwara after being elected a fortnight ago. He previously held the position for seven years before leaving the post.