Nirmal Singh Rihal India Canada Kenya

Biography of Nirmal Singh Rihal

Nirmal Singh Rihal at Auchendennan Freshers' Camp, September 1949
Nirmal Singh Rihal at Auchendennan Freshers' Camp, September 1949

Nirmal Singh Rihal graduated MBChB from the University in 1955.

He was born in Bhattian, Punjab, India, son of Banta Singh, a government civil servant. Rihal received his education at the Government Indian Primary School in Nairobi, Kenya (to where the family had moved) and also the Khalsa High School in Ludhiana, Punjab. With a Kenyan government bursary, Rihal enrolled at the University of Glasgow in 1949 to study Medicine.

Rihal went on to practice in Aberdeen and the north midlands before returning to Kenya. In 1963, he obtained a Diploma in Public Health at the University of Toronto and relocated his family to Manitoba, where he worked as Medical Officer of Health. He was among the earliest Sikh immigrants to Manitoba, playing a role in the Sikh community, and is said to have been involved in Manitoba becoming the first jurisdiction in North America where Sikhs could legally wear turbans rather than helmets while riding motorcycles and bicycles.

Rihal retired in 1991 as Chief Epidemiologist for the Province of Manitoba, and passed away in 2011.


Other Online Resources

Archival Materials

  • DC225/1/52 Medical Final Year Dinner Book, 1949-1955
  • DC382/5/1/4/3 Auchendennan Freshers' Camp September 1949
  • University of Glasgow Archives Overseas Database


Nirmal Singh Rihal
Born 2 December 1929.
Died 5 August 2011.
GU Degree: MBChB, 1955; Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences,
University Link: Alumnus, Graduate
Occupation categories: physicians
English snippet: Medical graduate of the University of Glasgow in 1955
Record last updated: 25th Sep 2013

Country Associations

India India, Hoshiarpur
Place of Birth

Canada Canada, Manitoba, Selkirk
Place of Death

Kenya Kenya, Nairobi

University Connections

University Roles

  • Alumnus
  • Graduate