Hastings Park Update
by Judy Hanazawa
On August 19th at Tonari Gumi our Community Hastings Park Committee met to review project activities, particularly the progress of the Hastings Park Detention Building Signage project.
Concerning the location of the detention building panels, we are waiting for feedback from the City regarding proposed location changes. Each panel describes the people who used the building, the building’s purpose, and the activities which took place within. We have recommended the Livestock Building should have 2 panels since the building was a massive multi purpose site – not only housing women and young children, but also providing detainee health care, hospital and sanitorium services. We have also recommended 1 panel be located between the Forum Building and the Garden Auditorium as these were sites for housing all male detainees from 13 years of age, and providing education services. The last panel is designated for Roller land where detainee food was prepared. Text for the panels has reached the final drafting stage and the goal is to have models of the panels prepared for public display by either September 24 or September 25th, 2013. Committee members have assisted Director Curator Beth Carter in gathering detainee stories and quotes so that, further to the historical content, information will also be presented by those who were there in 1942, either inside or outside the locked gates.
September 24th and 25th are significant dates as September 24th marks the presentation by Vancouver City Council of a Motion of Apology to Japanese Canadians for past decisions and actions resulting in the 1942 expulsion from the Pacific Coast. Council will vote on the Motion on September 25th. Our community is invited to an evening Apology reception which will take place September 25th at the Vancouver Japanese Language School. Models of the Hastings Park detention building panels will be shown during this time.
The Committee is meeting again on Monday, September 16th at 6:30 as part of the final preparation for the September 24 Apology and September 25th reception.
As we approach September 22, 2013 which is the 25th anniversary of the Japanese Canadian Redress, we welcome all community members, especially our Seniors who were Hastings Park detainees, to attend the September 24th and 25th events. Details will be available in September by contacting the GVJCCA website at www.jccabulletin-geppo.ca, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the GVJCCA office at 604 777 5222.