Using a globe-wide form of words, Ranjit Singh Mann was inducted into the Rotary Club of Leicester Novus by President Jason Chauhan.
It was followed by another, much less formal event which has become a tradition at Leicester Novus; a chat-show type interview conducted by the club’s third president Frazer Robson.
It is much more in the style of Michael Parkinson than Jeremy Paxman. Nonetheless, it revealed that the 10-year-old Ranjit impersonated his father to get a place at Beaumont Leys School so he could go up to secondary school with friends. It was a deception that paid off with Ranjit then going to Gateway College where his A-levels got him into Aston University, Birmingham, where he got his Pharmacy degree.
It also revealed that having tried to open a brand-new pharmacy with a friend when he was aged 26 or 27, he succeeded largely because potential customers in Coventry signed a petition in favour. It had been touch and go, but the business opened six weeks after the birth of his first daughter.
In 1991 Ranjit returned to university to do a year’s post-graduate course in clinical pharmacy.
The pharmacy – where Ranjit worked for 34 years – proved very successful, with one of his pharmacy assistants winning £2,000 in 1999 for being the best pharmacy assistant in the UK. Ranjit was a member of the local pharmacy committee and was its treasurer for 13years. In that same year Ranjit was invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace. In 2001 his business was judged the best UK pharmacy business of the year.
Ranjit said: “Although the business was in Coventry, Leicester was always my home and commuting there was quite easy.
Although ‘retired’ Ranjit does some locum work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (Tuesdays and Thursdays are reserved for his grandchildren). He says: “I miss the contact with the patients and the staff, but I don’t miss the admin.”
Interviewer Frazer asked about his other leisure activities and for a while the session sounded more like Gardeners’ Question Time as fellow-members offered advice on how to get ride of a wasps’ nest, pigeons and moss in his lawn. He has had a couple of flying lessons, used to go sailing (he sailed for Leicestershire before going to university) and rowing.
Travel, including back to the Punjab where he was born in 1957, and to Singapore and Alaska remain happy memories and feature in his plans for the future.
Ranjit said: “Over the years I have worked in the country and had a good life, and now I want to try to give something back to the community.”
In the audience for the interview session was Ranjit’s wife, Jasbir, who is a founder-member of Novus Rotary. The club is certainly unique in the East Midlands in now having five married couples in its membership of 19.
If you like what you read about Novus Rotary on this website and would like to know more about joining our family of people who want to work together to ‘give something back’, please email RotaryClubOfLeicesterNovus@gmail.com
Last edited: May 9, 2019