The snow has been coming down steadily since last evening and this morning there was a thick blanket. It’s beautiful, but it is also a bit overwhelming as one anticipates the many months of darkness and cold.
The weekend, however, held many blessings. I spent the past months contacting people, media and organizations about the importance of recognizing that on September 28th each year, we are to remember and recognize over 100,000 children who were brought to Canada to serve as indentured servants across the nation. My great grandfather was one. This year marks 150 years since the arrival of the first of these children.
Those who know me are familiar with my story, but I really did want to share the images of a special event that local descendants of BHC hosted at the Forest Lawn Public Library, yesterday afternoon. It was a blessing to meet so many more descendants and to chat with them after the presentations and during the exhibition.
I really enjoy my friendships in this group, including Bruce, Hazel, Connie, Donna and Anna and really appreciate all of their hard work and their dedication. I am also grateful to my daughter, Erin, who attended but who also dragged chairs around, assisting where she could and Kelly, Hazel’s daughter, for her wonderful support in loading, displaying and just generally being helpful and included.
Five descendants shared their family narrative with the large group of people who came out on a dreary bad-weather day. Every generation was represented and questions were thoughtful and engaged the panel. There was lots of time for socializing and connecting with one another. A very special artifact for the group in Western Canada, of course, is the Memory Quilt that was lovingly constructed by Hazel.
As I drove home late in the afternoon, I felt grateful for the presentations and grateful for the people I worked with.
In the evening, I turned on my porch light, but unlike other nights, I took a moment to pause and think about the injustice that was perpetrated on so many innocents. I hope to, over time, help in educating the public about this part of Canada’s history.
The Beacons of Light, in recognition of 150 years included the lighting of the Calgary Tower and last night’s lighting of Reconciliation Bridge. Thanks to Bruce Skilling for his photograph of the bridge.
If you would like to be included in our contacts, have any questions at all or would like to suggest venues and activities, we’d love to hear from you. You may contact me through this blog or through the e mail connected to this blog. We also invite you to peruse our Facebook page, although our group is primarily made up of descendants living in the west. We are most agreeable to helping you with your research questions.
Finally, I will try to post Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s remarks.
Waiting for permission to use two other photographs of Beacons of Light.