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PRITPAL S. (PAL) CHAWLA Obituary pic


Born: Mar 11, 1942

Date of Passing: May 27, 2021

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March 11, 1942 – May 27, 2021

On May 27, 2021, Pal Chawla -- husband, father, brother, uncle, cousin, dear friend, and badminton legend -- passed away peacefully at the age of 79.
Pal was predeceased by his parents, Bhagwan Singh and Sheila Chawla. Born in Amritsar, India, Pal was the eldest of three children. He is survived by his wife Surinder (nee Grover) and loving daughters, Ami and Puneet (Bryan); sister Manjit Bajaj (Jag) and their children, Seema Bell (Steve) and Jaspal; brother Archie Chawla (Pat) and their children, Sean and Tara; as well as his first cousins, Satinder, Devi, Pinky, Bubli and their spouses and children.
Pal was an incredibly active young man right from the get-go and enjoyed many sports. He began his meteoric rise in badminton at the age of 13 after being fully engrossed in cricket. By the age of 19, he represented India in the Asian Championships and was part of the Gold Medal Winning Team. He once stretched the World's #1 Player (Erland Kops) to a grueling three-game match. Pal was the Manitoba Champion in singles, doubles (Archie) and mixed (Joy Knudsen) - many times over. He also won a Silver Medal in men's singles at the 1971 Canada Winter Games.
With the help of his uncle, Daman Chawla, Pal came to Canada in 1967 to begin his record-setting tenure as a Professional Badminton Coach. Pal was a complete badminton player. Not only with power and fitness but also consistency and patience - qualities that for anyone who had the privilege of knowing Pal, know they ring true to his character as well. His journey started in Winnipeg, MB working at the Wildewood Club from 1967 to 1970. Pal then spent one successful year at the Wascana Winter Club in Regina, SK. While there, Pal received an offer he could not refuse; to take over from his uncle Daman at the Winnipeg Winter Club (WWC), continuing the Chawla Legacy. Pal worked at the WWC for 40 years from 1971 until his retirement in 2011. Pal is still known to be the longest serving Badminton Pro in North American history (44 years). In addition to producing several National, International and Olympic badminton players, Pal was recognized for his coaching history and inducted into the Badminton Canada Hall of Fame in 2016.
Badminton provided Pal with innumerable lifelong friendships. He truly experienced an inordinate amount of joy from mentoring so many, near and far.
Pal married Surinder in 1975 in Amritsar, India and they welcomed two beautiful daughters, Ami and Puneet. Despite working nearly 12-hour days, six to seven days a week, and running tournaments every other weekend, Pal never complained. A common mantra of his was, "Just go with the flow." He enjoyed golfing in his downtime, and always maintained a very close relationship with his family. He provided them with a comfortable life, filled with travel and joy. He also earnestly kept in touch with his extended family and friends no matter where they were and particularly enjoyed a reunion spent in Koh Samui, Thailand. Pal always made time for everyone in his life, even if it made him a little sleepy sometimes - "not tired!" He impacted so many families', friends' and students' lives, both on and off the court. He also found the time to be incredibly social, enjoying "music group" and "card games" on the weekends with Surinder and their close friends. Pal knew the best food in any given city - especially if it was vegetarian and Indian. He lived for inspirational quotes and loved sharing his "Dad-jokes" as often as you'd let him. Pal was a true Winnipegger through and through, endlessly supporting the Blue Bombers and Jets; often sharing this time with his daughter, Puneet.
Pal dedicated much of his life to cultivating his strong will and finding his gentle, kind, and compassionate nature with daily meditation practice through the Science of Spirituality. He developed an intimate relationship with God (Naam) which was truly a source of peace and bliss for his Soul, which is now with Naam and resting in Eternal Light.
The Egyptians used to ask two questions when they spoke of someone passing - did they find joy? and, did they bring joy to others? Pal did both. Even though his physical form has moved on, Pal will continue to live on in our shared memories forever. He will be dearly missed but never forgotten.
Many thanks and our deepest gratitude to the staff on the 4th Floor Geriatric Rehab Unit of Victoria General Hospital - Dr. Kevin Coates, Tanya (Physicians Assistant), Cody (Physio), Melody (OT), Gertrude (Nurse), Mary Anne (Nurse), Rakesh (Nurse), and numerous Health Care Aides. Especially at this difficult time during COVID, you took care of Pal like he was one of your own. Our family sincerely appreciates the excellent care you provided and for allowing us to be with him in his final days.
A private family service and cremation has been held. A public Celebration of life will be held at a later date as public health restrictions allow. Updates on services will be found on Pal Chawla's tribute wall at
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in the Chawla Family's name to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Bardal Funeral Home
Tributes & Condolences:

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jun 05, 2021

Condolences & Memories (7 entries)

  • Our condolences to family of Pal, and to Archie & Pat's family. So sorry to hear of his passing. Pal was an awesome badminton player and a badminton coach. Pal, Archie and Pat were awesome coaches for our high school players whenever we had the opportunity to take them to the excellent camps. Thank you for the experiences with amazing coaches. - Posted by: Lloyd & Jeannette Roche (friend and fan) on: Jun 13, 2021

  • Beautiful tribute to Pal in today's paper. My sincere condolences to all his family and my love to Archie, Pat, Sean & Tara. - Posted by: Audra Szczepanik (Cousin) on: Jun 12, 2021

  • First I just want to say how sorry I am that Pal is no longer with us. My love to his immediate family and to Archie and Pat, Sean and Tara. I had the fortune to work with Pal at the Winter Club for many years when I taught tennis and he was the Badminton pro there. We had such great conversations and he mentored me on how to run great tennis ladders and leagues for the members. He was so experienced and knowledgeable about running a successful program. I so enjoyed our conversations. He also would recommend great Indian restaurants for me to go to for lunches. The newspaper article by Geoff Kirbyson in today's paper (June 12th) is such a great reminder of how talented Pal was and how accomplished. I didn't realize that Pal and my paths crossed first at the 1972 Canada Winter Games, me for Figure Skating and him for Badminton. As always I would have loved to sit with him to chat and reminisce again about our time working together but instead, I will just have to relive those special memories in my mind. My love and condolences to all who knew and loved him. Shawnee - Posted by: Shawnee Scatliff (friend and former colleague) on: Jun 12, 2021

  • It is with great fondness the I, and my family, remember Pal. We all took lessons and were encouraged no matter how well, or badly (me), we played. Pal was amazing in teaching badminton and teaching about grace in the face of certain frustration, I am sure, with a few of his less attentive students, me being one of them. In later years my mother would see him at the WWC and have a short conversation as he dashed off to teach and when he retired, when he simply came to exercise. She would then call me and tell me that she had seen "Pal" and had a short natter. My mother, Donna, remembers her last conversation with Pal and his wife at VGH about a year ago, where they were both receiving treatment, again with great fondness, and again calling me to say that she had seen Pal and had a short natter "just to catch up". He was a wonderful man, devoted to his family and to his craft. Our deepest sympathy to Pal's family. He will be missed. - Posted by: Sidney Macaw (student) on: Jun 06, 2021

  • I met Pal many years ago while doing some renovation work at his house, and I did renovations for Pal for many years afterwards. Pal had a big heart, a very generous man, and typically, a very nice person. Pal will always be with you. First in his life, then forever in your memory. We express our sincere condolences to the family. Barney & Rose - Posted by: Barney Couture (Friend) on: Jun 05, 2021

  • Pal was my coach at two very different times. With his arrival at the WWC in the early 1970s, he coached me as a junior. Lessons consisted of playing singles for an hour -- where he ran me ragged and occasionally let me have serve, but never let me have a point. (He would then go from my lesson to those with my friends where he tirelessly and with great patience repeated "the lesson"). In the early 2000s, when I returned to badminton, there he was. And again, we would go out on the court and he would run me ragged, though he had changed the routine -- I did all the running and he just stood in one place and fed shots all over the court, always perfectly placed to get me out of position. Pal, of course, was still coaching juniors in those later years but it was a huge loss to them that they never got to see him play in tournaments, And of course no You Tube videos to record it for posterity. One word describes Pal's style of play: graceful. In a game that has come to stress aggression and power, watching Pal play was like watching a complex dance with his gentle, flowing movement and an emphasis on outwitting the opponent tactically rather than overpowering him with blunt force. The matches where he and Archie were either on the same side of the court (in doubles) or on opposite side (in mixed) were epic. I still remember them. To the family, thank you so very much for sharing Pal with all of us over the years. While I didn't appreciate it as a teenager, when I returned to the sport years later, all those nights and weekends that he spent with his athletes and not with you did not go unnoticed, at least by me. Know that there are hundreds throughout the country who are sharing your grieve. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Pal will be missed. - Posted by: Tom Saunders (Former athlete and always friend) on: Jun 05, 2021

  • Fond wishes for comfort from your beautiful memories. The Baizley/Ryding family. - Posted by: Lesley Baizley (Friend) on: Jun 05, 2021

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