Devoted family and business leader leaves lasting legacy
Dr. Asa Johal’s legacy of generosity and helping others
Dr. Asa Johal immigrated from India to Canada in 1924 as an infant; from humble beginnings he arrived with big dreams and a strong sense of family. Those values became foundational guide posts for personal and business endeavours as Dr. Johal developed into a visionary and philanthropist. Through the challenges and successes of life, Dr. Johal would go on to create a legacy that would live on for years to come.
At age 14, Dr. Johal left school and began working at a local sawmill. It was the first step towards accomplishing his dream—to one day own a lumber mill. Perseverance, integrity and a strong work ethic drove the industrialist to start his own independent lumber company in the mid 1960s. Terminal Forest Products would go on to become one of the largest lumber companies in British Columbia.
As Dr. Johal’s business grew, so too did his family and their strong desire to support the community around them. Along with his wife, Kashmir, Dr. Johal demonstrated the importance of philanthropy to his family and employees, giving generously to many organisations and communities, including BC Children’s Hospital Foundation for the past three decades. He believed deeply in supporting initiatives that continued to elevate health care for BC’s kids and strived to improve the lives of those being cared for by the hospital.
Thirty years ago, in 1991, Dr. Johal was presented with the Order of BC and the Order of Canada, a well-deserved accomplishment for a man who made remarkable contributions to the province of BC while staying true to his cultural roots and important values.
In July 2021, Dr. Johal passed away at the age of 98. Those who had the privilege of knowing him recall his incredible spirit, drive for excellence and passion for helping others. His and his family’s generosity will continue to transform the lives of BC’s kids for years to come.
This article was originally featured in the Fall 2021 issue of Shine magazine.