Hastings Park to Tashme 100 Mile Journey
By Mike Girard
My mother Doris, along with my uncle Tony and grandparents, Chiaki and Ise Katsuno, were interned at Tashme in 1942. Their experiences and the plight of all the Japanese interned during the War were basically unknown to me. Last summer, I went to the sight for the first time and learned that the place is called Sunshine Valley, a vacation and recreational area. There is no sign of Tashme, no monument or marker of any kind indicating that over 2,400 Japanese were interned and lived there. I walked the land where there once were hundreds of small rudimentary houses, and I took pictures of several of the orange metal roofed buildings, which housed the internees. Later, my mother told me that she had lived in the large barn that was converted into apartments, which today is the recreational centre. I showed my pictures taken in 2007, and she showed me hers, taken between 1942 and 1945. I had many questions and she had much to share and reminisce about.
Last summer I learned of the Sunshine Valley Homecoming, to be celebrated August 1 – 4, 2008, with all past residents invited to attend. I thought that the Homecoming would be a great opportunity to acknowledge Tashme and begin to put it “back on the map” so to speak. The fact that there was no physical sign of Tashme did not sit well with me and I was bothered by my discovery. It was like Tashme never existed. I had just completed driving across Canada from Ontario, and noticed many monuments and historical points of interest along the way. I left Tashme thinking that there ought to be a monument of some kind to remember the significant event in Canadian history with the Japanese at Tashme.
I am embarking on my “Hastings Park to Tashme 100 Mile Journey” by bicycle to remember and commemorate the Japanese people, who were interned at Tashme during the Second World War. The internment began at Hastings Park and thus the location of the beginning of my journey. Tashme is where my mother was interned, just beyond the “100 miles from the coast restriction”, and hence, my destination. I hope my journey will raise awareness of Tashme and contribute to the efforts of a permanent monument. I plan to arrive during the Homecoming – might see you there! email@example.com.
My name is Don, and I now live in Hope, B.C., with my wife Dorothy. Previously we owned a home in Sunshine Valley for ten years in the 90’s, and lived there full time for two years. I’m sorry that you were disapointed at the fact that there are no visible signs of when the Valley was an internment camp. This is partly because the developers/owners at one time did not want to publicize that fact, but preferred to emphasize its new name, Sunshine Valley. Well before the Tashme years it was known at Trites Ranch. If you check further you will find that several books have been written about Tashme, and at least two films based in part on Tashme, too. Additionally, the Hope Library has various records and books about Tashme, which can be accessed thru any related regional library in the Fraser Valley. I wish you luck in your intention to bring more attention to the Tashme years. Please let me know how you make out, and I would be honored to meet with you if or when you next come to Hope or Sunshine Valley.
Sincerely, Don Boxall 604 869 5933
Another comment regarding Sunshine Valley, and the 2008 Home-Coming event: I was not able to attend these celebrations, but know that several residents devoted considerable time beforehand to ensure that things went well. If the history of the Valley during its internment years was avoided, or overlooked, or mentioned only briefly, I suspect that the organizers had difficulty finding anyone with first-hand, or even second-hand memories or records of that time. I talked to a young lady visiting Sunshine several years ago, and the main reason that she was there was because her parents, who had been interned there, would not or could not speak about their experiences, hence her attempt to research those years.
Regards, Don Boxall
Mike & Don
on a recent trip to the area we did encounter the rec hall which is still in use by the Sunshine Valley residents. My mother did tour the site and remembered the living quarters on the west side of the 2 small creeks, from pictures one can imagine the valley floor filled with tents and camp activity. My family will ask the residents for a information board on the site of the tents or by the rec hall.
” There is no sign of Tashme, no monument or marker of any kind indicating that over 2,400 Japanese were interned and lived there ”
Well back in 2002 I put forward to have the small park that the SCCC own to be named ” Tashme Park”
It got shot down as most people there did not think it was a good idea.
I’m sorry to say that it never came back up again.
Years later I did buy a house in Hope, BC…….The house turned out to be the post office from Tashme.
I still live in it to-day July 17, 2009
-= Brian =-
Kudos to u in your 100 mile journey
My grandparents who were interned in Slocan BC died in their 40’s and I never got to know them
My father was 13 when he was interned and he and his siblings rarely spoke about their life on the camp until I started asking questions when I was in my late 30’s and now 30 years later they speak openly
The key is to keep these memories alive by getting the storiies from the Sensei so the can be recorded and passed on to the neisei
Hope u have heard about Henry’s Glasses
What is so wonderful about this film is it’s done by a neisei
I grew up in Hope and have friends who had parents, grandparents and/or great grandparents who were interned at Tashme. In the center of town there is a park called Memorial Park. In this park (located close to Wallace St/3rd Ave…main intersection in town where the only street light is located…next to town hall), is a memorial called commonly referred to as “Japanese Gardens” It is a beautiful garden with a pond, waterfall and gazeebo where people can sit and take in the scene. Tashme is not forgotten.