East Lillooet Internment Memorial Garden Committee
E. LILLOOET INTERNMENT MEMORIAL GARDEN RENEWAL OPENING EVENT.
Phase II of the Internment Memorial Garden Project is the improvement of the garden to transform it into a ‘Lillooet style’ Japanese rock garden. Phase I was in partnership with MOTI and the District of Lillooet to create the land for the garden by infilling the old Highway 12 that overlooks the original internment camp. The Highway Legacy Sign for self-supporting sites was placed in the garden, and our Seniors’ committee raised funds and built a stone memorial monument to all the families who were interned in E. Lillooet. Phase I was completed and the unveiling event was held in May 2018.
Given the seniors’ dream to have more Japanese cultural elements and to keep maintenance costs minimal (remove need to water and to prevent weed growth), Phase II of the garden will transform the garden into a destination ‘Lillooet style’ Japanese rock garden. Fundraising of $47,000 has been completed to pay for the construction portion of the garden improvement project. This is a partnership project with the District of Lillooet. The seniors’ committee project leaders are internees Louis Horii (84 years) and Bruce Tasaka (84 years) who have led the design and garden construction portion of the project. The construction portion of the garden was mainly completed on Oct. 30, 2021. In the spring of 2022, the planting and the renewal opening event of the garden is planned. The senior internees and their families will be planting the trees as part of the ceremony and a reception will be held for this renewal. In 2018 at the Phase I unveiling event, approximately, 30 senior internees were able to attend the unveiling event in person in Lillooet. With this grant, we again plan to hire a bus from the Nikkei Museum for the renewal opening event in the spring (May 2022) and for as many senior internees as possible to attend. A reception after the ceremony will be held as part of a reunion and celebration of the garden renewal.