We’d like to extend a warm welcome to our three newest Directors: Mark Forsythe, Michael Gibbs and Sharn Sandhra. Mark, Michael and Sharn were appointed to the BCHF Council during our 2017 AGM in Chilliwack. As the bios below indicate, these three individuals bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the table in service of you, our BCHF members.
Mark spent his youth in Ontario, two years in Quebec, then landed his first radio job at CFBV Smithers in 1974. He later joined CBC Radio at Prince Rupert in 1984, moved to Kelowna to help establish a new CBC bureau and joined CBC Vancouver in 1989, hosting CBC Radio current affairs programs, including BC Almanac for 18 years. Mark co-authored four books with listeners about BC history, culture and recreation. The most recent — From the West Coast to the Western Front: British Columbians and the Great War (co-authored by Greg Dickson and published by Harbour) — won the BCHF Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing in 2014. Mark taught Writing for the Media at BCIT for 10 years and retired from the CBC in 2015. He lives in historic Fort Langley, where he volunteers with the Langley Heritage Society, does freelance journalism work and dreams of more travel adventures in BC with his wife Cat. Mark knew he was truly retired after receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Radio & Television News Directors Association.
Michael lives in Cloverdale/Surrey and makes the most of his semi-retirement by immersing himself in his love of local history. He is president of the Surrey Historical Society (SHS), represents the SHS to the Surrey Heritage Society and BC Vintage Truck Museum, and is an active member of the Fraser Valley Historical Railway Society, Langley Heritage Society and BC Genealogical Society. Michael is a passionate advocate on issues of preserving local history, whether it be saving a one-room schoolhouse, writing letters and making presentations to city and school boards, preserving railway heritage with an organized cadre of volunteers, or cooperating with politicians of all levels and working with the municipal resources available. He looks forward to the opportunities that active involvement with the BCHF will bring.
Sharanjit (Sharn) Sandhra
Sharanjit Sandhra has been the Coordinator at the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley for eight years. She also curates exhibits at the Sikh Heritage Museum, located in the National Historical Site Gur Sikh Temple in Abbotsford. Sharn completed her Master of Arts degree in Asian Studies from UBC in 2008 and is currently completing her PhD studies in the Department of History at UBC. Sharn is interested in looking at the affective experience of early Sikh migration in 20th century British Columbia.