Congratulations to Richard Murakami from Salt Spring Island, who, along with 44 other British Columbians, received a 2010 British Columbia Community Achievement Award at a gala ceremony in Victoria, BC, on April 28th. Richard was selected as a result of his many acts of generosity and kindness, while supporting youth, the hospital foundation, and the establishment of Heiwa Peace Park on Salt Spring Island. Most noteworthy was the donation of land for the construction of Murakami Gardens, a recently completed 27 unit affordable social housing project. The Murakami’s fight against racial discrimination on Salt Spring Island has made the community a much better place. Richard’s sister Rose wrote the book Gambaru: the Murakami Family on Salt Spring Island, an excellent book for all who are interested in the struggles and tribulations of the Murakami family. It is available in most book stores.
In Cumberland, BC, on May 8th, there will be a Bronze Plaque Ceremony, which will be unveiled at the Coal Creek Historic Park. Cumberland had one of the largest Chinese, Japanese, and African populations prior to WWII and was best known as one of BC’s biggest coal mining operations from which the coal was shipped world-wide. Before the Internment there were more than 30 families of Japanese descent who lived at No. 1 Town. Miners there were paid at half the level of Caucasians for the same jobs. The Bronze Plaque Ceremony is to recognize the residents who were evacuated from No. 1 Japanese Town during World War II. At the 40-acre Coal Creek Historic Park, that was eco-gifted to the City of Cumberland in 2002 by Weldwood of Canada, there are 31 Mount Fuji cherry trees representing the 31 families who were interned from Cumberland. The planting of the trees in October 2009, was partially funded through the National Association of Japanese Canadians Endowment Fund. Future plans include the establishment of an Asian-styled bridge, traditional Torii gate, plus boardwalks and benches. The plaque dedication will be held at 2211 Comox Lake Road.
The Month of May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada and explorASIAN (www.explorasian.org ) in Vancouver will be celebrating their 14th anniversary. Members of the Japanese Canadian community will be participating in its many venues and events. The Canadian Government in 2002 officially recognized the long and rich history of Asian Canadians and their contributions to Canada and the world. Here in Vancouver, we are blessed with our rich diversity of Asian cultures, enriching us socially, culturally, and economically. We hope that you will participate and enjoy many of the events. If you would like more information, The Bulletin is previewing some of the events, or check out their website for a full schedule.
The Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association will start taking applications for the following positions for the summer dependent on funding from Human Resources Development of Canada: Administrative Assistant; Special Projects Co-ordinator; and Historical Research Archivist. Please email your resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or fax 604.777.5223.
On Saturday May 15th, our Nihongo Committee will be hosting a hands-on translation and interpreting workshop at the Vancouver Japanese Language School. This workshop is intended for those who have a little experience or who are studying translation but all who are interested are welcome.
The GVJCCA Golf Tournament will be on Sunday June 13th at Meadow Gardens. Golf Digest has rated Meadow Gardens Golf course is one of the best places to play in North America. Every hole provides its own beauty and challenges, so we hope you will be one of many who enjoy its splendour. If you are interested please contact Shag Ando 404.922.9226 or call Alison at the GVJCCA office 604.777.5222.
Have a great month of May!
Thanks, Ron Nishimura