Kelowna Buddhist Society
GATHERING OF SURVIVORS.
This event will coincide with the 80th Anniversary of the disruption of BC Japanese Canadian lifes during World WarII. During that time many families were mandated to go to internment camps in BC or relocated to places outside of BC. Some families specifically those living in Kelowna although they were not forced to relocate were under surveillance and their normal day to day life was disrupted by restrictions imposed by the government.
The event will bring together survivors (1942-1949) to observe the 80th anniversary and to remember families and friends who are no longer alive and had gone through much hardship.
We have identified 124 survivors in the Kelowna area which is more than the number of Kelowna Buddhist Temple members only. This event will be inclusive of all survivors in the Kelowna area. We have divided the survivors into two groups, those who are mobile and healthy enough to be able to come to an event and those who have health issues and would be unable to attend.
a. Survivors who are mobile and healthy enough to attend an event will be invited to a reception lunch on May 21, 2022 if the COVID-19 situation permits a safe gathering where people can mingle and not be restricted to just sitting in their seats as this would defeat the purpose of the gathering. The alternative would be to have the event in the fall, 2022. Survivors attending the event will be allowed one additional guest which means that we will have a total 210 attendees. We will provide transportation and assistance where necessary for survivors to get to the event. The event will be held at the City of Kelowna Recreational Center.
b. For those who are unable to attend they will be provided with a bento lunch box that will be delivered to them. There are 19 survivors who would receive bento boxes.
The event will be focused on networking among survivors and as such mingling will be encouraged. We plan to have some people present their stories during that time in the hopes that this will get other people to remember their own stories and to share with others.
Photo displays with some narratives of life during that time (1942 to 1949) will be put up. The purpose of the displays is to share experiences from those who have passed and the survivors. “What was it like to live during that time?”If we had budget, we would have liked to provide meals throughout 2022 for survivors who are housebound, living at senior homes or are being cared for by family where serving of Japanese meals does not exist or is limited. These would be older survivors (for example 85 to 90+ years old) who may be frail and grew up eating Japanese food. The estimate is that 30 to 35 of these survivors would benefit by offering Japanese meals throughout the year.