Ajaib Jab Sidhoo, long known as “Jab”, came to Canada at age seven from the Punjab province of India. He attended a one-room school on Vancouver Island and worked in a saw mill when he wasn’t in school. A budding entrepreneur, Jab saved his pay from the mill and bought a car when he was 15, which he used to start a delivery business! In 1939, his family moved to Vancouver and Jab attended Vancouver Technical School here before joining the Canadian Air Force during World War II. After the war, in 1948, Jab returned to Vancouver and began his business, East India Carpets.
It was while touring a carpet factory in India, that same year, Jab met and fell in love with Nirmal Dutt, nicknamed “Munni.” The two married and Jab brought Munni to Vancouver where they grew the family business. They started with very little but together built a thriving business which is still operated by their children today.
Jab was very community-minded and was an early fan and a life-long season ticket holder for the BC Lions from the earliest days of the team’s existence. Munni was outgoing and social and, over the years and decades, their lives were filled with friends, family, dinner parties and neighbourhood get-togethers.
When Munni passed away at St. Paul’s in 2002, after many years as a patient of the dialysis unit, Jab decided he needed to do something special for the hospital as a memorial to his beloved wife and in thanks for the excellent care she received. After considerable thought and discussion, Jab decided he wanted to help fund cardiovascular research at St. Paul’s by providing a permanent endowment fund which would produce an annual research award for a scientist/physician in the early stages of their career. The Ajaib (Jab) and Nirmal (Munni) Sidhoo Charities Endowment Fund was launched in 2004 and continues to provide funding for researchers at the Heart Lung Institute at St. Paul’s. Through his will, Jab made one last contribution to the Fund. Our thanks go out to Jab, Munni and their family for this very special gift.