Sardar Sarabjit Singh Ahlu- walia

Sardar Sarabjit Singh Ahlu- walia

Sardar Sarabjit Singh Ahlu- walia, known in the Post Office Circle as Sarabjit, was born in Lahore (now Pakistan) on 3rd July 1927.
On 18th August, 1943, he start- ed work as a temporary clerk in Nairobi Post Office but was trans- ferred to Kampala on 31st July 1945, where he worked with the Post Office until his retirement as Senior Assistant Post Office Controller for East Africa, on 8th January 1972. He worked at vari- ous Post offices including Mbarara (1947), Fort Portal, Keliro near Jinga, and Gulu. When he was at Keliro, a small Post office, one of his bosses who recognized him said it was a mistake to put Sarab- jit in that branch as his abilities were being wasted.

In December 1953, after spending some six months at Keliro, he was trans- ferred and promoted as Registry Clerk in Kampala.
In May 1958, he was transferred to Mbarara as the Overseer. His reports were so excellent that his bosses felt that he was bribing someone until they sent someone to double-check his work. He had wonderful recommendations. They found that his reports were indeed true and commendable. He was therefore transferred to Fort Portal in 1960 as the Super- intendent Post Master. He took over from his own brother, Kuldip Singh, who returned to Kenya after spending some two years in Uganda. It was said at the time, eAst AFRICAn Post AnD teLeCoMMUnICAtIons.that it was the first time in the his- tory of Post Office that a younger brother took over a senior posi- tion from an elder brother.

In 1962, Sarabjit was transferred to Kampala head office as Acting Post Office Controller. In 1968, he was promoted to Senior As- sistant Post Office Controller for East Africa. In those days, all these head offices of Post Office and Railways were situated in Nairobi, but in 1969, under Idi Amin’s rule, the head office was transferred to Kampala.
Sarabjit said that the Post Office operated brilliantly and was very much a British system except for the fact that they had no home delivery system. It was all based upon post box numbers. It pro- vided excellent service and he seemed very proud of his organi- zation.

In 1962, Sarabjit was the secretary of the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gu- rudwara, Kampala, from where he served the Sikh community.