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Chaudhry pays warm tribute to former politician

Felix Chaudhary
Monday, June 16, 2014

HUNDREDS gathered in Ba last week to pay tribute to former Alliance Party stalwart Uday Singh.

Mr Singh passed away at the Ba Methodist Mission Hospital on June 7.

Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry, who spoke at the funeral service, said Fiji had lost a great humanitarian and businessman with Mr Singh's passing.

"He was a prominent citizen and had contributed significantly to the development of Ba, particularly in the days of the Alliance government," he said.

"Mr Singh was also a very successful cane farmer and a community worker.

"He was a supporter of Arya Samaj in Fiji and even served as the national president of the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji.

"When the Fiji Labour Party contested in the 1985 election, I lost to Mr Singh by 241 votes, while his brother James Shankar Singh came in third under the National Federation Party ticket."

Mr Singh held the Indian National seat in Ba until the 1987 election and was later appointed to the Senate on May 30, 1994.

He was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his outstanding community work and received his commendation when Queen Elizabeth visited Fiji.

The renowned businessman and his family was one of the largest landowners in the country.

In 1931 his father, the late Jang Bhadur Singh, gave a piece of his land to Motibhai B Patel. It was from here that the Motibhai Group first commenced its business.

Apart from his business ventures and political activities, the late Mr Singh remained heavily involved in community work and was on the board of governors for two schools administered by the Arya Samaj in Ba.

He is survived by his wife Vidya and four children — Alendra who lives on the family estate in Waikubukubu, Shailendra who is an IT lecturer at Latrobe University in Melbourne, Shammi an executive at the ANZ Bank in Melbourne, Raju a pharmacist in Christchurch, New Zealand and eight grandchildren.

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