As thousands of Ugandan-Asian refugees prepare to mark the 50th anniversary of their arrival in Canada later this year after being ousted from Uganda, John Halani will be remembered as the man who helped scores of them resettle in Greater Vancouver, writes award winning journalist and acclaimed author Fabian Dawson in a special column published on May 9, 2022 in the New Canadian Media.
Bestowed the title of Rai by Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, during the Golden Jubilee Year for his devoted services to the Ismaili community, Halani passed away on May 2 at the age of 85, as his fellow Muslims, were celebrating the Eid ul-Fitr at the end of Ramadan.
A leader in Canada’s Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim community, Halani, was the Honorary Consul for Uganda in British Columbia for more than two decades. “He built bridges with his passion for helping others,” said Sam Hirji, a Vancouver-based printer, who was part of the exodus from Uganda, some 50 years ago. “For us Ismailis’ he was the go-to-guy for any and all community projects,” Hirji told New Canadian Media.
Farouk Verjee, a past president of His Highness the Aga Khan Ismaili Council for Canada, said, ““He lived to help others and was a consummate community volunteer from his early days in Uganda and later here in Vancouver with the Immigrant Services Society.”
John Halani’s funeral ceremonies will take place at the Burnaby Lake Jamatkhana on Tuesday, May 10, at 11:45 AM.
Please click He built bridges with his passion for helping others for Fabian Dawson’s tribute to John Halani.
Date posted: May 10, 2022.
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So sorry to hear this sad news. I met John in Masaka in 1967 and kept in touch with him, here, in Canada. He was a good friend to many and will be sorely missed. My sympathies to his family.
John Halani was a good friend of mine and also was a good friend of my son Faisal. He related to me as my elder brother, an adviser and a good friend. Always had time to listen and help. We sure will miss him. A great loss to the Ismaili community of BC, being one of the pillars. A great loss at large for the people of British Columbia.
We pray for his soul to rest in eternal peace.
Dr Mo. Manji
In recognition of John Halani’s friendship, help and contribution to Uganda, Joy Ruth Acheng, the Uganda Ambassador to Canada attended the funeral ceremonies at Burnaby Lake Jamat Khana today!!
I have known John since 1975 and found him very helpful, courteous, and down to earth in all years since knowing him. May Allah bless and rest his soul in eternal peace.