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Vancouver to Commemorate Komagata Maru

Vancouver to Commemorate Komagata Maru
Vancouver to Commemorate Komagata Maru

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The Vancouver Parks Board has approved funding for a new memorial that would commemorate the historical landing of the Komagata Maru, a dark time in Canadian History.

In 1914, the Komagata Maru set sail from India with 376 passengers, who were of Indian descent but members of the British Empire. They were all immigrating to Canada in the hopes of finding work.

However, the country's exclusionary policies at the time caused them to refuse entry for the passengers, in what later became known as the Komagata Maru incident. The workers were required to sleep on the ship as officials attempted to resolve the incident, but the boat eventually turned back with 356 of the 376 passengers onboard.

In 2008, Canada officially apologized for the incident in a statement from Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Now, the Parks Board hopes to commemorate the event with a new statue in Harbour Green Park, which looks out on the area the ship was once docked. The board hopes that the memorial will educate the public as to the transgressions that happened and the progress that has been made since then.

"There will be a bit of the story which will be etched on the main body of the sculpture," Chair Aaron Jasper told News 1130. "It would actually resemble a portion of a rusted hull."  
Posted on Tuesday, Mar 1, 2011 by Justin Marlowe
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