Hastings Park Update
Hastings Park Committee Report
By Judy Hanazawa
The Hastings Park Committee met on June 11 and covered items below:
Committee recommendations for outside signage content
The following recommendations were given to Beth Carter who is working on text for external interpretive signs for the livestock and other detention buildings:
• Focus on the experience of detainees while in Hastings Park. Note: General Japanese Canadian history and Internment information will be provided in text for Livestock building’s inside interpretive centre which will be developed during building’s redesign and renovation after 2014.
• Information about particular function and operation of each detention building should be presented. This includes detention buildings which have been destroyed since 1942.
• Provide a map of detention buildings showing the building on the map.
• Include individual quotes or short stories from building detainees.
• Present stats such as detainee population, gender, ages, dates of detention.
• Present Info about day to day routines – dealing with physical environment, meals, work, community organization, school, worship, health practices/ maintenance, child, family, individual coping capacity, activities, emergencies, financial conditions, medical and other services for detainees, policing – reporting and authorization procedure, preparation for next destination. These are aspects of detention life in Hastings Park.
Text for the Livestock Building Heritage Plaque
We received community feedback that the text in June Bulletin had wrong detention dates as most Hastings Park detainees were there from March to September (not April) 1942. Also Masako Stillwell provided text commemorating the resilient spirit and forbearance of mothers and children who were unjustly detained. The redrafted text developed by the committee June 11 featured Masako’s focus:
“From March to September 1942, 8000 innocent Japanese Canadian women and children were unjustly detained under deplorable conditions here in the Livestock Building. This plaque commemorates their resilient spirit and forbearance.”
Thank you Masako. We are continuing to work with the Vancouver Heritage Foundation on this text.
Relocation of Internment Plaque
The committee has drafted letters to the GVJCCA Board and Hastings Park Steering Committee requesting funding to relocate the Parks Canada Internment Plaque to the Momiji Garden stone wall area facing Hastings and Renfrew. We are also seeking historical information from community members to determine how, during the 1990s, the Parks Canada Internment plaque was moved from its original location at Hastings and Renfrew to its current site in Momiji Garden. Committee has requested a meeting with the GVJCCA board to seek the GVJCCA’s funding support including determining ways to fundraise.
Cost for plaque relocation and remounting is close to 4000 dollars
Our goal is to make sure the Internment plaque is relocated to the stone wall area facing the Hastings and Renfrew park entrance during 2012, the 70th Anniversary of the Internment.
Our next meeting is Wednesday, July 11 at 6PM at Tonari Gumi. We will be finalizing draft text for the Livestock Building heritage plaque. Jessica Quan from the Vancouver Heritage Foundation will be invited to attend.