Polo | Spotlight


Avtar Singh Dhillon, grandson of Sardar Bahadur General Chanda Singh, an illustrious polo player, leaves the world for heavenly abode.

Sardar Avtar Singh Dhillon, who belongs to the illustrious family of Patiala, at the age of 84, left for heavenly abode. A great lover of photographs and memoirs of rich historical interests, Avtar Singh Dhillon zealously preserved valuable records depicting the rich legacy of Patiala Polo and his Grandfather General Chanda Singh. With his death Patiala has lost a great lover of valuable and cherished memories of Polo.

Besides representing Patiala, his Grandfather General Chanda Singh ( then a Colonel) played in the Polo Championship of Spain at the behest of His Majesty King Alphonso of Spain was instrumental in the King's team winning the Championship. The King was so impressed that he requested him to bring his family and settle in Spain. The King also said that he would be pleased to grant him a noble rank with enough provision for him and his family. General Chanda Singh thanked the King for his generosity, but politely declined his offer since he was already in the service of the Maharaja of Patiala and through whose patronage he was in Europe. This spoke volumes of the love and loyalty of the General, for his princely hometown Patiala, a rare quality in today's world.

General Chanda Singh also played in England and France, winning championships in Polo. His forefather, Sardar Bahadur Singh used to finance the Sikh Army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh who bestowed upon the title of " SHAH" by which the members of his family are known to this day.

Avtar Singh Dhillon 's late father Brigadier Fateh Singh, a well known figure of Patiala was also a keen Polo player. Avtar Singh Dhillon served as the President of Rotary Club ( Main) Patiala and was a long time Free Mason with numerous ranks and degrees to his credit. Lodge Phulkian Number 94, Patiala and Lodge Charity Number 8, Ambala Cantonment and various other lodges of Northern India have mourned the sad demise of Avtar Singh Dhillon. His wife who had predeceased him in the year 2017 also had served actively in the Red Cross Society for many years.

To his family, relatives and friends, Mr Dhillon will always be remembered as an epitome of goodwill, youth and cheerfulness. Condolences have been pouring in from all quarters.

*Story by Kanwar Inder Singh