Councillors from all three main parties have paid tribute to former Councillor Akber Sarguroh who died on 27 February 2009, aged 85. The tributes were paid at the Council meeting on 2 March.
Akber was born in India but he came to Britain in 1947. He was Labour councillor for Willesden Green ward from 1990-1994 and for Brentwater (now Dollis Hill) ward from 1998-2002. He was the Deputy Mayor of Brent from 2001-2002.
Labour Opposition Leader, Councillor Ann M John, OBE knew Akber well. Ann said:
“Akber founded the Kokni Muslim Welfare and Youth Organisation but he cared passionately for everybody in Brent’s diverse multi-cultural community. He particularly championed the rights of young people and organised sports days for young people each year. His other great interest was in housing where he campaigned for more affordable housing in the borough. He was a kindly, modest man who preferred gentle persuasion to shouting the odds. He will be greatly missed and our hearts go out to his sons who survive him.”
Akber Khan Sarguroh – In Memoriam
Akber Khan Sarguroh, who has died aged 85, began his working life in the United Kingdom in 1947, as a sponsored research chemist at the Lansil Company in Lancaster. For the next fifty five years he was involved with local politics , community and charity work.
He was born in Panhalje, Maharashtra, India, the oldest son of a farmer, and was educated at the Royal Institute of Science (Bombay University) where he obtained a BSc in chemistry and physics.
As a young man in Bombay he was already active in social and community matters helping poor Hindus, Dalits (untouchables) and Muslims attain schooling in his home district.
On leaving Bombay University in 1944, Akber took up the role of a Civil Supply Inspector for the Indian Government, detecting and prosecuting those in contravention of the then Anti-Hoarding Measures. At this time he also undertook his own court cases, after studying at the Government Law College. He left this role in 1946 to become a Science School Teacher at the newly founded Muslim secondary school at Camp Dapoli in Maharashtra.
After Indian Independence, his sponsorship at Lansil, by the Sirsilk Hyderabad Construction Company, was eventually curtailed in 1950. For the next three years similar work was hard to come by for this young Asian man.
Akber became the South East England distributor for a Yorkshire based chemical firm in 1953, at which he developed a non caustic decarboniser for bakeries and motor engines. He used this experience to set up his own Baking Equipment business in North West London which he ran from 1967 until 1992.
By the mid-1960s he had become active in the Labour party, supporting both local and government elections of various candidates in Brent. A little later he was involved in the foundation of the Kokni Muslim Welfare & Youth Organisation, which aided and represented peoples from his region in India, who had newly settled in the UK.
He was elected as a Brent councillor in the periods of 1990-94, and 1998-2002, participating in numerous Council Committees; culminating in being elected as Deputy Mayor of Brent in the latter period.
After retirement in 1992, Akber spent his time assisting Brent Council, the Indian association, and Muslim organisations; in addition, he was involved with local community concerns such as the Ealing Family Housing Association, the Metropolitan Police Committee, the Gladstone Park Sports Club and Anson Primary School, where he was a Governor.
Akber was proud to be associated with many different communities, whatever their origins, and was zealous in his support of the underprivileged and worse-off. His impact and influence in the local community was reflected by a very large attendance at his Funeral at the West Hendon Mosque. He will be greatly missed by people from all parts of the local communities in Brent and beyond.
In January Akber had a TIA stroke, from which he seemed to recover well. By mid February he had a relapse, and after a short illness, passed away at the Royal Free Hospital.
Akber Khan Sarguroh, politician and community organiser, born 2 May 1923; died 27 February 2009.
He is survived by his two sons, Andrew and Haroon, and former wife, Jutta.Other news from Brent Labour