Saran Singh was born on 10th March 194 in Kuala Lumpur. He was educated at St. Gabriel’s School, an Anglican Missionary School in Kuala Lumpur. He joined the Ministry of Defence in April 1964 and retired in March 1992 after 28 years of service. During his youth, Saran was affectionately called Sukhrajan Singh, a name that is more familiar to his childhood friends. Saran’s father, the late Dhan Singh (1886 – 1954) came from village Dalla, Tehsil Jagraon, District Ludhiana in the Malwa region of Punjab. His mother, the late Gurdial Kaur (1910 – 1989) was from the village Dabri Khana (renamed Gobindgarh) near Jaito in Faridkot, Punjab.

Numismatist / Author

On 1st January 1967, Saran Singh married Amarjit Kaur Grewal (daughter of the late Najer Singh Grewal (1918 – 1982) village (Ratan) Lekho Gedowal, Ludhiana and the late Dalip Kaur (1922 – 1978) village Dhal Majra, Ludhiana) at the Gurdwara Sahib Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. By God’s grace, he has been blessed with five children, Dalwinder Singh Sidhu, the late Balwinder Singh Sidhu, Kiranjit Kaur Sidhu, Selinderjit Kaur Sidhu and Sharen Kaur Sidhu.

Saran entered the field of Numismatics in 1969 at a time when this hobby was in its infancy in Malaysia. He spent many years doing extensive research on the currency of the Straits Settlements, Sarawak, British North Borneo (Sabah), Malaya, Singapore Merchant Tokens, the native tin and gold coinage of the Malay States (Bidor, Tampang, Animal currency, Keping, Pitis, Katun, Tra, Mas, Kupang and Jokoh etc.), the tin/lead coinage of the Sultanate of Brunei, the currency notes of the private banks in the Straits Settlements and lastly, the Sikh coins of the Punjab (1711 – 1849). Numerous articles and various books on the coinage of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei by Saran were published by the Malaysia Numismatic Society over the years.

Saran’s other major interests also include photography, collecting baby feeding bottles in glass and humorous postcards.

On 23rd June 1979, Saran Singh was awarded the Ahli Mangku Negara (A.M.N.) (Member of the Most Distinguished Order of the Defender of the Realm) by His Majesty D.Y.M.M., S.P.B. Yang Di Pertuan Agong Tuanku Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah, the Seventh Paramount Ruler of Malaysia, on the occasion of His Majesty’s birthday.

In 1979, Saran was also made a Fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society, London. On 3rd December 1989, Saran was bestowed with the P.N.M. (Pakar Numismatik Malaysia) by the Malaysia Numismatic Society in recognition of his contributions to Malaysian Numismatics.

On 9th June 2007, Saran was awarded the Ahli Mahkota Perak (A.M.P.) by DYMM Pduka Seri Sultan Azlan Mihibbuddin Shah, Sultan of the State of Perak in recognition of his literary contributions.
In 2003 Saran’s dream of preparing a well illustrated book on all the Sikh Gurdwaras (Temples) in Malaysia and Singapore was accomplished with the publication of “Sikh Gurdwaras in Malaysia and Singapore 1873 – 2003”.

In 2005, Saran wrote a well illustrated 454 pages biography on Malaysia’s most respected and beloved Sikh Sant titled “Sant Baba Sohan Singh Ji of Malacca 1902 – 1972 – His Life and Times”

Saran Singh served as Honorary Secretary of the Malaysia Numismatic Society from 1971 to 1984 and its Second Vice President from 1984 to 1992 .He was also M.N.S. Bulletin Editor for many years. Saran retired from the numismatic scene in Malaysia in 1992 and left for Canada.

Saran has also served in the Gurdwara Sahib Jalan Sungei Besi (Sha’pa), Kuala Lumpur as Honorary Auditor for 35 years from 1963 to 1987 and 1993 to 2002. He also served as a Honorary Treasurer in this Gurdwara Sahib for 5 years from 1987 to 1992.
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