The general manager of Denny’s Restaurant in Williams Lake started as a dishwasher and kept moving up.
Amarjit Khakh has worked at Denny’s Restaurant for 26 years, the last 13 as the general manager.
Originally from India, she moved to the lakecity in 1992 after marrying her husband Kulvinder Khakh.
He worked in a local mill — Tolko Soda Creek Division today.
They have three children — Balraj, 27, a chiropractor in Seattle, Wash., Nisha, 24, an X-ray technician in the Delta Hospital and Kiranjot, 22, who is in her first year of a social work degree program in Kelowna and works as an esthetician.
A member of Guru Nanak Sikh Temple, Khakh is a familiar face amongst the women who prepare and serve food for special occasions.
Seven years ago she started the popular Lights for Life Festival by calling a meeting to gather a group of dedicated volunteers.
Her idea was to give women in Williams Lake a night out to share good food, culture, acting and dancing.
“A lot of women are working and coming home and looking after the house and the children so it was a way for us all to get together.”
After 10 meetings, the first Lights for Life was held and in 2020 it would have been the festival’s sixth year, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it had to be cancelled.
It was disappointing because it was going so well and they’d raised $42,000 for the hospital over the years, she said.
“I hope when the pandemic is over it will go on again.”
They also raised money for the Salvation Army and the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre, as well as both Sikh temples in Williams Lake.
Even though their children have moved away, the Khakhs continue to enjoy the quiet calm Williams Lake provides them.
“In bigger cities everyone is in a rush going from here to there. Here we can come home and relax easily.”
During the 2017 wildfires she and her husband cooked food to serve to the public outside of the Emergency Social Services centre when it was at the Lake City Secondary Columneetza campus.
At the beginning of the pandemic they also cooked food and donated it to the Salvation Army.
Khakh enjoys giving back and thinks it is something every woman, even every human being, should try to do because in the end if a person’s legacy is being kind that is the best thing to strive for.
“As a woman I also appreciate that we can be called a mother,” she said.