Efforts continue to honour victims of Komagata Maru: BC proclaims May 23, 2022 as Komagata Maru Remembrance Day

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Winnipeg’s Trail Park all set to be renamed as Komagata Maru Park

The efforts to remember and honour those who were part of the tragic history of Komagata Maru, continue in the province of British Columbia and across Canada. And there is one person and organization playing a crucial role. He is Raj Singh Toor, Vice President and spokesperson for the Descendants of the Komagata Maru Society.

The Descendants of the Komagata Maru Society is made up of 15 families all over Canada who are direct descendants of the passengers (children, grandchildren or great grandchildren).

On behalf of the Society’s request the government of British Columbia recently proclaimed May 23, 2022 as Komagata Maru Remembrance Day.

Thanking BC government for this effort Toor said, “It is a great tribute to those who suffered a lot during the tragedy. It will help educate the community and remind us of how unique Canada’s and British Columbia a diverse makeup is. We are all richer when we remember how special it is to have so many different ethnic communities living together. I hope that it will help to connect Canadians, British Columbians with their past to build a more peaceful and tolerant tomorrow.”

The proclamation read that “on May 23, 1914, three hundred and seventy-six British subjects from India of Sikh, Muslim and Hinduorigin arrived in Vancouver Harbour aboard the Komagata Maru, which was docked in the Burrard Inlet withpassengers seeking to enter Canada, andon July 23, 1914, the Komagata Maru was forced to leave as a result of the discriminatory “ContinuousJourney” regulation enacted by the Government of Canada, without allowing the passengers to disembark, and upontheir return to India, 19 passengers were killed and others imprisoned.”

On May 23, 2008, by request on behalf of the Descendants of the Komagata Maru Society, theBritish Columbia Legislative Assembly stood together to formally apologize to passengers on the Komagata Maru andtheir families, stating that “the House deeply regrets that the passengers, who sought refuge in our country and ourprovince, were turned away without benefit of the fair and impartial treatment befitting a society where people of allcultures are welcomed and accepted.”

“NOW KNOW YE THAT We do by these presents proclaim and declare that May 23, 2022, shall be known as“Komagata Maru Remembrance Day”in the Province of British Columbia,” the proclamation stated.

The Komagata Maru Society also made efforts to request the city of Winnipeg  to rename Trail Park as Komagata Maru Park. Toor informed that On April 28, 2022, the City of Winnipeg Council’s had approved the executive policy committee recommendation report to rename its Singh Trail Park to Komagata Maru Park in memory of the Komagata passengers unanimously, recently.

“I would like to say thank you to the Respected Mayor and Councillors and City Staff , City of Winnipeg for recognizing the Komagata Maru passengers and making this realty. its a great tribute to those passengers who suffered a lot during the tragedy,” he said.

Renaming Singh Trail Park to Komagata Maru Park will help educate the community and remind us of Winnipeg’s unique and diverse population. We are all richer when we remember how special it is to have so many different ethnic communities living together.