A proud daughter has paid tribute to her father, saying his unexpected death is a loss not just to his family, but to the district of Bradford.
Rashid Awan was well-known across the city and had been president of the Pakistan Society of West Yorkshire for 20 years.
Huma Ahmed said her dad’s sudden death yesterday had shocked many people.
“He was such a proud Bradfordian. He was in Bradford or working in Bradford his whole life,” she said.
“He was a proud Pakistani person, but really a proud Bradfordian and proud to contribute to society here.”
Mr Awan became the first Asian police officer in the country in 1965, a career he was dedicated to and received a long service medal for. After his retirement he continued his work in the community and became president of the Pakistan Society of West Yorkshire.
He saw that role as a way to unite people and organised many large events for members. In 2004 he received the Citizen of Bradford prize and in 2008 he was awarded an MBE for his work in the community.
“He was very humbled to be honoured by the Queen and receive that recognition,” Mrs Ahmed said. “He was just such a wonderful person, a wonderful communicator. He could communicate with everybody at all levels. He was just such an outstanding person for the community.”
Mrs Ahmed said her father was held in high regard by the many people who knew him.
“He was an inspiration to us. We were proud to say he was our father. He doted on his grandchildren and they looked up to him,” she said. “It’s a big loss to us and also a loss to Bradford and the community.”
This year Mr Awan, who was 75, would have celebrated his golden wedding anniversary with wife Khalida.
He leaves his children Huma, Asma, Sofia, Aysha and Qasem and grandchildren Haris, Zara, Aleena, Amaan, Ibrahim and Sulayman.
He died at Bradford Royal Infirmary following complications after hip replacement surgery. His funeral is to be arranged.
Bradford Council for Mosques has expressed sadness at the death of Mr Awan. President Mohammed Mushtaq said: “We have lost a key and prominent member of our community. He was a man of tremendous integrity and he will be dearly missed by everyone.”