hastings park update
by Judy Hanazawa
On April 12, 2014 mock ups of the four Hastings Park interpretive signs were featured in the Nikkei National Museum Resources Centre during the Nikkei Centre Celebrate Spring event so that community members could review and give feedback. These signs featured the Livestock Building, Livestock Building Hospital, Rollerland and the Forum, and gave information about the purposes of these buildings between 1942 to 1943, as well as general information about the detention experience of Japanese Canadians during that time. Community members who read and viewed the signs seemed encouraged to talk about their own experiences or those of their parents and grandparents. One young adult expressed surprise and dismay as he had no previous knowledge of the Hastings Park internment.
There were also shocked responses from those who did not know details about the temporary TB hospital which was set up in the Livestock Building. These signs were again displayed during the April 18 official viewing of the Sakura etching in the Oppenheimer Field House created by John Greenaway as well as a commemoration of the Oppenheimer Park Legacy Sakura. A few participants again offered written comments about the Hastings Park signage.
Hastings Park committee members attending the April 18 event were Jean Kamimura, Dan Tokawa, Lorene Oikawa, Beth Carter and Judy Hanazawa. The community will again have an opportunity to see the four interpretive signs and give their responses during the May 4, 2014 community meeting from 2 to 4:30 at Tonari Gumi.
The May 4, 2014 community meeting will be the final presentation of the draft interpretive signs at community events. The Nikkei Museum and Hastings Park committee will consider community comments and complete the final text for the signage during the month of May. During May also, our committee will contact Michelle Larigakis from the City of Vancouver to find out the current scheduling for the manufacturing of all Hastings Park signage as our interpretive signs will be developed with other City signage for Hastings Park. They will be ready by the summer of 2014. Our next Hastings Park meeting is scheduled for 7:30 on Wednesday, May 7 at Tonari Gumi.