Professor (Retired), Saint Mary’s University & Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS. Born: South Africa.
Dr. Bridglal Pachai taught at universities in Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria and Gambia during the course of his career. In Canada, he has held senior positions at universities, cultural agencies, and on government commissions from 1975-1997.
Highlights: Equity Consultant and Ombudsman, Nova Scotia Power Corp. (1994-95); Executive Director, Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission (1989-94); Director, Black Cultural Centre (BCC)/Nova Scotia (1985-89); Dean, Faculty of Arts and Islamic Studies, University of Nigeria (1979-85); Director, International Education Centre, Saint Mary’s University (1977-79); Senior Killam Professor, History, Dalhousie University (1975-77); Dean, Head and Professor of History, University of Malawi (1965-75).
Affilations: Board, Public Archives of Nova Scotia; Director, Vision TV (1995-2000); Multicultural Association of Nova Scotia; Founding Chair, Literacy Nova Scotia (1988-89); Member, Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (1989- 92).
Honours: Inclusion in Who’s Who in Black Canada 2 (2006); Member, Order of Canada (2000); BCC Wall of Honour (1997); Honourary Doctor of Civil Law (DCL), Saint Mary’s University (1994); Governor General 125th (1992).
Works: Author of 17 books, including Blacks in the Maritimes (1987); A Documentary History of Indian South Africans (1860-1982, 1984); Beneath the Clouds of the Promised Land (Vol. 1 & 2); My Africa, My Canada (1989); Education in Nova Scotia: The African Nova Scotian Experience (1997).
Reviewed in: Many publications, including International Authors and Writers; Dictionary of African Biography.
Education: Ph.D, University of Natal (1963), Bachelor of Arts (1954), Hons. Bachelor or Arts (1956) and Master of Arts (1958), all from the University of South Africa.
Heroes: Rev. Dr. William P. Oliver; Dr. Fred MacKinnon.
Motto: Acknowledge and advance the dignity and worth of every human person.
Favourite book? Nelson Mandela’s Conversations With Myself, because it reveals the hidden side of his life and his innermost thoughts.
Favourite quote? “Never forget that a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying.” – Nelson Mandela
Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? Keep on advocating the values of education and a just society.
What inspires you? Service to humanity.
Why do you do what you do? My lived experiences are tremendously varied and deserve to be shared.