Asa Singh Johal was a Sikh pioneer, titan of industry and philanthropist who helped establish South Asians in B.C.

July 8, 2021

By Vancouver Sun |

When heavy-hitters such as Mac-Blo, Slocan and Doman dominated B.C.’s lumber industry, Asa Singh Johal stood shoulder-to-shoulder with them as the owner of an independent lumber company.

“He was up against giants and he succeeded,” Balwant Sanghera, who knew Johal for 35 years, said. “He was very hard-working, but he was also very humble, he never bragged about anything, he was always very respectful.”

“This guy was an icon, an amazing guy,” said his longtime friend Wally Oppal, who last saw Johal at a service for Oppal’s mother three weeks ago. “The remarkable thing about Asa, he was so successful and he gave so much of his wealth away to philanthropy, but he never ever wanted credit for it.

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