About our brother Gilly Mundy

In the end, it’s not simply the number of years in a life that counts, but the amount of life that is packed into those years.

As a campaigner and activist, Gilly Mundy, who died suddenly on 17 March 2007 aged only 36, managed to cram so much into his own life and touch the lives of so many others that it is almost too painful to imagine what more he could have achieved. He had supported the victims of racist violence in east London, as a caseworker for the Newham Monitoring Project (NMP), and worked for the Lawrence Family Campaign during the inquiry into Stephen Lawrence’s murder. As the senior caseworker for INQUEST, the charity that advises bereaved people and their lawyers following contentious deaths, he helped hundreds of families who had lost loved ones in police and prison custody. And through Conscious Clubbing, he helped organise music events to raise money for the causes he supported.

But most of all, Gilly had a rare gift that made him so special: the ability to connect on a personal level, quietly and generously, with absolutely everyone he met. It was a talent that made him so important to those he supported in his work and so loved by his wife Debbie, his family and the huge number of friends who now grieve for him.

Big man, we're all going to miss you terribly...

Add your thoughts and stories

This site has been set up so that Gilly's family and many friends can share their thoughts and stories at this overwhelming, difficult time. Feel free to add your contributions by clicking here and then on 'Post a Comment'

To read other people's thoughts posted so far, click here

From The Tribune, India - NRI completes son’s dream project

NRI completes son’s dream project

Dedicates school to Lehrian village
Sushil Manav, Fatehabad, March 17

Mota Singh, son of a Sikh farmer from Buwan Kothi village here, completed his graduation in science and left for England for further studies in 1963.

After settling in that country, he went on to become the councillor of Warwickshire, the county of William Shakespeare. Later, he became the mayor of the Royal Limington Spa.

His son Gurpreet, fondly called Gilly by his friends, worked for Inquest, a charity fighting for the cause of those, who die in custody in England. He married an Italian woman, Debbie, but the couple organised ceremonies of their marriage at his native village in December 2005.

Overwhelmed by the warmth and hospitality of villagers during their month-long stay, Gilly and Debbie resolved to open a quality community school for the local people in their native village and float a trust, Buwan Kothi international trust, and get it registered in London with a family friend, Deborah Coles, as its chairperson and many Indian and English friends of the couple as its members.

Gilly (36), who died on March 17, 2007, donated 13 of his organs, including eyes, kidneys, liver, heart and lungs.

Gilly Mundy’s father Mota Singh, who is still the councillor of Warwickshire for the past over 24 years now, left no stone unturned to complete his son’s dream project.

Exactly one year after Gilly’s death, the family today dedicated a state-of-the-art school to the local people, Gilly Mundy Memorial Community School, at Lehrian, a village in the vicinity of their native village, Buwan Kothi.

Anil Wilson, who recently resigned from the post of the vice-chancellor of Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, was the chief guest of the occasion, while Bhim Singh Dahiya, a former vice-chancellor of Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, presided over today’s function.

Primary classes have already started running in the school, while senior secondary classes will be soon introduced once the expansion of the building is complete.

Mota Singh and Debbie told The Tribune that ever since Gilly’s death, his friends and family members had worked tirelessly for completing the project visualised by him.

Mota Singh said on July 14, 2007, at a memorial function held in London, over 400 friends and family members of Gilly assembled and raised enough funds for the purchase of 13.2 acres for the school.

Sheila Alone, an English friend of Gilly, would run in the London Marathon on April 13 to raise Rs 28 lakh for the school, while around 40 friends of Gilly associated with his NGO would organise a cycle march from Oxford to Gilly’s birthplace Limington Spa on July 20 to raise Rs 15-20 lakh.

The trust was also planning to organise a football celebrities’ match on August 8, with which they hoped to generate enough funds for the project.

Mota Singh said having dedicated the school to the people, it now belonged to the people and would be run by a society comprising of local people with no commercial motives in mind.

Update on the Gilly Mundy Memorial Community School

The first phase of the building work of the Gilly Mundy Memorial Institute - the Community School for prinary age children - is due to officially open on March 17th, the anniversary of Gilly's death. The first pupils will start classes in April.

The latest photos have been added to the album below:

Latest photos of the Gilly Mundy Memorial Community School

Cricketers remember Gilly Mundy

From the Warwick Courier - 20 July 2007

Cricketers remember Gilly Mundy
Pub regulars raise more than £600 at Victoria Park match

Two teams from the Tachbrook Road pub met at Victoria Park for their annual Dave Reeve Memorial Trophy match, this year in aid of the Gilly Mundy foundation - after the anti-racism activist who died earlier this year.

The 'A' side batted first and made 111 from their 20 overs. Biram brothers Narinder and Babs made 25no and 24no respectively before making way and Babs Kandola was also undefeated on 25 at the finish.

Replying, Wheatsheaf 'B' were dismissed for 106, having needed a six off the final two balls.

Jetty Kang made 25no and Manny Sahota hit 23. Mundeep Dhaliwal took four of the wickets.

Organiser Bally Sangra thanked everyone who helped make the day such a success.

Buwan Kothi Challenge - £16K+ raised so far

The 27 cyclists who took part in the Buwan Kothi Challenge on 22 July have so far (as of 25 July) managed to raise a staggering
towards the cost of building the Gilly Singh Mundy Memorial Institute in Haryana in India - the equivalent of over 13 lakhs.

And with the Gift Aid added, it means we have raised over twenty grand.

There's still time to sponsor those who took part - visit Cyclists for Buwan Kothi for details.

For photos of the day, click on the album below:
Buwan Kothi Challenge

Raising Funds for Memorial School

On 22 July 2007, a number of us will be cycling 58 miles from Victoria Park in Bethnal Green in east London, to Priory Park in Southend-on-Sea, to raise money for the Buwan Kothi International Trust.

The Buwan Kothi International Trust was set up in 2006 to raise money for rural regeneration projects in Haryana in northern India. Gilly was a founding trustee with Debbie and other family and friends based in London and Leamington Spa. The inspiration for the establishment of the Trust was the wonderful welcome given by the people of Buwan Kothi, a small and isolated farming community in Haryana, to everyone who attended Gilly and Debbie's wedding there in December 2005.

In the first two years, the aim was always to raise funds to build a primary school in Buwan Kothi, but this has been given an even greater significance by Gilly's passing. The Trust now aims to name the school in memory of Gilly and we need to raise £50,000 to build and equip the Gilly Singh Mundy School and Resource Centre by the summer of 2008.

So far, those taking part in the cycle ride have managed to raise over £7000.

If you would like sponsor one of those taking part, you can do so by visiting the blog we have set up at

Tears of Happiness and Sadness

Posted on behalf of Vic Singh

A happy event occurred on the 23rd of May 2007, the birth of my baby girl (Daya Kaur) and boy (Joedh Singh). I’m writing on this blog for you my friend Gilly, because stuck in my memory is the look of joy you had on your face when you realised that finally my wife (Raj) and me were going to have children. You were thrilled more than anyone I know and I still get a kick out of thinking about the hugs you gave me and Raj.

I am so glad you found out about this, because you always asked me whether there was “any news” on that front, and I always had to say no. You always said to keep positive. The good part was that you finally came to my house and you saw us in person, that sad part is that left us a few days later. You talked to me how much you would like to have a family too, and I said I would like to have a daughter and you said a son. Well now we have both and I feel truly blessed.

When they were born, I could not contain my joy, and started to text all my friends and family of the good news, and as I went down the list I came to your name. It was a strange moment as I cried tears of happiness and sadness. I wish so much you could have been here, but it was not to be.

Joedh Singh

Daya Kaur

You’ll be so glad to know too my friend that I chose the names from our Indian Heritage (as I know too you were very keen to have names that told a story or reflected cultural heritage). Joedh (meaning brave) Singh (www.sikh-history.com/sikhhist/warriors/jodh_ram.html) comes from the brave and wise warrior Sardar Jodh Singh Ramgarhia. Daya (meaning kindness) Kaur (www.sikh-history.com/sikhhist/gurus/pdayas.html) come from the first Sikh to be baptised Bhai Daya Singh.

Anyway my friend, I will teach them both about their uncle Gilly, and what he stood for. Brave (Joedh) in the face of adversity and injustice and kindness (Daya) to those who needed help. This rare and wonderful combination is what made you so unique and endeared you so much to all of us.


Why you should support UK Transplant

Posted by Debbie Quargnolo Mundy

I have received a card from the recipient of Gilly's liver, a 58 year old man who is now recovering after the transplant. I want to share his words with you.

Dear family,

I don't think words could explain my immense gratitude to you, who in your saddest hours of bereavement and loss, incredibly, reached out to provide a total stranger with the gift of life.

The precious donor organ which I have received has given me a chance to experience a new life with my wife and family, which I never thought possible.

This rare and amazing opportunity that you have given me, come at a price that no family should have to experience and so with humility I send you my most heartfelt thanks.

I will be eternally grateful to you for the rest of my life.

May I take this opportunity to offer you my deepest sympathy for the tragic loss of your loved one, who will be forever in my prayers

An Evening with Gilly Mundy

An Evening with Gilly Mundy, the memorial event celebrated Gilly's life, is now confirmed and will take place on:

Saturday 14th July 2007
at the Rich Mix,
35-47 Bethnal Green Road
London E1 6LA

The event will start at 6pm and will feature contributions from Gilly's family and many friends. From around 8.30pm until 1am, there will be music from the Purple Banana Sound System.

If you would like to attend, please could you RSVP to gillymundy_friends@yahoo.co.uk, letting us know who will be coming.

Moving Forward Together

Posted by Mikey Powell Campaign for Justice

Gilly took this picture at a national affected families event "Moving Forward Together" held in May 2005 at The Drum in Birmingham, and donated this and others to be used in the event report. Gilly attended almost all of the 7 events we have held since Mikey Powell's death in September 2003.

See the full report and other pictures taken by Gilly here > http://www.4wardever.org/campaign-events/2005/12/14/event-review-2005.html

Phil's Phone Photos

Posted by Phil Davies

Photos taken with my camera phone. But first, can anyone name this fashionably intense, ultra-cool turntablist collective...?

Phil's Phone Photos

Thinking of Gilly

Thinking of Gilly, Sunday 8th April 2007

Aanuka Beach, Coffs Harbour, Australia

Tributes from Friends

Produced and posted by Ruggie Johnson

Interviews with:
  • Myrna Simpson (Joy Gardner's mum)
  • Sheila Sylvester (mother of Roger Sylvester, who died in police custody in 1999)
  • Adrienne Jemmott (sister of Paul Jemmott, died in Aylesbury YOI in 1999)
  • Cilius Victor
  • Supriya Thimmiah
  • Piara Powar
  • Jas Mundy

Looking at you

Posted by Debbie Quargnolo Mundy

Not the best quality but I love this picture as I think that's how most people will remember Gilly.

It's followed by some text of Stevie Wonder's "Always".

Did you know that true love asks for nothing
Her acceptance is the way we pay
Did you know that life has given love a guarantee
To last through forever and another day
Just as time knew to move on since the beginning
And the seasons know exactly when to change
Just as kindness knows no shame
Know through all your joy and pain
That I'll be loving you always
As today I know I'm living but tomorrow
Could make me the past but that I mustn't fear
For I'll know deep in my mind
The love of me I've left behind
Cause I'll be loving you always

From the Coventry Telegraph - 5 April

Son's death saved eight people
By Marc Meneaud

The memory of a much-loved Warwickshire man is helping to drive a national campaign to find more black and Asian organ donors.

Gurpreet Singh Mundy, known as Gilly, died on March 17 after a brain haemorrhage.

He was aged just 36.

But his death was not in vain after eight people underwent life-saving transplants using his organs.

Gilly, the son of former Leamington mayor Mota Singh, carried an organ donor card and, within just 12 hours, five people had received transplants.

And in the days following his death, doctors told his dad that at least three more people had been given the gift of life, including a three-year-old Asian girl with a liver condition.

Now Gilly's family are urging members of Asian communities across Coventry and Warwickshire to join the NHS Organ Donor Register and talk to their families about donating organs after their death.

They are visiting Sikh, Hindu and Muslim places of worship in Warwickshire to ask them to spread the word by distributing information about organ donation.

Gilly's widow, Debbie, aged 37, who lives in London, said: "It is amazing what a huge difference this is making already.

"A lot of Asian people have written to me to ask for a donor card. It is expanding so quickly."

Retired postman Mr Singh, aged 68, of St Brides Close, Sydenham, Leamington, and daughter-in-law, Coventry City Council worker Sangita Mundy, who is married to Gilly's brother Jas, said they hoped others would follow Gilly's selfless act.

Widower Mr Singh, a Warwickshire county councillor, said of his son: "He was a wonderful man who helped so many other people.

"It was his wish to donate his organs and it is really something that we want to promote. I have never carried a card but I do now, and I am advising others to do the same."

National charity UK Transplant has highlighted the shortage of organ donors from black and Asian communities with a new campaign to close the donor gap.

It says less than two per cent of organ donors in Britain are from Asian or black backgrounds.

Sangita said: "We want to do this in memory of Gilly. It is extremely important.

"There are stigmas attached to organ donation and prejudices from people within the Asian community that we need to change to save people's lives."

Gilly was born in Leamington and attended Clapham Terrace, Sydenham Middle and Campion schools before studying for a degree in race relations at Edge Hill University in Lancashire.

He was a senior case worker for Inquest, a watchdog on deaths in custody. He was heavily involved with the Stephen Lawrence case and helped support Stephen's family.

A spokesman for UK Transplant said transplants were much more successful when the donor and recipient shared the same ethnic background.

With love from Shuli

Posted on behalf of Shuli

Click on the pictures to open:

The brief I gave G for this picture was, ' I need a pic of a living buddha!'

This was taken in my friend's place in Bombay, the night Deb and G were leaving for London.

Six Tracks for Gilly

All posted by Debbie Quargnolo Mundy

You can listen to these tracks on the radio player by clicking here

The tracks are:

Some of Gilly's favorite reggae tunes
Present Arms - UB40
Fisherman (Dub Colossus Remix)
- The Congos
One Step Forward - Max Romeo
Undivided World (12 in) - Yabby You

Uranium (Original Mix) - Radioactive Man
The morning of the last house party, Andrej playing this tune, slowdancing with the big man
Your Face (Original Mix) - Marlene Johnson

This the song I dedicated to Gilly at his funeral together with Stevie Wonder's Always. The lyrics says it all but the choice is also slightly tongue in cheek as he thought it sounded a bit "european" and not authentic enough!

And a fitting farewell

Posted by Debbie Quargnolo Mundy

Goodbye my love, see you on the other side.


High-resolution copies of these pictures are also available as a web album

My two beautiful weddings

Posted by Debbie Quargnolo Mundy

Debbie's wedding photos

From Leamington Spa Today - 30 March

Tributes paid to 'freedom fighter' and ambassador for Leamington

Hundreds of people attended the funeral of a Leamington-born campaigner described as a modern-day freedom fighter and ambassador for his home town.

Gurpreet Singh Mundy died on March 17 after suffering a brain haemorrhage at his workplace.

Although only 36, he was widely respected in the field of race relations and known for his work with the family of Stephen Lawrence, who was killed in a racist attack in London.

Gurpreet's older brother Jas Singh Mundy said: "He was an activist. He was a modern-day freedom fighter."

Piara Powar worked with Mr Mundy at the Newham Monitoring Project, which campaigned against far-right politics and helped victims of racist violence.

He said: "The thing that defined Gilly was his personal warmth and commitment to issues of justice, particularly regarding racism.

"His connection to Leamington was one of the most important things to him. Although he lived in London, he was one of the most vocal and proud ambassadors for Leamington I have ever met. He had an aura about him as an individual. He had a zest and a love for life."

Mr Mundy, known as Gilly, had attended Clapham Terrace Primary School, Sydenham Middle School and Campion School.

The son of Warwickshire county and Leamington town councillor Mota Singh, he became involved in the Abbey House Youth Project in Russell Street, which led to a degree in race relations and racism at Edge Hill University in Lancashire.

During his studies he began working for the Newham Monitoring Project in London, where he was involved the Stephen Lawrence Campaign. In 2005 he married Debbie Quargnolo in the village where his father was born in India.

After the wedding the family decided to set up the Buan Kohti International Trust to help improve the water supply and education in the village.

Mrs Mundy said he was particularly keen the charity would have an emphasis on the arts. She added: "He was controversial, alternative, warm, generous, fun loving, and had a great sense of humour. He was very giving, very creative and a great artist in many ways."

For the past nine years Mr Mundy worked for the charity Inquest, where he worked advising the families of people who had died in police custody. The organisation's co-director Deborah Cole spoke at his funeral and also attended a wake which filled the New Inn in Leam Terrace.

She said: "Gilly was an exceptionally talented case worker and contributed a lot to the fight against racism and injustice, supporting families all over the country.

"He very much took his inspiration from his father. I knew Gilly for nine years but only realised at his funeral what a close-knit community there was in Leamington and how much love there was for him and his family."

Lawyer Sajida Malik paid tribute to his ability to form close bonds, building trust and lasting friendships with the families of those who had died in suspicious circumstances.

She also mentioned his pride in his father's work in Leamington, which he saw himself as continuing.

She said: "He said he was most proud of following in his father's footsteps. They were each other's heroes."

Mr Mundy was also a keen photographer and music lover. He was also part of Conscious Clubbing, and organised and performed as a DJ at fundraising events.

Mr Mundy was a passionate advocate of organ donation, which is not widespread in the Asian and black communities in the UK. NHS group UK Transplant was invited to display at his funeral. His family has set up the Gilly Mundy Memorial Fund to support the families he helped as a case worker and the causes he believed in.

Pay your tributes
A blog has also been set up in Mr Mundy's memory.


From the Newham Recorder - 28 March

A sad farewell after collapse of campaigner

A WELL-KNOWN activist on racial and other issues has died after suffering a stroke at the age of just 36.

Gilly Mundy collapsed at work on March 15, and died two days later without regaining consciousness.

He previously lived in Monega Road, Manor Park, and many will remember him as a popular caseworker for the Newham Monitoring Project between 1993 and 1997.

Friend and colleague Kevin Blowe said: "As a campaigner and activist, Gilly managed to cram so much into his own life and touch the lives of so many others that it is almost too painful to imagine what more he could have achieved.

"As well as supporting victims of racist violence in East London while at the NMP, he worked for the Lawrence Family Campaign during the inquiry into Stephen Lawrence's murder."

Mr Mundy (right) was working as senior caseworker for INQUEST, a charity that advises bereaved people and their lawyers following contentious deaths. He helped many families who had lost loved ones in police and prison custody. Mr Mundy collapsed at the organisation's office in Finsbury Park.

Through an organisation called Conscious Clubbing, Mr Mundy helped set up music events to raise money for the many causes he supported, including the work of Newham Asian Women's Project.

"But most of all Gilly had a rare gift that made him so special; the ability to connect on a personal level, quietly and generously, with absolutely everyone he met," Mr Blowe added.

"It was a talent that made him so important to those he supported in his work and so loved by his wife Debbie, his family and the huge number of friends who now grieve for him."

* Over the past year, Mr Mundy was involved in helping to set up a charity to support projects and build a school in northern India.

Anyone wishing to donate to this cause should make cheques payable to The Buwan Kothi International Trust, and send them to The John Taylor Funeral Service, 1-3 Russell Terrace, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire CV31 1EZ. Mr Mundy's funeral took place yesterday.

Click to enlarge

From Jack and Rosa

Jack and Rosa, who are the children of Deborah Coles and Chris Tully, were great friends of Gilly and wanted to add the following to the blog:

Jack produced the London Newsletter for Black History Month in October 2006 and interviewed Gilly's father Mota Singh.

You can download Jack's article by clicking here

Rosa wrote the following for Gilly

He was really funny whenever he came over
he always put a smile on my face.
He was always ready to listen to my nonsense and was always happy to hear what was happening at school and other clubs I go to and never walked through our front door without something funny to say. We were always happy to have him over if the house was a sad place he would always brighten it up. He was a great friend!

I will always remember his beautiful eyes and lovely smile.