Before I get into my message for the month I would like to say that the passing of Jack Layton brought me great sadness. I try to be non-partisan when it comes to political parties, but I think that as Canadians we were all touched by Jack Layton’s presence in the political arena. His compromising nature appealed to both his political foes and the general public. Layton showed strong support for visible minorities and the underprivileged. His personal battles with his health gave us all inspiration and strength. I personally will miss his candor and dedication to personal values. The GVJCCA offers condolences to the Layton family. Jack was a wonderful person, father and Canadian.
I would like to bring attention to a recent article in regards to University of British Columbia students of Canadian descent that were not permitted to complete their education due to the declaration of war on Japan after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. There were over 75 such students who were among the 22,000 Japanese Canadians who were removed from the coastal regions of BC to work camps and internment camps in the interior of BC and other parts of Canada. Most Japanese Canadians were not able to complete their education even after the prohibition was lifted in 1949, allowing Japanese Canadians to return to the West Coast. It should be noted that American Universities along the west coast of America granted honourary degrees to all University students expelled during the internment period of WWII. This should be the same for all Canadian University students who were removed from their studies. A special commemoration should be provided for all staff and faculty during this dark part of Canadian history. Your thoughts on this issue would be greatly appreciated as well.
Otherwise it’s been a wonderful summer with plenty of sun and warmth, although our growing season has been really messed up this year—it seems like all our fruits and vegetables are a couple of weeks behind schedule.
This year’s Powell Street Festival at Oppenheimer Park in Vancouver was a wonderful success. We were blessed with great weather except for the short glitch Sunday morning. The Salmon BBQ turned out very good—although we could have used a bit more—but our true success was our Spam Musubi, which we introduced last year. I think everyone is starting to enjoy Spam again . . . or am I wrong? Thanks again for all your support and to all our volunteers at the BBQ and the GVJCCA Human Rights community booth, where we had a special dedication to the Franciscan Sisters of Atonement, who are closing their doors on Powell Street after many decades of support to the Japanese community and Downtown Eastside residents.
The GVJCCA would like to thank Reverend Aoki from the Vancouver Buddhist Temple on providing an Obon Service at Nikkei Place on August 17th. Each year the Service has more attendees for all those who were unable to attend other Obon services locally. We are all very happy with the turnout. Thanks and appreciation to all who donated and volunteered their services for this important day in our community.
On October 15-16, the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC), will be holding its annual AGM in Edmonton, AB. The NAJC helps fund eligible individuals and group applicants for Sports, Education, and Arts Development (SEAD) and Cultural Development (CD) Programs. Please have all requests in to your NAJC member organizations as soon as possible as the deadline is the end of September. To find out whether you are eligible for any of these funding please either contact your respective member offices or view the application forms at the NAJC website: www.najc.ca .
Well, it’s back to school time, so we will see you next month.