Harbachan Singh will take over as
the new Queens Civic Congress
President next month.
BY LUIS GRONDA
Beginning next month, the Queens Civic Congress will officially have a new president.
Harbachan Singh, a member of the Holliswood Civic Association and executive Vice President of the group, was elected as the new president of the QCC and will begin serving in that role after a swearing-in ceremony on Dec. 13.
Singh replaces Richard Hellenbrecht, who served in the role for three years. Hellenbrecht said that he chose not to return as president because his job as a consultant for Delta Airlines has taken up much of his time, including traveling to Los Angeles and other places on a weekly basis.
Singh has a storied history of community involvement in the Borough, including being a member of Community Board 8, founder of the Sikh American Friendship Foundation, president of the The Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center & Archives and the Saul Weprin Regular Democratic Club.
He also worked for the United Nations for 35 years, serving in multiple roles including vice-chairman of the United Nations Appointments and Promotion’s Committee. He also led some UN peace-keeping missions, including one to Iraq and another to East Timor.
When asked about becoming president of the QCC, Singh said he felt “humbled” when he was elected as the new president.
“I feel that I will do my best and they [the QCC] are all very hard working and dedicated people and that is an inspiration in itself,” he said.
Singh said that among the issues they will focus on when he takes over is airplane noise and the increasing number of homeless shelters that are popping up in Queens.
Regarding airplane noise, he said there must be a solution found for this issue because it is a widespread problem.
“It is not particularly applicable to JFK or LaGuardia, it is a country-wide issue,” he said.
Hellenbrecht said Singh was a good right-hand man during his time as president, being a constant presence at meetings and to work on issues together.
“He’s been a tremendous support for me,” he said. “I’m very pleased that he was selected.”
Hellenbrecht said he will remain involved in the QCC, including staying on as vice president and attending as many meetings as possible.
Singh described Hellenbrecht as a “great guy” and said he will be missed as its president.
The QCC is an umbrella group made up of the leaders of several civic associations throughout Queens. The body works together to vocalize on issues throughout the Borough.
Reach Reporter Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @luisgronda.