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SEE PICS: Ontario’s First Komagata Maru Memorial Park Opens In Brampton

Darpan News Desk, 24 Jun, 2019
  • SEE PICS: Ontario’s First Komagata Maru Memorial Park Opens In Brampton

On Saturday, June 22 the Brampton residents gathered to celebrate the official opening of Komagata Maru Park.

 

The park is named after the SS Komagata Maru ship and pays tribute to those who were on the ship, and honours all immigrants, their struggles, triumphs and contributions to the mosaic of Canada.

 

This event will be the first Canadian commemoration of the Komagata Maru ship outside of British Columbia, Canada.

 

The SS Komagata Maru ship departed from Hong Kong in May of 1914, transporting immigrants, largely from the Punjab region of India, to Canada.

 

The ship was met by Canadian officials at the Port of Vancouver, and denied entry due to Canada’s Continuous Passage regulation, which was brought into force in 1908 in an effort to curb Indian immigration to Canada.

 
 
 
 

Nearly all of the 376 passengers — 340 Sikhs, 24 Muslims and 12 Hindus—were denied entry. The ship remained docked at the harbour for two months in hope of clearance of the immigrants before it was eventually forced by the hostile Canadian immigration authorities to return to India.

 

The opening of the Komagata Memorial Maru Park was hosted by Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and the city councillors, including Gurpreet Dhillon, Paul Vicente and Harkirat Singh on Saturday.

 

The park is situated next to the Springdale Branch Library and will have a playground, splash pad, picnic area, shade structure, as well as a garden and a water feature.

 
 
 
 

The event which was opened with the traditional smudging ceremony was attended by the descendants of the survivors of the ship and a large number of Brampton residents.

 

The vice president of the Descendants of Komagata Maru Society Raj Toor and granddaughters of two other central figures of Baba Gurdit Singh and Kanshi Ram also figured among the descendants of the survivors who attended the ceremony.

 

The ship had departed from Hong Kong in 1914 and was denied entry into Canada at the Port of Vancouver by the authorities citing Canada’s Continuous Passage regulation. The rule had been brought into force in 1908 mainly in a bid to curb Indian immigration to Canada.

 
 
 
 

The park—featuring an electronic display board highlighting local events, the Komagata Maru tragedy and triumphs and struggles of immigrants—will depict the broader Canadian multiculturalism culture and immigration to Canada apart from being a “cultural hub” for groups across the city.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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