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An oral history of the Sikhs in British Columbia, 1920-1947 Jagpal, Sarjeet Singh 1991

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\ AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE SIKHS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, 1920-1947 by S a r j e e t Singh B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1972 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF (Department of S o c i a l and E d u c a t i o n a l S t u d i e s ) We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1991 ('c)sarjeet Singh, 1991 MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) i i ABSTRACT T h i s t h e s i s r e c o g n i z e s t h e v a l u e o f u s i n g a v a r i e t y o f p e r s p e c t i v e s t o s t u d y t h e h i s t o r y o f an e t h n i c m i n o r i t y group. The h i s t o r y o f some groups i s l a c k i n g i n i n s i d e r p e r s p e c t i v e s . I have a t t e m p t e d t o add b a l a n c e t o t h e e x i s t i n g a c c o u n t s by u s i n g an o r a l h i s t o r y approach t o d e s c r i b e t h e e x p e r i e n c e s o f t h e S i k h s l i v i n g i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a from 1920-1947. I am an i n s i d e r , a S i k h whose g r a n d f a t h e r was one o f t h e o r i g i n a l p i o n e e r s who came i n t h e f i r s t wave o f i m m i g r a t i o n i n t h e 1904-1908 t i m e p e r i o d . These p e o p l e a r e no l o n g e r w i t h u s , b u t some o f t h e i r w i v e s and c h i l d r e n a r e s t i l l a v a i l a b l e t o s h a r e t h e i r h i s t o r y w i t h f u t u r e g e n e r a t i o n s . I i n t e r v i e w e d and r e c o r d e d 24 i n d i v i d u a l h i s t o r i e s . From t h e s e I have formed a c o m p o s i t e p i c t u r e o f t h e S i k h community i n B r i t i s h Columbia from 1920-1947. B e g i n n i n g w i t h d e s c r i p t i o n s o f s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l and c u l t u r a l c o n d i t i o n s i n I n d i a and Canada a t t h e t i m e o f a r r i v a l , we f o l l o w them t h r o u g h t h e i m p o r t a n t s t a g e s o f t h e i r l i v e s i n t h e i r adopted l a n d . They d e s c r i b e t h e j o u r n e y o v e r , s e t t l i n g i n , a d a p t a t i o n s , work, s o c i a l l i f e , t h e f i g h t f o r r i g h t s , and t h e r o l e o f t h e i r t emple and r e l i g i o n . We see t h e e v e n t s and c i r c u m s t a n c e s t h a t e v e n t u a l l y l e d t o t h e S i k h s b e i n g a b l e t o c a l l Canada t h e i r home. The many p h o t o g r a p h s , l e t t e r s and documents g i v e f u r t h e r i n s i g h t s i n t o t h e l i v e s o f t h i s d i s t i n c t i v e group o f C a n a d i a n s . i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS page A b s t r a c t i i L i s t o f T a b l e s i v L i s t o f F i g u r e s v Acknowledgements v i i i C h a p t e r 1: I n t r o d u c t i o n 1 C h a p t e r 2: S e t t i n g t h e Scene 18 C h a p t e r 3: The J o u r n e y Over 24 C h a p t e r 4: G e t t i n g E s t a b l i s h e d 43 C h a p t e r 5: G e t t i n g an E d u c a t i o n 88 C h a p t e r 6: S o c i a l L i f e 95 C h a p t e r 7: C o n c l u s i o n s 116 P e r s o n a l P o s t s c r i p t - E d u c a t i o n a l I m p l i c a t i o n s 122 B i b l i o g r a p h y 127 A p p e n d i x 131 i v LIST OF TABLES page T a b l e 1 - T o t a l I m m i g r a t i o n by Year 136 (Chadney, 1984,p.26) T a b l e 2 - E a s t I n d i a n I m m i g r a t i o n t o Canada by Sex: 137 A d u l t Female (Chadney, 1984, p.189) T a b l e 3 - E a s t I n d i a n I m m i g r a t i o n t o Canada by Sex: 138 C h i l d r e n (Chadney, 1984, p.190) T a b l e 4 - P o p u l a t i o n o f Hindu R a c i a l O r i g i n and Sex, 139 Canada, P r o v i n c e s and T e r r i t o r i e s , 1941, Census T a b l e 5 - L o c a t i o n o f P o p u l a t i o n o f Hindu R a c i a l 140 O r i g i n i n B r i t i s h C o lumbia, 1941 Census T a b l e 6 - P o p u l a t i o n o f Hindu R a c i a l O r i g i n , 141 By F i v e Y e a r Age Groups and Sex, Canada, 1941, Census V LIST OF FIGURES F i g u r e 1 - Group ph o t o g r a p h o f S i k h P i o n e e r s t a k e n May 20, 1989 Pan P a c i f i c H o t e l F i g u r e 2 - I m m i g r a t i o n Card - H a r i S i n g h and w i f e G u r d i a l Kour 1934 Passage T i c k e t - H a r i S i n g h 1934 F i g u r e 3 - P a s s p o r t pages 2 and 3, photo o f H a r i S i n g h F i g u r e 4 - P a s s p o r t page 1, T a r a S i n g h 1930 F i g u r e 5 - P a s s p o r t pages 2 and 3, photo o f T a r a S i n g h F i g u r e 6 - P a s s p o r t page 1, Thakar S i n g h 1923 F i g u r e 7 - P a s s p o r t pages 2 and 3, photo o f Thakar S i n g h and w i f e , 1923 F i g u r e 8 - Vancouver S i k h Temple on 2nd Avenue, 1921 • n o t i c e women i n c e n t e r * F i g u r e 9 - Vancouver S i k h Temple on 2nd Avenue, 1933 F i g u r e 10 F i g u r e 11-F i g u r e 12-F i g u r e 13-F i g u r e 14-F i g u r e 15-F i g u r e 16-F i g u r e 17-F i g u r e 18-Vancouver S i k h Temple on 2nd Avenue, 1936 Remode l l e d f o r t h e Golden J u b i l e e C e l e b r a t i o n Vancouver S i k h Temple on 2nd Avenue, 1936 I n s i d e v i e w , H a l l o f Worship, t o p f l o o r J o h l f a m i l y b u s i n e s s a t Cedar Cove S a w m i l l s p h o t o t a k e n i n 1924 Gurdass J o h l and f a m i l y w i t h 1927 B u i c k p h o t o t a k e n i n 1934 page 17 37 38 39 40 41 42 68 69 70 71 72 73 A b b o t s f o r d S i k h Temple 1934 74 Mayo Lumber Company L t d . 1936 75 P a l d i S i k h Temple 1936 76 L a d i e s ' G a t h e r i n g a t Mayo Lumber Company 1936 77 78 H i l l c r e s t S i k h Temple, Opening Day September 7, 1935 F i g u r e 19- H i l l c r e s t S i k h Temple 1936 I n s i d e v i e w , H a l l o f Worship, t o p f l o o r 79 v i F i g u r e 20- H i l l c r e s t S i k h Temple 1937 F i g u r e 21-F i g u r e 22-F i g u r e 23-F i g u r e 24-F i g u r e 25-F i g u r e 26-F i g u r e 27-F i g u r e 28-F i g u r e 29-F i g u r e 30-F i g u r e 31-F i g u r e 32-F i g u r e 33-F i g u r e 34-F i g u r e 35-F i g u r e 36-page 80 81 82 Kelowna S i k h Community 1939 R u t l a n d Community H a l l L e t t e r o f R e f e r e n c e f o r Jaswant S i n g h 1908 from R a t P o r t a g e P o r t a g e Lumber Co. L t d . L e t t e r o f R e f e r e n c e f o r Jaswant S i n g h 1909 83 from Red F i r Lumber Company Co. L t d . L e t t e r o f R e f e r e n c e f o r Jaswant S i n g h 1910 84 from The S o v e r e i g n Lumber Co. L t d . L e t t e r o f R e f e r e n c e f o r Jaswant S i n g h 1911 85 from The Monarch Lumber Co. L t d . Page 1 B i r d and B i r d l e t t e r 1942 86 r e : m i l i t a r y s e r v i c e Page 2 B i r d and B i r d l e t t e r 1942 87 r e : m i l i t a r y s e r v i c e Welcome t o Rev. C. F. Andrews, A p r i l 1929 106 o u t s i d e t h e C.N.R. S t a t i o n , Vancouver Rev. C. F. Andrews a t t h e 2nd Avenue S i k h 107 Temple, A p r i l 3, 1929 Rev. C. F. Andrews and Tagore's v i s i t t o 108 Vancouver, A p r i l 1929 K a r t a r S i n g h , Kapoor S i n g h , Dr. D. P. P a n d i a 109 and Mayo S i n g h . A n n u a l R e p o r t o f t h e K h a l s a Diwan S o c i e t y 110 as o f J a n u a r y 31, 1940 Mens' Sunday V o l l e y b a l l g e t - t o g e t h e r 1932 111 H i l l c r e s t M i l l y a r d E a s t I n d i a Hockey C l u b 1934-35 112 Winners o f M a i n l a n d League Cup and 0. B. A l l a n Cup F r o n t page o f I n d i a and Canada V o l . 1 No. 2 113 J u l y 1929 F r o n t page o f I n d i a and Canada V o l . 2 No. 1 114 March 1930 v i i F i g u r e 37- F r o n t page o f I n d i a and Canada V o l . 3 No. September 1936 F i g u r e 38- " L o o k i n g Ahead" Vancouver D a i l y P r o v i n c e March 6, 1908 from A Whiteman's P r o v i n c e by P a t r i c i a E. Roy, p. 228 F i g u r e 39- "Canada Focus" from The Vancouver Sun p. A13 J a n u a r y 4, 1990 F i g u r e 40-F i g u r e 41-F i g u r e 42-F i g u r e 43-R e l e a s e Form Page 1 I n t e r v i e w S c h e d u l e Page 2 I n t e r v i e w S c h e d u l e . Complete L i s t o f 24 I n t e r v i e w e e s page 115 125 126 132 133 134 135 v i i i Acknowledgements; I w i s h t o acknowledge t h e a s s i s t a n c e o f t h e f o l l o w i n g p e o p l e who a r r a n g e d and accompanied me on some o f t h e i n t e r v i e w s : - Gurmej Kaur B a s i - Ab B e r a r - Gary B i l l a n - Manga S i n g h J a g p a l - P a t r i c i a J o h l - Mawa Mangat - P a u l U p p a l S p e c i a l t h a n k s go t o t h e s e p e o p l e f o r a l l o w i n g me t o make c o p i e s o f t h e i r h i s t o r i c a l p h o t o g r a p h s , documents and l e t t e r s : - K u l d e e p B a i n s - Ab B e r a r - T a l m i n d e r Hundle - K a r n a i l J o h l - N a r a n j a n Mahal - Mrs. G. K. Oppal - Magar S i n g h R a i - Mehar S i n g h Sandhu - Kundan Sangha 1 Chapter 1: Introduction When studying the h i s t o r y of any ethnic community i t i s best to get as many perspectives as possible. The h i s t o r y of the Sikhs i n B r i t i s h Columbia has most often been written from an outsider perspective, by i n d i v i d u a l s outside of the community i t s e l f . Insider accounts and perspectives are needed to provide a more balanced account. This thesis attempts to add t h i s balance by using an o r a l h i s t o r y approach to describe the experiences of the Sikhs i n B r i t i s h Columbia from 1920-1947. Gaining access to the Sikh community i n order to write t h e i r h i s t o r y i s a challenge i n i t s e l f since the Sikh community has been reluctant to open i t s doors. This reluctance stems . from the early days when immigration o f f i c i a l s would gain access through an i n s i d e r , and very soon afterwards, several deportations would take place. Mistrust and suspicion b u i l t up and continue even today. Sikhs are unwilling for good reasons to share t h e i r s t o r i e s . The Sikhs themselves have not been content with the presentation of t h e i r past i n t h i s country. The focus has t r a d i t i o n a l l y been on how strange and d i f f e r e n t they are from the dominant culture. Issues that they do not see as being s i g n i f i c a n t have been emphasized, such as the strangeness of t h e i r r e l i g i o n , customs, language, appearance, food, work ethic, marriage pr a c t i c e s , l i f e s t y l e and extended family u n i t . 2 Now i t i s time to hear from the Sikhs themselves, who are more than able to t e l l t h e i r own story and add some balance to the h i s t o r y that has already been written. This i s most e a s i l y done by a member of the community t a l k i n g to the people who started coming i n the early 1920s when immigration r e s t r i c t i o n s on bringing over wives and children from India were l i f t e d . These men and women are "the l i v i n g l i n k s to the past" being the d i r e c t descendents of the o r i g i n a l Sikh s e t t l e r s who came i n the 1904-1908 time period. Their s t o r i e s of the struggles and hardships of l i f e i n a new and h o s t i l e country need to be recorded both to r e t r i e v e t h e i r h i s t o r y and to make av a i l a b l e to future generations the events and circumstances that eventually led to the Sikhs being able to c a l l Canada t h e i r home. These i n s i d e r s ' points of view w i l l make possible a f u l l e r and more r e a l i s t i c p i c t u r e of what a c t u a l l y happened i n the past. This t h e s i s i s an attempt to provide a composite p i c t u r e of the Sikh community i n B.C. by using these i n d i v i d u a l s ' o r a l h i s t o r i e s . I am a Sikh whose grandfather was one of the pioneers who came i n the f i r s t wave of immigration i n the 1904-1908 time period. Through my parents and t h e i r associates I have access to t h i s s e l e c t group of people. The o r i g i n a l pioneers are no longer with us to t e l l us t h e i r s t o r i e s but t h e i r descendents possess valuable information about the early days i n B r i t i s h Columbia and i t i s time that they shared t h i s information. 3 Review o f L i t e r a t u r e : Norman B u c h i g n a n i has c o m p i l e d comprehensive b i b l i o g r a p h i e s on South A s i a n s i n Canada, A Review o f t h e  H i s t o r i c a l and S o c i o l o g i c a l L i t e r a t u r e on E a s t I n d i a n s (1977), and an updated v e r s i o n c a l l e d R e s e a r c h on South  A s i a n s i n Canada: R e t o s p e c t and P r o s p e c t (1987). B u c h i g n a n i s t a t e s t h a t t h e r e a r e some 200 a r t i c l e s and books about S o u t h A s i a n s i n Canada. Much o f t h i s l i t e r a t u r e has been p u b l i s h e d s i n c e t h e e a r l y 1970s when i n t e r e s t i n t h e d i v e r s i t y o f c u l t u r e s i n c r e a s e d and government f u n d i n g promoted s u c h e n d e a v o r s . The l i t e r a t u r e on t h e S i k h s documenting t h e t i m e s l e a d i n g up t o t h e 1920s i s e x t e n s i v e . The c o v e r a g e o f t h e S i k h s ' a r r i v a l and r e c e p t i o n , t h e r a c i a l i n c i d e n t s , t h e c h a l l e n g e s t o t h e i n j u s t i c e s o f t h e i m m i g r a t i o n p o l i c i e s a r e d i s c u s s e d by Chandrasekhar (1986) and Chadney (1984). F e r g u s o n (1975) and J o h n s t o n (1989) c h r o n i c l e t h e Komagata Maru i n c i d e n t when 376 S i k h s l e d by G u r d i t S i n g h c h a l l e n g e d Canada's c o n t i n u o u s passage r u l i n g , and t h e G h a d r i t e p o l i t i c a l movement w h i c h f o u g h t f o r I n d i a ' s independence. As w e l l , K e s a r S i n g h , a S i k h , has p r o v i d e d v a l u a b l e i n s i d e r v i e w s o f t h e s e t i m e s w i t h h i s newly p u b l i s h e d C a n a d i a n S i k h s  ( P a r t One) and t h e Komagata Maru Massacre (1989). The n e x t p e r i o d o f h i s t o r y , 1919-1947, B u c h i g n a n i c a l l s t h e " q u i e t y e a r s " because i t i s l a r g e l y u n r e c o r d e d , e s p e c i a l l y t h e s o c i a l h i s t o r y . D u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d t h e S i k h 4 community c l o s e d i t s d o o r s t o o u t s i d e r s . The main s o u r c e s a v a i l a b l e f o r t h i s p e r i o d a r e a r c h i v a l r e c o r d s and newspaper r e p o r t s . B u c h i g n a n i and I n d r a (1985) i s a good r e s o u r c e c o m b i n i n g some o r a l h i s t o r i e s w i t h m o s t l y a r c h i v a l m a t e r i a l s . The o n l y s i g n i f i c a n t work on s o c i a l h i s t o r y , f a m i l y and community l i f e from t h e i n s i d e r ' s p e r s p e c t i v e i s by Sadhu S i n g h Dhami (1980) i n n o v e l form. A f t e r 1947, when E a s t I n d i a n s r e c e i v e d t h e f e d e r a l and p r o v i n c i a l f r a n c h i s e s and s u b s e q u e n t l y t h e m u n i c i p a l f r a n c h i s e , t h e i r c o v e r a g e i n t h e media improved and t h e accompanying l i t e r a t u r e grew. The community opened i t s d o o r s somewhat t o t h e l a r g e r s o c i e t y . S i n c e t h e y were now a c c o r d e d f u l l and e q u a l r i g h t s t h e i r t r u s t o f o u t s i d e r s i n c r e a s e d . Many r e s e a r c h e r s t o o k advantage o f t h i s new o p p o r t u n i t y , i n c l u d i n g Mayer (1959), Lowes (1963), B u t t o n (1964), Ames and I n g l i s (1973), and Redway (1984). T h i s r e s u l t e d i n a s u b s t a n t i a l i n c r e a s e i n t h e l i t e r a t u r e on E a s t I n d i a n s i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a . T h i s work s t i l l d i d l i t t l e t o f i l l t h e h o l e s and gaps i n t h e i r s o c i a l h i s t o r y from 1920-1947. A f t e r a r e v i e w o f a l l t h e l i t e r a t u r e t o d a t e , B u c h i g n a n i (1987) s t a t e s t h a t t h e r e s t i l l i s n o t h i n g i n t h e way o f a s o c i o l o g y o f t h e S o u t h A s i a n C a n a d i a n f a m i l y . A c c o r d i n g t o him, t h e gaps i n t h e l i t e r a t u r e on S i k h h i s t o r y e x i s t i n s e v e r a l a r e a s : t h e S i k h s ' i n g r o u p and o u t g r o u p r e l a t i o n s , maintenance o f r e l i g i o u s , c u l t u r a l , and e t h n i c t r a d i t i o n s , t i e s w i t h I n d i a , r o l e o f t h e t e m p l e as a s o c i o -c u l t u r a l c e n t e r and t h e S i k h s ' r e a s o n s f o r coming t o Canada 5 i n t h e f a c e o f so many o b s t a c l e s . O r a l h i s t o r y can f i l l t h e s e gaps. A c c o r d i n g t o M i l t o n I s r a e l (1987): There i s a l o n g agenda f o r f u t u r e work. B u c h i g n a n i emphasizes t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f o r a l h i s t o r y p r o j e c t s , i n p a r t i c u l a r among t h e o l d e r g e n e r a t i o n o f i m m i g r a n t s . He n o t e s t h e l o s t o p p o r t u n i t i e s among t h e S i k h p i o n e e r s on t h e west c o a s t who have d i e d w i t h o u t l e a v i n g us t h e i r p e r s o n a l t e s t i m o n y and p e r s p e c t i v e s , (p.14) I n l a m e n t i n g t h e l o s s o f t h e s e o r i g i n a l S i k h p i o n e e r s , B u c h i g n a n i (1987) h i m s e l f s t a t e s : However, s e v e r a l i m p o r t a n t s o u r c e s o f i n f o r m a t i o n r e m a i n a l m o s t untapped: second g e n e r a t i o n S i k h s and t h o s e few men and women who i m m i g r a t e d between 1920-1947 remai n a r e s e r v o i r o f o r a l h i s t o r y d a t a . (p.116) Methodology: On May 20, 1989, t h e I n d i a C u l t u r a l S o c i e t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a h e l d a d i n n e r a t t h e Pan P a c i f i c H o t e l i n Vancouver t o commemorate t h e 7 5 t h a n n i v e r s a r y o f t h e Komagata Maru i n c i d e n t . The sons and d a u g h t e r s o f B r i t i s h C olumbia's o r i g i n a l S i k h p i o n e e r s from t h e 1904-1908 p e r i o d , now i n t h e i r s e v e n t i e s and e i g h t i e s , were t h e g u e s t s o f honour f o r t h e o v e r 2000 p e o p l e i n a t t e n d a n c e . I t was t h i s group t h a t Norman B u c h i g n a n i (1987) r e f e r s t o as "a r e s e r v o i r o f o r a l h i s t o r y d a t a " . I have i n c l u d e d a group p h o t o g r a p h , w h i c h I t o o k a t t h i s o c c a s i o n , a t t h e end o f t h i s c h a p t e r . I t shows t h e s e p r o u d s u r v i v o r s g a t h e r e d t o g e t h e r f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e as an e n t i r e g roup. T h i s was my p o p u l a t i o n : t h e y had common r o o t s , 6 r e l i g i o n , e x p e r i e n c e s , c u l t u r e , hopes and a s p i r a t i o n s . They had a long-awaited and important h i s t o r y t o t e l l . D uring t h i s event, the younger people were brought i n touch w i t h t h e i r e l d e r s ' p a s t s and we a l l r e a l i z e d t h a t e v e r y t h i n g we have i n t h i s r i c h and abundant co u n t r y was due t o t h e v a l i a n t e f f o r t s o f these brave s u r v i v o r s who were assembled b e f o r e us. T h e i r h i s t o r y , and i n t u r n our h i s t o r y , was r i c h and v a l u a b l e . I t needed t o be p r e s e r v e d , documented, and made a v a i l a b l e t o a l l people. These people were th e l i v i n g l i n k t o the p a s t , and because o f t h e i r age and f r a i l t y were s l o w l y f a d i n g away. As s t o r i e s and memories were exchanged, I r e a l i z e d how o r a l our c u l t u r e i s and how h i s t o r y i s communicated i n t h i s way. A h i s t o r y book c o u l d never have c a p t u r e d the f a l t e r i n g v o i c e s , the emotional e x p r e s s i o n s and the s h i f t s i n p i t c h and i n t o n a t i o n t h a t I e x p e r i e n c e d t h a t day l i s t e n i n g t o t h e s e men and women r e m i n i s c e . I t was then t h a t I d e c i d e d t o undertake an o r a l h i s t o r y because i t allowed t h e s e people t o t e l l t h e i r s t o r i e s i n t h e i r own words. I t adds another dimension t o t h e study o f h i s t o r y . As Derek Reimer (1984) s t a t e s : I t s medium i s the r e c o r d e d human v o i c e which conveys meaning beyond the a c t u a l words. T h i s a d d i t i o n a l meaning i n c l u d e s , i n f o r m a t i o n about age, mood, accent, e t h n i c group, r e g i o n a l and c l a s s background, sex o f the speaker and p e r s o n a l i t y t r a i t s . Each v o i c e has q u a l i t i e s which d i s t i n g u i s h i t from o t h e r s g i v n g o r a l h i s t o r y i n t e r v i e w s a p e r s o n a l presense t h a t no w r i t t e n r e c o r d can match, (p.2) 7 Time was an i m p o r t a n t f a c t o r and i t was v i t a l t h a t t h e s e l i f e h i s t o r i e s be t a p e d and p r e s e r v e d soon b e f o r e t h e s e p i o n e e r s l e f t us f o r e v e r . These t a p e s would be a t r i b u t e t o t h e s e men and women's a b i l i t i e s t o have s u r v i v e d and t h r i v e d a g a i n s t tremendous o b s t a c l e s . T h e i r s t o r i e s w o u l d l i v e on l o n g a f t e r t h e y were gone. I o b t a i n e d a l i s t o f t h e p i o n e e r s who a t t e n d e d t h i s f u n c t i o n as w e l l as t h e names o f t h o s e who were n o t p r e s e n t t h a t e v e n i n g . T h i s gave me a l i s t o f p o s s i b l e i n t e r v i e w e e s w i t h t h e i r a d d r e s s e s and phone numbers. I s t a r t e d my i n t e r v i e w s w i t h t h e p e o p l e who I had met t h a t e v e n i n g s i n c e I had a l r e a d y h e a r d p a r t s o f t h e i r p e r s o n a l h i s t o r i e s and had e s t a b l i s h e d c o n t a c t . They knew my p a r e n t s and f a m i l y and were v e r y c o o p e r a t i v e . I began each i n t e r v i e w by e x p l a i n i n g t h e p u r p o s e s o f my s t u d y and t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e i n t e r v i e w e e ' s c o n t r i b u t i o n . I e x p l a i n e d t h a t t h e r e were gaps i n t h e h i s t o r y o f t h e S i k h s i n B.C. and t h e y c o u l d h e l p f i l l t h e s e gaps w i t h t h e i r p e r s o n a l h i s t o r y . On most o c c a s i o n s we were i n t h e i r homes and I was accompanied by my f a t h e r o r mutual a c q u a i n t a n c e so t h e y were c o m f o r t a b l e and t r u s t i n g . B e f o r e any t a p i n g , I e x p l a i n e d t h e R e l e a s e Form t o them ( i n A p p e n d i x ) . I made i t c l e a r how I would use t h e i r t a p e r e c o r d i n g and any o f t h e i r p h o t o g r a p h s , l e t t e r s and documents. The form was t h e n s i g n e d and w i t n e s s e d . A t t h i s p o i n t I e x p l a i n e d t h a t i t was i m p o r t a n t t h a t we s h o u l d n o t be d i s t u r b e d w h i l e we were t a p i n g o ur 8 c o n v e r s a t i o n . I t was i m p o r t a n t t h a t we s i t i n a q u i e t space, f r e e o f background n o i s e . On many o c c a s i o n s , r a d i o s and t e l e v i s i o n s were t u r n e d o f f , windows and d o o r s c l o s e d , t e l e p h o n e s unplugged, c h i l d r e n t o l d t o be q u i e t . Sometimes we wo u l d g e t up and move t o a d i f f e r e n t room. R e s p e c t and s e n s i t i v i t y t o t h e i r c u l t u r e were v e r y i m p o r t a n t i n e n h a n c i n g communication d u r i n g t h e i n t e r v i e w s . B e i n g a S i k h , I was aware o f t h e s u b t l e c u l t u r a l cues t o g a i n t h e i r t r u s t . I n e v e r c a l l e d them by t h e i r names b u t r e f e r r e d t o them as " a u n t i e " o r " u n c l e " . I t r i e d t o s i t a t a l o w e r s p o t t h a n t h e y d i d , sometimes a t t h e i r f e e t on t h e c a r p e t . I wanted them t o f e e l t h a t t h e y were i n c o n t r o l . These were a l l ways o f showing my r e s p e c t . B e i n g a male i n t e r v i e w i n g f e m a l e s was a l s o a f a c t o r t h a t I had t o c o n s i d e r . S i n c e I was w o r k i n g w i t h a c u l t u r e t h a t has d e f i n e d gender r o l e s , t h e female i n t e r v i e w e e s may have been r e l u c t a n t t o s h a r e c e r t a i n i n f o r m a t i o n w i t h a male. One way t o a l l o w f o r t h i s would have been t o have f e m a l e s i n t e r v i e w e d by a female i n t e r v i e w e r . T h i s would have r a i s e d c o n c e r n s r e g a r d i n g c o n s i s t e n c y and b r o u g h t i n a n o t h e r v a r i a b l e t o be a c c o u n t e d f o r i n a n a l y z i n g t h e d a t a . I d i d have a m u t u a l f r i e n d o r r e l a t i o n accompany me on any i n t e r v i e w where I f e l t I m i g h t need some h e l p t o g a i n t r u s t and t h e r e b y i n c r e a s e c o n v e r s a t i o n . I n r e t r o s p e c t , I was amazed by t h e h i g h l e v e l o f c o m f o r t and communication o f each i n t e r v i e w . 9 When we were c o m f o r t a b l e , I would b e g i n w i t h t h e b a c k g r o u n d i n f o r m a t i o n i n t h e Q u e s t i o n S e t ( i n A p p e n d i x ) . These q u e s t i o n s stemmed from d i s c u s s i o n s w i t h h i s t o r i a n s , gaps i n h i s t o r i c a l knowledge and my p e r s o n a l and academic c u r i o s i t y . The i n t e n t i o n was t o c o v e r t h e i m p o r t a n t a r e a s o f i n d i v i d u a l l i v e s and form a c l e a r e r p i c t u r e o f t h e t i m e s i n w h i c h t h e y l i v e d . I sought i n f o r m a t i o n about t h e s i t u a t i o n and c o n d i t i o n s i n I n d i a a t t h e t i m e o f t h e i r e m i g r a t i o n , t h e j o u r n e y o v e r , and s e t t l i n g i n t o a new l i f e i n Canada. I wanted t o know about t h e b e g i n n i n g s and subsequent s t a g e s o f f a m i l y l i f e , and t h e a d a p t a t i o n s and a d j u s t m e n t s t h a t t h e y had t o make. E d u c a t i o n and language p r o b l e m s , s o c i a l n e t w o r k s , hopes and a s p i r a t i o n s , f e a r s and f a i l u r e s , h o u s i n g , employment were a l l d i s c u s s e d . The r o l e o f t h e i r r e l i g i o n and t h e t e m p l e (gurdwara) as w e l l as t h e i r t i e s t o I n d i a were d i s c u s s e d . Most o f t h e q u e s t i o n s were open-ended and a l l o w e d f o r p e r s o n a l f e e l i n g s , o b s e r v a t i o n s , a n e c d o t e s , and d e s c r i p t i o n s o f t h e e v e n t s i n t h e i r l i v e s . The i n t e r v i e w was a v e r y p o w e r f u l p r o c e s s . A t t i m e s , i t became v e r y e m o t i o n a l because o f t h e memories b e i n g s t i r r e d a f t e r so l o n g a t i m e . I would c o n d u c t t h e i n t e r v i e w i n e i t h e r P u n j a b i o f E n g l i s h , w h i c h e v e r language t h e i n d i v i d u a l f e l t most c o m f o r t a b l e u s i n g . Most p r e f e r r e d P u n j a b i . There were some v e r y t o u c h i n g moments, some t e a r s , some s i l e n c e and m e d i t a t i o n , and much humour. Each i n t e r v i e w was i n t e r e s t i n g f o r i t s own u n i q u e n e s s . I would o f t e n s t o p t o a s k f o r t h e s p e l l i n g o f names, and I would w r i t e n o t e s as 10 t h e y were t a l k i n g . There were many p a i n f u l moments when t h e y w o u l d s e a r c h t h e i r memories f o r a f o r g o t t e n name o r d a t e . Sometimes t h e i r v o i c e s were f u l l o f emotion as t h e y r e c a l l e d a f o n d memory o r a d i f f i c u l t t i m e . Most i n t e r v i e w s l a s t e d about an hour. The l o n g e s t was about two h o u r s . Some p e o p l e would t a l k a t l e n g t h about an i s s u e t h e y f e l t s t r o n g l y about so I would a l l o w c o n s i d e r a b l e l a t i t u d e t o do so. My main c o n c e r n was t o g e t them t a l k i n g and keep t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n f l o w i n g . I would n o t work t h r o u g h t h e q u e s t i o n s s e q u e n t i a l l y s i n c e many would be answered d u r i n g t h e c o u r s e o f c o v e r i n g a n o t h e r s u b j e c t . Some p e o p l e t e n d e d t o ramble o f f t o p i c b u t s u b t l y I encouraged them back on c o u r s e . A t t h e end o f t h e i n t e r v i e w , I would a sk f o r any o l d documents, l e t t e r s , o r photographs t h e y m i g h t have t h a t w o u l d c l a r i f y some o f t h e t h i n g s we had d i s c u s s e d . They wo u l d go o f f t o t h e i r rooms and b r i n g back a c h e r i s h e d p i c t u r e o r some c a r e f u l l y k e p t p a p e r s and p u t them i n a bag f o r me t o t a k e w i t h me. I p r o m i s e d t o t a k e good c a r e o f them and r e t u r n them soon. We u s u a l l y t h e n s a t and had t e a o r r e f r e s h m e n t s and t h e y would t a l k about t h e i r c h i l d r e n , g r a n d c h i l d r e n o r someone we b o t h knew. I would a l w a y s t h a n k them. They seemed p l e a s e d t h a t someone was t a k i n g an i n t e r e s t i n t h e i r l i v e s and h i s t o r y . I t made them f e e l i m p o r t a n t . B e f o r e l e a v i n g , I a l w a y s t o o k a c o l o u r e d p h o t o g r a p h o f them as a v i s u a l r e c o r d o f t h e i n t e r v i e w . 11 An i m p o r t a n t p a r t o f each i n t e r v i e w was g e t t i n g r e f e r r a l s f o r f u t u r e i n t e r v i e w s . Each t i m e , I would ask i f t h e y knew o f someone e l s e i n t h e community I s h o u l d be t a l k i n g t o about t h e s e t h i n g s . Some o f t h e s e p e o p l e would g e t on t h e phone r i g h t away t o a r r a n g e a n o t h e r i n t e r v i e w f o r me. Each i n t e r v i e w g e n e r a t e d r e f e r r a l s . C o r r o b o r a t i o n o f i n f o r m a t i o n was t h e n i n c r e a s e d by s u c c e s s i v e i n t e r v i e w s . T h i s s n o w b a l l s a m p l i n g t e c h n i q u e worked v e r y w e l l ; I f e l t I had a good sample when p e o p l e were recommended who I had a l r e a d y i n t e r v i e w e d . I r e a l i z e t h a t t h e sample was l i m i t e d t o b e g i n w i t h so I t o o k c a r e t o i n c l u d e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n from d i f f e r e n t s o c i o - e c o n o m i c g r o u p s , e d u c a t i o n l e v e l s , and p a r t s o f t h e p r o v i n c e . Gender was a l s o a c o n s i d e r a t i o n s i n c e t h e r e was an im b a l a n c e i n t h e S i k h community i n t h e e a r l y days. My sample e v e n t u a l l y t o t a l l e d 24 p e o p l e , 18 men and 6 women. T h i s i n c l u d e d two Canadian b o r n S i k h s . C o n s i d e r i n g a l l t h e l i m i t a t i o n s o f my sample and my t i m e , r e s o u r c e s , and a c c e s s i b i l i t y , I f e e l c o n f i d e n t t h a t t h i s i s a f a i r l y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e sample o f t h e S i k h s who l i v e d i n B r i t i s h C olumbia d u r i n g t h e t i m e b e i n g s t u d i e d . Whoever was recommended as someone t o i n t e r v i e w and c o u l d c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e s t u d y was sought o u t and i n c l u d e d i n t h i s sample. I n t e r v i e w i n g more S i k h s would have added t o t h e d a t a b u t would n o t have a l t e r e d t h e themes p r e s e n t e d i n t h i s s t u d y . 12 As soon as p o s s i b l e a f t e r each i n t e r v i e w , I made a copy o f t h e t a p e and s t o r e d t h e o r i g i n a l i n a s a f e p l a c e . I used t h e copy t o make a summary o f t h e i n t e r v i e w . T h i s was n o t a t r a n s c r i p t i o n b u t a w r i t t e n r e c o r d o f t h e h i g h l i g h t s , main p o i n t s , f e a t u r e s , i m p o r t a n t q u o t e s , names and d a t e s . As t h e i n t e r v i e w s p r o g r e s s e d many common themes, i s s u e s , names and e v e n t s emerged. I k e p t t r a c k o f t h e s e and p l o t t e d them on a l a r g e p i e c e o f c h a r t p a p e r . I marked t h e t a p e l o c a t i o n under each h e a d i n g f o r f u t u r e r e f e r e n c e . The h e a d i n g s were: - The J o u r n e y Over - S e t t l i n g I n ( h o u s i n g and accommodation) - The r o l e o f t h e temple o r r e l i g i o n - Work and Employment - I n j u s t i c e - R i g h t s and p r i v i l e g e s - E d u c a t i o n - S o c i a l L i f e - A d v i c e t o Newcomers - S u c c e s s e s T h i s d a t a a n a l y s i s phase i n v o l v e d much t h o u g h t and o r g a n i z a t i o n . I c o l o u r coded each o f t h e h e a d i n g s and went back t o t h e i n d i v i d u a l summaries and used c o l o u r t o mark w h e r e v e r t h e s e t o p i c s o c c u r r e d . T h i s e n a b l e d me t o o r g a n i z e e a c h p e r s o n ' s l i f e and a l l o w e d me t o see i f i n f a c t t h e s e a s p e c t s were s i g n i f i c a n t . A f t e r i d e n t i f y i n g t h e s e h e a d i n g s as b e i n g s i g n i f i c a n t , I began l o o k i n g f o r o t h e r c o m m o n a l i t i e s , k e e p i n g i n mind t h a t I was t r y i n g t o form a c o m p o s i t e p i c t u r e o f t h e p r o v i n c e ' s S i k h community. Many p l a c e names were r e p e a t e d l y mentioned and t h r o u g h f u r t h e r s t u d y o f t h e d a t a r e v e a l e d something i n t e r e s t i n g . 13 There were s e v e r a l d i s t i n c t S i k h communities and c l u s t e r s i n t h e p r o v i n c e , c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p l a c e o f work. Temples marked t h e l a r g e r ones: 2nd Avenue i n Vancouver, V i c t o r i a , F r a s e r M i l l s , New W e s t m i n s t e r , A b b o t s f o r d , and P a l d i and H i l l c r e s t on Vancouver I s l a n d . There had been t e m p l e s i n Ocean F a l l s and Golden b u t t h e y had c l o s e d down by t h e t i m e many o f t h e s e p e o p l e came on t h e scene. Many s m a l l e r c l u s t e r s o f S i k h s were a l s o i d e n t i f i e d around m i l l s and p l a c e s o f work. These were m o s t l y male h o u s e h o l d s . The names o f c e r t a i n community l e a d e r s were o f t e n m e n t i o n e d and g i v e n s p e c i a l r e c o g n i t i o n . As t h e i n t e r v i e w s p r o g r e s s e d , I t r i e d t o improve t h e q u a l i t y o f t h e d a t a by i n q u i r i n g f u r t h e r about c e r t a i n i s s u e s and names. I would ask f o r more c l a r i f i c a t i o n o r ment i o n what someone e l s e had s a i d i n a p r e v i o u s i n t e r v i e w . Some o f t h e s e e v e n t s were r e l i g i o u s c e l e b r a t i o n s , s p o r t s e v e n t s , s o c i a l e v e n t s , p o l i t i c a l g a t h e r i n g s and t h e f i g h t f o r r i g h t s . The p e o p l e I wanted more i n f o r m a t i o n about were: te m p l e committee members, p r i e s t s , community l e a d e r s , i m p o r t a n t v i s i t o r s , b u s i n e s s l e a d e r s , e d u c a t e d p e o p l e , a t h l e t e s , t r a v e l l i n g companions, and n e i g h b o u r s . The q u a l i t y o f t h e d a t a improved i n t h i s way. Some o f t h e p h o t o g r a p h s , documents and l e t t e r s t h a t a r e i n c l u d e d i n t h i s s t u d y have n e v e r b e f o r e been seen by anyone o t h e r t h a n f a m i l y members. They a r e t r e a s u r e d momentos o f t h e p a s t and s e r v e i n t h i s s t u d y as c o r r o b o r a t i o n and v e r i f i c a t i o n o f t h e e v e n t s t h a t t o o k p l a c e . One s h o u l d l o o k 14 c a r e f u l l y a t t h e s e p h o t o g r a p h s as t h e y r e v e a l many i m p o r t a n t i n s i g h t s : t h e c o m p o s t i o n o f t h e community (males, f e m a l e s , c h i l d r e n ) , d egree o f C a n a d i a n i z a t i o n , and t h e r o l e o f work and t h e t e m p l e . I t i s a l s o i m p o r t a n t t o n o t e t h e d a t e s o f each p h o t o g r a p h t o see t h e changes o v e r t i m e . I o b t a i n e d c o p i e s o f t h e n e w s l e t t e r I n d i a and Canada e d i t e d by K a r t a r S i n g h , from h i s nephew, T a l m i n d e r Hundle. I t i s a n o t h e r v a l u a b l e r e s o u r c e t h a t c h r o n i c l e s t h e s o c i a l e v e n t s i n t h e S i k h Community from 1929-1936. T h i s f u r t h e r v e r i f i e s t h e e v e n t s d e s c r i b e d i n t h e i n t e r v i e w s and adds t o t h e v a l i d i t y o f t h e d a t a o b t a i n e d from t h e i n t e r v i e w s . I t i s t h e i n s i d e r ' s p e r s p e c t i v e t h a t g i v e s t h e s t u d y s p e c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . Communication, t h e key t o any s u c c e s s f u l i n t e r v i e w , i s g r e a t l y i n c r e a s e d , a c c o r d i n g t o Reimer (1984) , when b o t h p a r t i e s a r e from t h e same s o c i a l , c u l t u r a l and r e l i g i o u s background. I n t e r v i e w e e s may be r e l u c t a n t t o speak c a n d i d l y w i t h an o u t s i d e r , e s p e c i a l l y i f he o r she i s from a group w h i c h has t r a d i t i o n a l l y l o o k e d down upon t h e i r group and even p e r s e c u t e d i t . Reimer argues t h a t t h e o u t s i d e r may n o t u n d e r s t a n d t h e p a r t i c u l a r forms o f s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n u n i q u e t o t h a t group and n o t know t h e a p p r o p r i a t e q u e s t i o n s o r how t o ask t h e q u e s t i o n s . I was a b l e t o g a i n t h e t r u s t and c o n f i d e n c e o f t h e e l d e r l y S i k h s s i n c e t h e y knew my p a r e n t s and I spoke t h e i r language. I am one o f them. I u n d e r s t a n d t h e s u b t l e ways o f t h e i r non-v e r b a l communication system, and c o n s e q u e n t l y may be one o f o n l y a few p e o p l e t o whom t h e y would c o n f i d e t h e i r s t o r i e s . 15 I t i s i m p o r t a n t t o remember t h a t memories a r e s e l e c t i v e . Whether c o n s c i o u s l y o r u n c o n s c i o u s l y t h e s e men and women p i c k e d and chose what t h e y t o l d me. They c o u l d n o t t e l l me e v e r y t h i n g . Then I p i c k e d and chose from what t h e y t o l d me. There was s e l e c t i o n i n v o l v e d on b o t h l e v e l s . The r e a l i s m and s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e a c t u a l c o n v e r s a t i o n s i s somewhat l o s t by w r i t i n g o r a l h i s t o r i e s and p r e s e n t i n g them on p a p e r . T h i s d e t r a c t s from t h e f u l l e f f e c t . Much o f t h e power and i n t e n s i t y o f t h e spoken word i s l o s t . The t h i n g t o remember about r e a d i n g t h i s h i s t o r y i s t h a t one s h o u l d r e a l l y be l i s t e n i n g t o i t . O r g a n i z a t i o n : The n e x t c h a p t e r s e t s t h e scene by d e s c r i b i n g t h e s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l and c u l t u r a l c o n d i t i o n s i n Canada l e a d i n g up t o , and a t t h e t i m e o f , t h e S i k h s ' a r r i v a l h e r e . C h a p t e r Three d e s c r i b e s t h e c o n d i t i o n s i n I n d i a when t h e y emmigrated and t h e i r l o n g j o u r n e y o v e r t o Canada. C h a p t e r F o u r t e l l s o f t h e i r s e t t l i n g i n and g e t t i n g e s t a b l i s h e d t o l i f e i n a new e n v i r o n m e n t . T h i s c h a p t e r i n c l u d e s i n f o r m a t i o n about a d a p t a t i o n s , work, h o u s i n g , community f o r m a t i o n , r o l e o f t h e t e m p l e , s o c i a l n e t w o r k i n g and j o b m o b i l i t y . An e x t e n s i v e c o l l e c t i o n o f documents and p h otographs accompanies t h i s c h a p t e r . C h a p t e r F i v e a d d r e s s e s t h e theme o f e d u c a t i o n . C h a p t e r S i x i s about s o c i a l l i f e and i s accompanied by a n o t h e r s e t o f documents and p h o t o g r a p h s . The f i n a l c h a p t e r has t h e 16 c o n c l u s i o n s . A p o s t s c r i p t d i s c u s s e s t h e e d u c a t i o n a l i m p l i c a t i o n s a n d t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e s t u d y . T o g e t h e r , t h e c h a p t e r s t r a c e t h e p r o c e s s b y w h i c h t h e S i k h s became e s t a b l i s h e d i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a . T h e y a l s o e x p l a i n how t h e s e S i k h s f i n a l l y w e r e a b l e t o c a l l C a n a d a t h e i r home a f t e r r e c e i v i n g t h e f r a n c h i s e i n 1 9 4 7 , o v e r f o r t y y e a r s a f t e r t h e f i r s t S i k h s came t o t h i s c o u n t r y . 18 C h a p t e r 2: S e t t i n g t h e Scene The h i s t o r y o f t h e S i k h s i n Canada began w i t h t h e f i r s t wave o f i m m i g r a t i o n i n 1904-1908. A t t h i s t i m e about 5000 E a s t I n d i a n s , v i r t u a l l y a l l male S i k h s from t h e p r o v i n c e o f Pu n j a b , came t o B r i t i s h Columbia t o do l a b o u r i n g j o b s on t h e r a i l w a y , i n t h e lumber m i l l s and i n f o r e s t r y (Johnson, 1984, p . 8 ) . Even though t h e y were u n s k i l l e d and uneducated, t h e y were f a v o u r e d by employers because t h e y were h a r d w o r k i n g and r e l i a b l e and because employers c o u l d pay t h e S i k h s l e s s t h a n w h i t e men f o r t h e same work. These p i o n e e r S i k h s d i d n o t have t h e i n t e n t i o n o f s t a y i n g l o n g . They came t o make money and r e t u r n t o I n d i a . They f a c e d many o b s t a c l e s : r a c i a l d i s c r i m i n a t i o n and s e g r e g a t i o n , language p r o b l e m s , p o o r e d u c a t i o n , l a c k o f p r o p e r h o u s i n g and h e a l t h c a r e , and c u l t u r e shock. They had come t o a c o l d and h o s t i l e e n v i r o n m e n t , b o t h l i t e r a l l y and f i g u r a t i v e l y . As Hugh J o h n s t o n (1984) s t a t e s , f o r t h e s e men b e i n g a p a r t from t h e i r f a m i l i e s was e s p e c i a l l y p a i n f u l : C o n s t a n t l y i n t h e company o f t h e i r own countrymen - a t work and i n t h e i r l o d g i n g o r bunkhouses - S i k h s were i s o l a t e d by t h e i r p a t t e r n o f l i f e as w e l l as by language, c u l t u r e , and t h e a t t i t u d e o f t h e h o s t p o p u l a t i o n . F a m i l y l i f e , w i t h c h i l d r e n g o i n g t o s c h o o l and c o n t a c t s w i t h n e i g h b o u r s , would have r e d u c e d t h a t i s o l a t i o n , b u t t h i s was an a d u l t male p o p u l a t i o n s i n c e o n l y n i n e I n d i a n women i m m i g r a t e d between 1904 and 192 0. (p.8) As B r i t i s h s u b j e c t s , S i k h s had t h e r i g h t t o v o t e i n a l l e l e c t i o n s . T h i s was v i e w e d as p o s i n g a t h r e a t t o t h e e x i s t i n g government. Then i n 1907 B r i t i s h C olumbia P r e m i e r 19 Bowser i n t r o d u c e d a b i l l t o d i s e n f r a n c h i s e a l l " n a t i v e s o f I n d i a n o t o f Anglo-Saxon p a r e n t s " ( B u c h i g n a n i , 1985, p.21). They were d e n i e d t h e m u n i c i p a l , t h e p r o v i n c i a l and t h e f e d e r a l r i g h t t o v o t e , even though t h e y were B r i t i s h s u b j e c t s . The i m p l i c a t i o n s o f t h e s e a c t i o n s were f a r r e a c h i n g , as B u c h i g n a n i (1985) s t a t e s : F o r t h e n e x t f o r t y y e a r s , South A s i a n C a n a d i a n s would re m a i n e x c l u d e d from t h e p o l i t i c a l p r o c e s s i n B r i t i s h C o lumbia. They were s i m u l t a n e o u s l y e x c l u d e d from a h o s t o f o t h e r t h i n g s t h a t were dependent on b e i n g a p r o v i n c i a l v o t e r : t h e y c o u l d n o t v o t e f o r o r become s c h o o l t r u s t e e s o r t r u s t e e s o f improvement d i s t r i c t s ; n e i t h e r c o u l d t h e y be e l e c t e d t o p r o v i n c i a l p u b l i c o f f i c e n o r s e r v e on j u r i e s . A l t h o u g h e x c l u s i o n from t h e v o t e r s ' l i s t d i d n o t l e g a l l y r e s t r i c t them from p u b l i c s e r v i c e t h i s became a u n i v e r s a l p r a c t i c e . P u b l i c works c o n t r a c t s s p e c i f i e d t h a t t h e y n o t be employed. The same r e s t r i c t i o n a p p l i e d t o t h e s a l e o f Crown t i m b e r , and t h e p r o f e s s i o n s o f law and pharmacy were i n f o r m a l l y c l o s e d t o them. (p.21) The l o s s o f t h e v o t e and i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s p r o b a b l y d i d n o t b o t h e r t h e S i k h s , s i n c e most were uneducated and u n a b l e t o t a k e f u l l advantage o f such r i g h t s and p r i v i l e g e s . But t h e n e x t move was d e v a s t a t i n g . I n 1908, i m m i g r a t i o n from I n d i a was v i r t u a l l y t e r m i n a t e d due t o l e g i s l a t e d d i s c r i m i n a t i o n a t t h e f e d e r a l l e v e l b r o u g h t on by t h e s t r o n g a n t i - A s i a n f e e l i n g s o f o r g a n i z e d l a b o u r , p o l i t i c i a n s , and t h e media. As J . J . Mangalam (1986) e x p l a i n s : The Government o f Canada d e v i s e d a f o u r - p r o n g e d remedy t o s t o p I n d i a n i m m i g r a t i o n : 1) P r o s p e c t i v e i m m i g r a n t s must have t r a v e l l e d on a t h r o u g h t i c k e t p u r c h a s e d b e f o r e l e a v i n g t h e c o u n t r y o f t h e i r b i r t h o r c i t i z e n s h i p and j o u r n e y i n g c o n t i n u o u s l y ; 2) They must have i n t h e i r p o s s e s s i o n $200.00 e a c h ; 3) They were s u b j e c t t o m e d i c a l and s a n i t a r y e x a m i n a t i o n upon a r r i v a l ; 4) T h e i r l a n d i n g i n 20 Canada was s u b j e c t t o f a v o u r a b l e l a b o u r c o n d i t i o n s p r e v a i l i n g a t t h e t i m e i n Canada.(p.49) S i n c e t h e r e was no d i r e c t passage from I n d i a t o Canada a t t h a t t i m e , t h e h a r s h n e s s and t h e e f f e c t o f t h i s l e g i s l a t i o n was d r a m a t i c . As shown i n I m m i g r a t i o n T a b l e 1 (Chadney, 1984, p. 26) i n t h e Appendix, from 1908 t o 1920 o n l y 118 I n d i a n s e n t e r e d Canada. I n 1908, t h e r e was even an e f f o r t t o d e p o r t a l l t h o s e who remained i n Canada t o B r i t i s h Honduras t o e f f e c t i v e l y r i d t h e p r o v i n c e o f t h e "Hindoos" and "keep Canada w h i t e " (Muthanna, 1982, p.143). A t f e d e r a l government expense, a d e l e g a t i o n was s e n t t o i n v e s t i g a t e t h e employment o p p o r t u n i t i e s , economic c o n d i t i o n s , and p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f s e t t l e m e n t f o r a l l o f B r i t i s h C olumbia's S i k h s . T h i s d e l e g a t i o n c o n s i s t e d o f a f e d e r a l government o f f i c i a l , a V a ncouver i m m i g r a t i o n o f f i c i a l and i n t e r p r e t e r and two l o c a l S i k h s . When t h e S i k h s r e t u r n e d and r e p o r t e d back t o t h e community about t h e u n s u i t a b i l i t y and p o o r l i v i n g and economic c o n d i t i o n s o f t h a t c o u n t r y , t h e l o c a l S i k h community u n a n i m o u s l y r e j e c t e d t h e p r o p o s a l and s t e a d f a s t l y d e c l a r e d t h e i r i n t e n t i o n t o s t a y i n Canada. T h i s p l a n was f a r t o o extreme and p r o b a b l y would n e v e r have succeeded, b u t i t does g i v e an i n d i c a t i o n o f t h e i n t e n s i t y o f t h e a n t i -A s i a n s e n t i m e n t s o f t h a t t i m e and t h e s t a n c e o f v a r i o u s l e v e l s o f government. A n o t h e r government scheme t o g e t r i d o f t h e S i k h s a l r e a d y i n Canada was more s u b t l e . Whenever S i k h s would go back t o I n d i a t o g e t m a r r i e d o r v i s i t t h e i r f a m i l y , t h e y 21 w o u l d f a c e d i f f i c u l t i e s on t h e i r r e t u r n because t h e y c o u l d n o t p r o v e t h e i r p r e v i o u s r e s i d e n c e i n Canada. The Canadian i m m i g r a t i o n department d i d n o t p r o v i d e I n d i a n s w i t h t h e p r o p e r d o c u m e n t a t i o n when t h e y l e f t t h e c o u n t r y , a l t h o u g h t h e y s y s t e m a t i c a l l y r e g i s t e r e d o u t - g o i n g C h i n e s e . The p o l i c y was d e l i b e r a t e and d e s i g n e d t o make r e t u r n more d i f f i c u l t , ( J o h n s t o n , 1988, p.307). What d i s t u r b e d S i k h s most was t h e breakup o f t h e t r a d i t i o n a l f a m i l y u n i t . They p l e a d e d w i t h t h e a u t h o r i t i e s t o a l l o w t h e i r f a m i l i e s t o j o i n them, b u t met w i t h no s u c c e s s . A c c o r d i n g t o Samuel Raj (1980): The dominant s o c i e t y wanted t o undo t h e "wrong" t h a t had a l r e a d y been done. By k e e p i n g t h e women o u t , i t hoped t o purge Canada o f t h e E a s t I n d i a n element w i t h i n i n a g e n e r a t i o n . F o r " t h e c o m f o r t and h a p p i n e s s o f t h e g e n e r a t i o n s t h a t a r e t o s u c c e e d u s , " i t was argued, "we must n o t p e r m i t t h e i r women t o come i n a t a l l " . The e x c l u s i o n o f t h e women would i n d u c e many men t o l e a v e Canada and t h e ones who r e f u s e d t o l e a v e would be p r e v e n t e d from " d e f i l i n g t h e l a n d " w i t h t h e i r p rogeny. (p. 7 2) Some d i d go back t o I n d i a , b u t many went t o t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s i n s e a r c h o f b e t t e r s o c i a l and economic c o n d i t i o n s . C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e S i k h p o p u l a t i o n i n B r i t i s h Columbia dropped i n 1918 t o a low o f about 700 p e o p l e ( J o h n s t o n , 1988, p.304). These were t h e s u r v i v o r s who weathered t h e s t o r m and remained h e r e when t h e f u t u r e l o o k e d b l e a k e s t . T h e i r f a i t h i n t h e i r r e l i g i o n and i n one a n o t h e r k e p t them s t r o n g . The numerous c h a l l e n g e s t o t h e i m m i g r a t i o n b a r , t h e infamous Komagata Maru i n c i d e n t , t h e many l e g a l and i l l e g a l 22 manueverings had l e f t t h e S i k h s sad and d i s i l l u s i o n e d w i t h t h e i n j u s t i c e s t h e y f a c e d on a d a i l y b a s i s . So t h e y banded t o g e t h e r and, i n t u r n , became s t r o n g e r as a community w i t h t h e t e m p l e becoming a s u b s t i t u t e f o r t h e f a m i l y l i f e t h a t t h e y were a l l l a c k i n g . As B u c h i g n a n i (1985) e x p l a i n s ; S i k h p i o n e e r s came t o Canada w i t h a s t r o n g group i d e n t i t y b o r n o u t o f 500 y e a r s o f s t r u g g l e ( i n I n d i a ) . As a r e s u l t , d e s p i t e h a r d s h i p , d i s c r i m i n a t i o n , and s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n , t h e y r a r e l y d o u b t e d t h e i r s e l f - w o r t h o r t h e c o r r e c t n e s s o f t h e i r p o s i t i o n . They had a l s o d e v e l o p e d a t e n d e n c y t o u n i t e t o g e t h e r under t h r e a t and go on t h e d e f e n s i v e , (p.32) They c l o s e d t h e d o o r s o f t h e i r community and became a v i r t u a l e n c l a v e and i s o l a t e d t h e m s e l v e s from t h e o u t e r w o r l d (Ramcharan, 1984, p.3 4 ) . They f o c u s s e d t h e i r a t t e n t i o n on s o l i d a r i t y , r e l i g i o u s d e v o t i o n , and on f i g h t i n g t o g e t h e r a g a i n s t o p p r e s s i o n . B u c h i g n a n i (1985) s t a t e s : By 1920, t e m p l e s e x i s t e d i n Vancouver, New W e s t m i n s t e r , V i c t o r i a , Nanaimo, Gold e n , A b b o t s f o r d , F r a s e r M i l l s , and P a l d i . S i k h r e l i g i o u s o r g a n i z a t i o n q u i c k l y p r o v i d e d p e o p l e w i t h a sense o f p l a c e , o r d e r , c o n t i n u i t y , and community p r i d e . R e l i g i o u s i n s t i t u t i o n s a l s o b r o u g h t p e o p l e t o g e t h e r and p r o v i d e d an o r g a n i z a t i o n a l f o c u s f o r c o l l e c t i v e a c t i o n on many i s s u e s . V i r t u a l l y e v e r y a s p e c t o f t h e o n g o i n g b a t t l e a g a i n s t t h e i m m i g r a t i o n ban was p l a n n e d , s u p p o r t e d , and o r c h e s t r a t e d t h r o u g h t e m p l e management o r g a n i z a t i ons. (p.3 3) The c o l l e c t i v e e f f o r t s o f B r i t i s h C o lumbia's S i k h c o m m u n i t i e s e v e n t u a l l y p a i d o f f when, i n 1919, t h e i m m i g r a t i o n r e s t r i c t i o n s on b r i n g i n g o ut w i v e s and c h i l d r e n u n d e r 18 y e a r s o l d were l i f t e d . However, i t was n o t u n t i l 1920 t h a t women and c h i l d r e n s t a r t e d coming o u t from I n d i a . F a m i l y r e u n i f i c a t i o n was a v e r y s l o w p r o c e s s as we see from 23 I m m i g r a t i o n T a b l e s 2 and 3 (Chadney, 1984, p.189 and p.190) i n t h e App e n d i x . Community growth was t a k i n g p l a c e , b u t i t d i d n o t r e a c h i t s e a r l i e r peak o f 5000 u n t i l w e l l i n t o t h e 1950s ( B u c h i g n a n i , 1980, p.124). Many o f t h e p e o p l e who came t o Canada d u r i n g t h e s e t i m e s a r e s t i l l a l i v e and t h e i r p e r s o n a l h i s t o r i e s form t h e h e a r t o f t h i s s t u d y . I have i n t e r v i e w e d t w e n t y - f o u r o f t h e s e p e o p l e , 18 men and 6 women f o r t h e i r o r a l h i s t o r i e s . They a r e t h e d i r e c t l i n k t o t h e o r i g i n a l S i k h p i o n e e r s who came i n t h e 1904-1908 t i m e p e r i o d . T h e i r s t o r i e s o f t h e s t r u g g l e s and h a r d s h i p s o f l i f e i n a new and h o s t i l e c o u n t r y must be h e a r d , n o t o n l y t o r e t r i e v e t h e i r own h i s t o r y , b u t t o r e t r i e v e t h e i r community's h i s t o r y and t o make i t a v a i l a b l e t o f u t u r e g e n e r a t i o n s o f Can a d i a n s . I t i s i m p o r t a n t t o know t h e e v e n t s and c i r c u m s t a n c e s t h a t f i n a l l y l e d t o t h e s e S i k h s b e i n g a b l e t o c a l l Canada t h e i r home. 24 C h a p t e r 3; The J o u r n e y Over I n t h e p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r I d e s c r i b e d t h e scene t o whi c h t h e s e S i k h s were coming when t h e y a r r i v e d i n Canada, b u t i t i s a l s o i m p o r t a n t t o r e a l i z e from where t h e y were coming i n I n d i a . These e m i g r a n t s came from t h e n o r t h e r n p r o v i n c e o f Pun j a b , from r u r a l f a r m i n g v i l l a g e s . They were u n s k i l l e d , u n e d u c a t e d and worked on family-owned farms. A l l o f t h e r e s p o n d e n t s say t h a t t h e r e was p l e n t y t o e a t and l i v i n g c o n d i t i o n s were v e r y good. F a m i l y f o r t u n e s had r i s e n and were a t an a l l t i m e h i g h . T h i s was due t o t h e S i k h s who had come t o Canada e a r l i e r , s e n d i n g a good p o r t i o n o f t h e i r e a r n i n g s b a c k t o I n d i a f o r t h e f a m i l y t o a c q u i r e more l a n d and t o upgrade t h e i r h o u s i n g . A l l o f I n d i a was under B r i t i s h c o l o n i a l r u l e and d o m i n a t i o n , so I n d i a n s ' r i g h t s and freedoms were l i m i t e d . A c c o r d i n g t o Mr. G. B i l l a n , who e m i g r a t e d i n 1932, " t h e B r i t i s h were t h e b o s s , t h e y r a n t h i n g s , r a n e v e r y t h i n g , even i n t h e v i l l a g e s t h e y p i c k e d t h e head guy." Some o p p o s i t i o n e x i s t e d . Mr. K. B a i n s d e s c r i b e s a p o l i t i c a l g a t h e r i n g i n h i s v i l l a g e : T here was a b i g movement g o i n g on f o r independence, everybody was f o l l o w i n g Ghandi, Nehru and some were even f o l l o w i n g Subash Chandar Bose, he was a l i t t l e more r a d i c a l i n t h e Congress p a r t y a t t h a t t i m e . I remember i n 1937 we had a c o n f e r e n c e f o r about a week. There must have been about a hundred thousand p e o p l e coming from a l l o v e r , t h e nearby p l a c e s . The f i n a l s p e a k e r was Nehru, I saw Nehru t h e r e , t h e r e were some o f t h e r a d i c a l s and t h e Congress p e o p l e were a l l t o g e t h e r . Day and n i g h t t h e c o n f e r e n c e was g o i n g f o r seven days and Nehru came f o r about h a l f a day t h e r e . T h i s was i n Mahalpur, i t ' s a b i g v i l l a g e , 25 you c o u l d n ' t accommodate t h o s e p e o p l e i n any h a l l , t h i s was i n t h e open a i r , i n t h e summer t i m e . Even though t h e r e were c o n c e r t e d e f f o r t s f o r independence, r e l i e f was n o t i n s i g h t . Canada r e p r e s e n t e d a chance a t a b r i g h t e r s o c i a l and economic f u t u r e . F o r most o f t h e s e p e o p l e a l l t h e y had e v e r known was t h e l a n d t h a t had been handed down t o them f o r g e n e r a t i o n s and t h a t t h e y had l i v e d and worked upon s i n c e t h e y were b o r n . T h i s was t h e i r o n l y w o r l d ; t h i s was t h e o n l y geography t h e y knew. The o n l y p i c t u r e t h e y had o f Canada was t h e f a c e o f t h e l o v e d ones from whom t h e y had been a p a r t f o r so l o n g . They had l i t t l e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f what t o e x p e c t , e x p e c t t h a t t h e C a n a d i a n S i k h s needed them and had f o u g h t l o n g and h a r d f o r them t o j o i n them. They knew t h a t t h e y f a c e d an arduous j o u r n e y b u t t h e r e would be a p l a c e t o s t a y and s u p p o r t f o r them on t h e i r a r r i v a l . What f u r t h e r h e l p e d s u s t a i n them was t h e r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t t h e y were g o i n g t o Canada w i t h f a r more t h a n t h e i r p r e d e c e s s o r s d i d when t h e y went i n t h e 1904-1908 t i m e p e r i o d . The p e o p l e I i n t e r v i e w e d r a r e l y made t h i s j o u r n e y on t h e i r own. They were t y p i c a l l y accompanied by t h e i r s p o n s o r , a v i l l a g e r o r f a m i l y f r i e n d who had gone back t o I n d i a f o r t h e p u r p o s e o f e n s u r i n g t h e i r s a f e t y a l o n g t h e way. Some Ca n a d i a n S i k h s had made t h i s j o u r n e y s e v e r a l t i m e s and had become seasoned t r a v e l l e r s who knew how t o a v o i d t h e many prob l e m s a l o n g t h e way. They p r o v i d e d n o t o n l y t h e s o c i a l and e m o t i o n a l s u p p o r t needed f o r t h e 45-60 day t r i p b u t 26 economic s u p p o r t as w e l l . Many f i n a n c e d t h e t o t a l c o s t o f t h e t r i p , $200-$300 p e r p e r s o n , i n Canadian f u n d s . The j o u r n e y t o Canada can be d i v i d e d i n t o f o u r s t a g e s : t h e t r a i n from t h e v i l l a g e s t o C a l c u t t a , t h e b o a t t r i p from C a l c u t t a t o Hong Kong, t h e s t o p o v e r i n Hong Kong and t h e f i n a l b o a t t r i p from Hong Kong t o Canada. T r a v e l began w i t h a p r a y e r a t t h e v i l l a g e t emple f o r a s a f e j o u r n e y . Then t h e y w o u l d t a k e t h e t r a i n from t h e v i l l a g e t o C a l c u t t a , t h e p o r t from w h i c h t h e y would t r a v e l by s h i p t o b e g i n t h e l o n g voyage t o Canada. We must remember t h a t t h i s t r a i n j o u r n e y , from 1000-1500 m i l e s l o n g t a k i n g anywhere from two t o s i x da y s , was i t s e l f a t r a u m a t i c e x p e r i e n c e f o r t h e s e p e o p l e who seldom saw s t r a n g e f a c e s u n l e s s t h e y were g o i n g t o a n e i g h b o u r i n g v i l l a g e f o r a wedding o r r e l i g i o u s f e s t i v a l . Mr. D. S i h o t a , who i n 1936 a t t h e age o f t w e l v e made t h i s j o u r n e y w i t h h i s f a t h e r and b r o t h e r , t e l l s what happened: When we l e f t , we t r a v e l l e d by t r a i n f o r about two da y s . I t was from J u l l u n d e r t o C a l c u t t a . We t r a v e l l e d t h i r d c l a s s , as most I n d i a n s t r a v e l l e d i n t h o s e days. I remember g e t t i n g up t o s l e e p a t n i g h t , up on t h e upper luggage compartment, where we would j u s t c u r l up and go t o s l e e p , o t h e r w i s e t h e t r a i n s were r e a l l y packed. I t was a v e r y i n t e r e s t i n g t r i p f o r u s , f o r many y e a r s a f t e r w a r d s , I c o u l d remember t h e names o f a l l t h e s t a t i o n s we s t o p p e d a t a l o n g t h e way because i t was so m e t h i n g new and e x c i t i n g . The t r a i n ended i t s j o u r n e y a t t h e Howrah t r a i n s t a t i o n o u t s i d e o f C a l c u t t a . Here o f f i c i a l s from t h e nearby S i k h Temple o f t e n met t h e weary t r a v e l l e r s . Mrs. G. K. Oppal, who made t h i s j o u r n e y i n 1934, d e s c r i b e s h e r e x p e r i e n c e s : 27 These p e o p l e were so c a r i n g , t h e gurdwara p e o p l e would be s t a n d i n g t h e r e w a i t i n g a t t h e s t a t i o n , w a i t i n g t o t a k e us t o t h e n e a rby t e m p l e , so we had a s a f e p l a c e t o s t a y . They d i d n o t t a k e any money, t h e y would t a k e us t o t h e t e m p l e j u s t t o h e l p u s . L o t s o f o u r p e o p l e who were g o i n g t o and f r o , t r a v e l l e r s , would be met by 2 o r 3 p e o p l e , who would i n s i s t t h a t t h e y go w i t h them. The t e m p l e t h e r e was v e r y n i c e , c l e a n and c o m f o r t a b l e , t h e r e were rooms s e t a s i d e f o r us t o s t a y . T h i s i s where p e o p l e would s t a y , e a t and r e s t . We d i d n o t e a t a t t h e t e m p l e , we a t e o u t b u t s t a y e d t h r e e days t h e r e . I t t o o k us t h a t l o n g t o g e t a b o a t . There was o f t e n a l o n g w a i t t o g e t a b o a t t o Hong Kong. T h i s was because t h e r e was no e s t a b l i s h e d s c h e d u l e f o r p a s s e n g e r s between t h e s e two p o r t s . S e v e r a l s h i p p i n g l i n e s d i d s e r v e t h i s a r e a , i n c l u d i n g t h e BA L i n e , t h e J a r d i n e L i n e and t h e M a c k e n z i e L i n e . Mr. K. B a i n s d e s c r i b e s t h e w a i t f o r a b o a t : We came t o C a l c u t t a and we s t a y e d i n a p l a c e f o r about two weeks. The s h i p was a f r e i g h t e r , e v e r y day we had t o check i n w i t h t h e b r o k e r s as t o when t h e s h i p would s a i l a f t e r l o a d i n g . We had no i d e a o t h e r w i s e . We s t a y e d t h e r e f o r about two weeks. There were no p a s s e n g e r s h i p s a t a l l , even i f t h e r e had been, I don't t h i n k anybody c o u l d have a f f o r d e d i t . I remember I went t o see t h e dock, t h e r e was someone s h i p p i n g t h e i r c a r , a w h i t e guy. You know how k i d s a r e s o r t o f i n q u i s i t i v e ? I s t a r t e d l o o k i n g around t h e c a r , f e e l i n g t h e f a n c y c a r . I n I n d i a , i n t h e a r e a we come from, t h e r e were buses a l l r i g h t b u t n o t f a n c y c a r s . O n l y t h e r i c h p e o p l e had t h a t i n t h e c i t i e s , n o t i n t h e v i l l a g e s . So I t o u c h e d t h e c a r and t h i s w h i t e guy he s l a p p e d me f o r t o u c h i n g t h e c a r , ( l a u g h i n g ) I ' l l n e v e r f o r g e t t h a t . P a s s e n g e r s e r v i c e s and accommodations were p o o r on t h e s e s h i p p i n g l i n e s as f r e i g h t was t h e i r main c o n c e r n . The e n t i r e j o u r n e y t o Hong Kong c o u l d t a k e anywhere from 15 t o 20 days d e p e n d i n g on t h e number and l e n g t h o f t h e s t o p o v e r s . The f a r e was about $20-$30 Canadian. L i v i n g c o n d i t i o n s were 28 s u b s t a n d a r d s i n c e t h e s e s h i p s a l s o c a r r i e d l i v e s t o c k t h r o u g h o u t A s i a . Mr. G. B i l l a n s t a t e s : "They gave you t h e b ottom g r a d e , t h e basement, t h a t ' s t h e o n l y p l a c e t h e y had". Mr. J . U p p a l , who came i n 1926, s t a t e s : " T h i r d c l a s s was t h e o n l y mode o f t r a v e l , i n t h o s e days. T h i r d c l a s s , even s t e e r a g e a c t u a l l y , most o f o u r p e o p l e who were coming t o Canada were t r a v e l l i n g t h i r d c l a s s " . Mr. K. B a i n s d e s c r i b e s t h e c o n d i t i o n s : B e f o r e we l e f t , we had t o buy some g r o c e r i e s , p o r t a b l e beds, a s t o v e and some c o a l . We p r e p a r e d o u r own meal on t h e deck, we s l e p t on t h e deck. There were no s t a t e rooms a t a l l . There must have been o v e r a 100 S i k h s s t a y i n g on t h e deck. A l l n i g h t l o n g and day l o n g we s t a y e d on t h e deck. I f i t r a i n e d , we would p u t a l i t t l e t e n t up t h e r e . We made o u r own meals t h e r e . There was a s m a l l d i s p e n s a r y , I t h i n k t h e r e was a d o c t o r on b o a r d t o o , he gave me some p i l l s . . . . I g o t s i c k , I had n e v e r seen t h e ocean i n my whole l i f e . Mr. D. S i h o t a t e l l s o f h i s f i r s t e x p e r i e n c e on a s h i p : We happened t o be coming a c r o s s a t t h e t i m e o f t h e monsoon r a i n s and t h e typhoon weather. We h i t v e r y , v e r y heavy s e a s , b u t t h a t d i d n ' t keep me away from t h e deck v e r y o f t e n . T h i s would have been September, O c t o b e r , because we g o t h e r e i n December and we s p e n t some t i m e i n Hong Kong. I t wasn't a v e r y l a r g e s h i p , we were down i n t h e h o l d o f t h e s h i p . And we o f c o u r s e had a l l o u r b e d d i n g , a l l o u r f o o d and and a l l o u r c o o k i n g t h i n g s . You had t o c a r r y a l l t h a t w i t h you. I n t h e heavy, heavy seas I can remember t h e p e o p l e on one s i d e o f t h e deck j u s t s l i d i n g a c r o s s t h e f l a t deck t o t h e o t h e r s i d e as t h e s h i p r o l l e d . And t h e n when i t r e v e r s e d t h e r o l l e v e r y b o d y s h i f t e d t o t h e o t h e r s i d e o f t h e deck. A l l y o u r b e l o n g i n g s , a l l y o u r u t e n s i l s , y o u r s e l f , a l l k i n d o f s l i d from one s i d e t o t h e o t h e r . E v e r s i n c e t h e n I have n e v e r seen such heavy s e a s . The waves must have been 20 t o 30 f e e t h i g h and t h e s h i p wasn't t h a t l a r g e anyway. As t h e s h i p dove i n t o t h e h o l l o w a l l you c o u l d see a l l around was w a t e r . And when i t g o t t o t h e t o p a l l you c o u l d 29 see was t h e s k y , you c o u l d n ' t see t h e w a t e r a t a l l . T h a t was a v e r y u n i q u e e x p e r i e n c e . Mr. S. G i l l made t h i s t r i p i n 1925 and p r o v i d e s t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n : There were about 30 t o 40 S i k h s a l t o g e t h e r , 5 o r 6 l a d i e s t o o . On t h e deck, because i t was h o t we made s h e l t e r i n t h e form o f a p l a t f o r m t o p r o v i d e shade. Under t h i s we s e t o u r c o t s . There were l o t s o f C h i n e s e , maybe 300 t o 400, I don't know from where t h e y came, maybe C a l c u t t a . T h e i r l a d i e s were w i t h them. Underneath t h e r e was a l o t o f c a r g o , some sheep and a n i m a l s . There was a bad s m e l l b u t we d i d n o t go down t h e r e . We had b r o u g h t o u r g r o c e r i e s from C a l c u t t a and d i d o u r own c o o k i n g on t h e deck on s m a l l c o a l s t o v e s . The men d i d a l l t h e c o o k i n g , a l l t h e o l d - t i m e r s knew how t o cook. They had been c o o k i n g w h i l e t h e y were i n Canada. I d i d n ' t do any, I d i d n o t know how t o , I ' d a l w a y s had i t a l l done f o r me. There were about 20 Cana d i a n S i k h s and about 20 o f us newcomers abo a r d . The women and. c h i l d r e n were a l l newcomers. There were s e v e r a l s t o p s a l o n g t h e way where t h e s e f r e i g h t e r s w o u l d l o a d and u n l o a d t h e i r c a r g o , a t t i m e s t a k i n g two t o t h r e e days t o do so. Mr. K. B a i n s remembers some o f t h e s e s t o p o v e r s : We came t o Penang i n M a l a y s i a , t h i s was t h e f i r s t p o r t . We s t o p p e d h e r e f o r two days. R i g h t on t h e b o ^ t t h e money-changer came t o exchange f o r M a l a y s i a n money. Then we came t o S i n g a p o r e . We s t a y e d 2 o r 3 days, t h i s was t h e f i r s t t i m e we g o t o f f t h e b o a t . We had a meal t h e r e and went back, 2 days a f t e r t h e s h i p s a i l e d . Some o f t h e p e o p l e g o t o f f h e r e . P e o p l e were w o r k i n g t h e r e , t h e r e was q u i t e a s e t t l e m e n t o f I n d i a n p e o p l e . A t t h a t t i m e t h e r e were p o l i c e m e n and guards i n b i g b u i l d i n g s . E v e r y shop had a gu a r d t h e r e , a S i k h p e r s o n . They were i n t h e p o l i c e f o r c e t o o i n S i n g a p o r e . Mrs. G. K. Oppal l i k e d t h e s e s t o p o v e r s because she e n j o y e d t o u r i n g t h e s e s t r a n g e and e x o t i c c i t i e s : When we knew t h a t t h e b o a t was about t o dock, we would a l l g e t d r e s s e d up, and g e t i n l i n e t o go on s h o r e . We t o u r e d t h e whole c i t y , we o n l y went 30 back on board when the boat was going to leave. We d i d the same at every port, f i r s t came Rangoon, then Penang and Singapore and f i n a l l y Hong Kong. Hong Kong was a v i t a l stop f o r a l l emigrants to Canada fo r i t was here they received t h e i r immigration clearance to proceed on to Canada. At t h i s time there was no Canadian Immigration O f f i c e i n India, so a l l immigration matters were handled here. This included the medical examination, documentation and interviewing. I t was for t h i s reason that there was a sizeable Sikh population and a Sikh temple (gurdwara) had been established. Mr. K. Bains explains: They have a Sikh temple and they have designated a Chinese man and h i s wife to welcome newcomers. He had proper credentials from the temple. The ship would dock on the Kowloon side, and as soon as the ship docks, he would go on board and introduce himself i n Punjabi. You leave your luggage with him and come across the channel with the other people. Your luggage w i l l automatically be transferred to the temple. The Canadian Sikhs had raised money for some rooms with beds on the lower f l o o r of the temple f o r the exclusive use of t r a v e l l e r s going between India and Canada. They had already sent a huge cooking stove f o r cooking food as well. You could cook 20-25 r o t i s at a time, i t was always busy, e s p e c i a l l y i n a place l i k e Hong Kong, people are t r a v e l l i n g through t r a n s i t . Nobody stayed i n hotels i n those days, I stayed about 2 months here, I had some problem with my passport and took a long time to c l e a r t h i s up. When you l e f t you made a contribution to the gurdwara, $10 or $15, whatever you could a f f o r d . I could even speak a b i t of Chinese and do my own shopping (laughs) . Fortunately, I received my clearance j u s t i n time, I caught the boat and arr i v e d i n Canada j u s t two days before my 18th birthday. I came on the 9th of September and the 11th was my birthday. I f I had been delayed f o r any reason, I would have been sent back to India. Mrs. G. K. Oppal t e l l s of two Sikh women having to stay i n Hong Kong fo r over a year because they had f a i l e d t h e i r 31 medical examination due to eye problems. Their husbands went from Canada to help them gain medical clearance and accompany them to Canada at considerable personal expense. There were many incidents of unscrupulous o f f i c i a l s . She explains: F i r s t they passed me for my medical, but once we got on board ready to leave, they f a i l e d me. They would not l e t me go any further, and a l l of our luggage was on the boat. They said that my eyes were not good. So my husband said that h i s time would run out f o r being out of Canada too long. He could not re-enter i f he stayed out f o r over a year. They knew a l l t h i s of course, so we paid $10 to the ship's doctor and some Chinese money to the Chinese o f f i c i a l . So they l e t us go and I put medicine i n my eyes a l l the way. We were a f r a i d a l l the way that we would get caught and be sent back, but we made i t over with any further problems. Mr. D. Sihota c i t e s another instance of an immigration problem and explains why these types of problems were occurring: We stayed at the Sikh temple for 15 to 20 days while arrangements were made to go on to Vancouver. We had some d i f f i c u l t y with Canadian Immigration. Although my dad had been here since 1907, there was some problem with documentation. The immigration people i n Canada were saying that h i s permit to return to Canada had run out. The time, ten years or whatever, had expired. We managed to get the passage booked i n time to a r r i v e i n V i c t o r i a p r i o r to t h i s date. There was some question as to whether the ship would get here on time. In those days they were t r y i n g everything they could to exclude our people from entering, so any l i t t l e t e c h n i c a l i t y or anything l i k e that was used to keep us out. Even though he had been here since 1907 and had t r a v e l l e d back and f o r t h numerous times, maybe 5 or 6 times. The gurdwara i n Hong Kong was a refuge, a safe haven f o r Sikhs t r a v e l l i n g through Asia. I t made t h e i r environment 32 l e s s t h r e a t e n i n g . They c o u l d be w i t h t h e i r own people i n a l a n d o f people whose customs, language and laws were u n f a m i l i a r . The gurdwara not o n l y p r o v i d e d food and accommodation but t r u s t , s e c u r i t y , and f e l l o w s h i p . There were temple o f f i c i a l s whose s o l e f u n c t i o n was t o e x p e d i t e and ensure s a f e t r a v e l through the p o r t f o r a l l S i k h s . They knew how t o handle the m u l t i t u d e o f problems t h a t i n e v i t a b l y a r o s e . They handled immigration and f i n a n c i a l matters, h e a l t h and m e d i c a l concerns and a s s i s t e d i n booking passage f o r the f i n a l l e g o f the journey. At t h i s time the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway operated an Empress Passenger L i n e t h a t l e f t Hong Kong every 15 days. Most t r a v e l l e r s took t h i s l i n e . I t c o s t $100-$200 i n Canadian funds depending on the type o f s e r v i c e and accommodation r e q u i r e d . Mr. S. G i l l e x p l a i n s : We t r a v e l l e d on t h e Empress o f A s i a ( i n 1925), a t t h i s time t h e r e were f o u r CPR boats t h a t t r a v e l l e d t h i s r o u t e t o Canada: the Empress o f A s i a , t h e Empress o f Japan, the Empress o f Canada and t h e Empress o f R u s s i a . Every 15 days one was l e a v i n g o r a r r i v i n g i n Hong Kong o r Vancouver. I t h i n k we p a i d about $100 Canadian. Our f i r s t s t o p was Japan, Tokyo and Nagasaki, then on t o H o n o l u l u . The journey was v e r y rough l e a v i n g Japan, I c o u l d not eat much, I got s i c k . From Ho n o l u l u on i t was b e t t e r . Then we landed i n V i c t o r i a and on t o Vancouver. Accommodations and s e r v i c e s improved on t h i s p a r t of the j o u r n e y s i n c e now they were t r a v e l l i n g on passenger s h i p s r a t h e r than on f r e i g h t e r s as they had on the f i r s t l e g o f the ocean voyage. At e x t r a c o s t , passengers c o u l d get 33 b e t t e r rooms and t h e i r f o o d p r e p a r e d and e a t e n i n t h e d i n i n g room, Mr. D. S i h o t a e x p l a i n s : We l e f t Hong Kong on t h e Empress o f Canada. We had b e t t e r accommodations, t h e compartments were s m a l l . We were i n t h e l o w e r b e r t h s , maybe 15 t o 20 p e o p l e i n a room. The f o o d was s e r v e d , we d i d n ' t have t o p r e p a r e o u r own f o o d . The S i k h s a l l s t a y e d t o g e t h e r and even t h e arrangements t o f e e d us were o f t h a t t y p e . We n e v e r had t h e o c c a s i o n t o s i t i n t h e d i n i n g room w i t h t h e Europeans. I t was t h e A s i a t i c p e o p l e t o g e t h e r , we might s i t w i t h t h e C h i n e s e . The C h i n e s e i n t h e same d i n i n g room would be o f f by t h e m s e l v e s and t h e p e o p l e from I n d i a w o u l d be e a t i n g i n a n o t h e r s e c t i o n o f t h e d i n i n g room by t h e m s e l v e s , s e g r e g a t e d . The f o o d o f c o u r s e , was on t h a t p a r t i c u l a r s h i p , was Canadian. I was n o t use t o e a t i n g meat o r eggs and i t f e l t v e r y s t r a n g e . When t h e f o o d was b r o u g h t I found v e r y l i t t l e t h a t I c o u l d a c t u a l l y e a t , p o t a t o e s , r i c e and v e g e t a b l e s . O c c a s i o n a l l y , I would t a k e an egg, b u t i t was n o t i n my r e l i g i o n t o e a t t h a t and I found i t r a t h e r d i f f i c u l t t o d e a l w i t h t h a t . I do remember g o i n g up on t h e deck, as t h e s h i p was t r a v e l l i n g , w a t c h i n g t h e f l y i n g f i s h and w a t c h i n g t h e o t h e r f i s h swimming by t h e b o a t . That j o u r n e y t o o k about a month, and we came t h r o u g h Kobe, J a p a n and Yokohama. Then from H o n o l u l u on t o V i c t o r i a . Because o f d i e t a r y r e s t r i c t i o n s many S i k h s chose t o do t h e i r own c o o k i n g . T h i s o p t i o n was a v a i l a b l e t o them and, when t h e r e were s u f f i c i e n t numbers o f them on b o a r d , t h e S i k h s f a v o u r e d t h i s method o f t r a v e l . Mr. M. J a g p a l , a t t h e age o f 15, t r a v e l l e d i n t h i s manner i n 1930: From Hong Kong, we caught t h e Empress o f Canada, t h e r e were about 10 o f u s , i n c l u d i n g two women and a f o u r y e a r o l d boy. We had been t o g e t h e r s i n c e C a l c u t t a . I t was a much l a r g e r s h i p . We cooked o u r s e l v e s , t u r n by t u r n we g o t t h e k i t c h e n . The C h i n e s e , Japanese, and us a l l t o o k t u r n s u s i n g t h e c o o k i n g f a c i l i t i e s , t h e y a l l made t h e i r own f o o d . There was a p l a c e where we c o u l d e a t p r e p a r e d f o o d , b u t we d i d n ' t e a t t h a t f o o d . I t was a r e s t a u r a n t . We each had our own s e p a r a t e s m a l l beds, a l l l o c a t e d i n a l a r g e room f o r t h e 34 S i k h s . The women and t h e c h i l d were a l l h e r e , and t h e y had a t e n t - l i k e purdah t o e n s u r e t h e i r p r i v a c y . The e n t i r e j o u r n e y t o o k about 20 days. A t t i m e s i t was v e r y s c a r y , f o r 3 o r 4 days we c o u l d n o t see a t h i n g because i t was so stormy. When we went up on deck a l l we c o u l d see was d a r k n e s s . The w a t e r was g o i n g a l l o v e r t h e deck as i f i t was r a i n i n g . We were f r i g h t e n e d , h a v i n g n e v e r seen t h i s much w a t e r . Sometimes t h e b o a t was c o m p l e t e l y c o v e r e d w i t h w a l l s o f w a t e r . We t h o u g h t we would n e v e r a r r i v e a t o u r d e s t i n a t i o n ( l a u g h i n g ) . One day I c r i e d because I s l i p p e d on t h e s t a i r s , t h e y were wet and I h u r t my l e g . Then Hookma S i n g h and J a g i r Tawana, two o l d t i m e r s , t o l d me t o s t a y d o w n s t a i r s and n o t t o go o u t on deck. I would g e t ne r v o u s and t h i n k about t h e v i l l a g e and g e t lonesome. I t wasn't t h e h u r t l e g as much as b e i n g homesick t h a t made me c r y . The o l d t i m e r s , who had made t h i s j o u r n e y s e v e r a l t i m e s b e f o r e , c o m f o r t e d us and s a i d t h a t e v e r y t h i n g would be f i n e . They s a i d t h a t t h i s was a b i g s h i p , i n t h e o l d days t h e y had t r a v e l l e d on s m a l l e r , p o o r e r s h i p s and g o t t h r o u g h okay. There were f o u r o f them w i t h us and t h e y ' d seen a l l t h i s b e f o r e . There was one o l d t i m e r from Malawa and he was v e r y s h a r p , he a l s o d i d a l l t h e c o o k i n g . I c a n ' t remember h i s name b u t he had gone back t o I n d i a t h r e e t i m e s . The S i k h s a l l s t u c k t o g e t h e r and s o c i a l i z e d o n l y w i t h one a n o t h e r . We s t o p p e d i n Tokyo, and one o t h e r p l a c e and t h e n t o V i c t o r i a . I t t o o k 18 days from Tokyo t o h e r e . The j o u r n e y went f a i r l y w e l l because we s u p p o r t e d one a n o t h e r . The f o o d was good, we a t e whatever we p l e a s e d , we made i t and t h e y s e r v e d i t . The g r o c e r i e s were a l l on b o a r d . We had t o l d them a t t h e b e g i n n i n g what s o r t s o f t h i n g s we needed, how much b u t t e r , m i l k , f l o u r , e t c . . T h i s was i n c l u d e d i n t h e f a r e . The S i k h s a l m o s t a l w a y s t r a v e l l e d t o g e t h e r , b u t a t t i m e s t h i s was n o t p o s s i b l e and some had t o make t h e bo a t t r i p a l o n e . Mr. K. B a i n s d e s c r i b e s h i s o r d e a l : When I g o t on t h e s h i p , i t was t h e Empress o f Canada, I was t h e o n l y I n d i a n guy. There was a b i g room, up and down, j u s t l i k e t h e army, l o t s o f bunks. There must have been 35 t o 40 beds i n t h e r e , a l l o c c u p i e d e x c e p t one, w h i c h I t o o k . They were a l l F i l i p i n o s . 35 I n Hong Kong, t h e y used t o t e l l s t o r i e s about t h e F i l i p i n o s , how t h e y were bad and v i c i o u s . I d i d n o t g e t a good i m p r e s s i o n about t h e p e o p l e from t h e P h i l i p p i n e s . I l a y t h e r e b u t I c o u l d n o t s l e e p a l l n i g h t . You have t h i s f e a r i n s t i l l e d i n you. T h i s was t h e f i r s t t i m e I came i n c o n t a c t w i t h f o r e i g n e r s , l i v i n g w i t h them day and n i g h t . You see them on t h e s t r e e t , i t ' s a d i f f e r e n t s t o r y . I was s c a r e d l i k e h e l l . G r a d u a l l y , you would chum around w i t h them, a c t u a l l y t h e y were v e r y n i c e t o me. They were t o g e t o f f i n H o n o l u l u , and t h e n i g h t b e f o r e g e t t i n g t h e r e , nobody s l e p t i n t h e s h i p . We were p a r t y i n g , t a l k i n g and e v e r y t h i n g . They a l l g o t o f f . I saw them g e t t i n g o f f t h e gangplank and t h e n t h e s h i p s a i l e d . I came back t o my empty room. I n e v e r c r i e d when I l e f t home, o r i n C a l c u t t a , o r anywhere e l s e a l o n g t h e way. T h i s i s t h e f i r s t t i m e I c r i e d , when I was l e f t a l o n e i n t h a t b i g room t h e r e . I was a l l by m y s e l f , I was r e a l l y s c a r e d . Mrs. B. J o h a l came o v e r i n 1927, w i t h h e r son, who was n o t q u i t e t h r e e y e a r s o l d a t t h e t i m e : I came o v e r w i t h my baby boy. We had a p r i v a t e room, where a l l t h e w h i t e p e o p l e s t a y e d . We w e r e n ' t w i t h t h e o t h e r A s i a n s . I t d i d n ' t c o s t us t h a t much more. We a t e Canadian f o o d , no prob l e m . On t h e f i r s t day I m i s s e d b r e a k f a s t . Someone knocked on o u r do o r e a r l y i n t h e morning, b u t I d i d n o t answer, t h i n k i n g t h a t t h e y had done i t by m i s t a k e . The s t e w a r d went t o t h e o t h e r S i k h s and t o l d R a l l a S i n g h t h a t t h e l a d y d i d n o t come f o r h e r b r e a k f a s t . So he came t o me and e x p l a i n e d t h e p r o c e d u r e f o r coming t o t h e d i n i n g room f o r t h e meals. The meals were v e r y good, we had no problems w i t h t h e f o o d o r t h e arrangements. We s t o p p e d i n Ja p a n and s t a y e d f o r 20 days t o v i s i t my two b r o t h e r s . Sham and Ram S i n g h , one was a g u a r d i n a g o l d s m i t h ' s shop and t h e o t h e r was a p o l i c e m a n . F i n a l l y , a f t e r b e i n g i n t r a n s i t f o r s e v e r a l months, t h e S i k h s saw Canada f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e . Mr. M. J a g p a l d e s c r i b e s h i s i n i t i a l i m p r e s s i o n s o f h i s new homeland, as seen from t h e s h i p as i t approached l a n d : 36 When o u r b o a t was s t i l l o u t i n t h e h a r b o u r and we approached t h e c i t y o f V i c t o r i a , I t h o u g h t what k i n d o f a p l a c e i s t h i s ? I d i d n ' t see any farms o r c r o p s , j u s t f o r e s t , l i k e a j u n g l e . Where do t h e y g e t t h e i r food? What am I g o i n g t o do i n su c h a p o o r c o u n t r y ? A l l I saw were t r e e s , I c o u l d n ' t see any b i g b u i l d i n g s y e t , j u s t t i n y l i t t l e s h a c k s . Can t h i s be Canada? 37 (THIRD CLASS) IMMIGRATION IDENTIFICATION C A R D T H I S C A R O M U S T B C W * N T O T H E O q f k J I N I ^ q r Nam* of patient* Nam, at .Hip %&*$M%.M^U& Name appears on Return, sheet.. 71 ( S M b«ck) C A N A D I A N P A C I F I C S T E A M S H I P S , L I M I T E D U b c J S e a r e r p O ^ i ^ t „. having surrendered a Passage Ticket from/HONG KONG to %SJc:±^.:.:dXLLi _ i s entitled ttXpfwn'Third C l i r t ' : Passage in this ship, and for this voyage only. The holder of this card will be required to present it at the gangway both upon leaving and coming on board at intermediate ports, and to surrender it to the proper^ffieers.al-<testjna'>tion,-H K 1 » - 1 < H 1 * / A J - Purser (THIRD CLAaa* N IDENTIFICATION C A R D We, Freeman, Viscount Millingdon, G.C.S.I., G.C.M.G.. G.C.I.E.. G.B.E.. ^Governor-General and iQommander-in-Chief of f[the Dominion of Canada, r'i Request, in the name of IrHis Britannic Majesty ,all ^fjthose whom it may con-' cern to allow the bearer Nous, Freeman, Vicomte Willingdon, G.C.S.I., G.C.M.G., G.C.I.E.. G.B.E., Gouverneut gSneral et Commandant en chef du Dominion du Canada, Deman dons, aun om de Sa MaJestSbriia nnique,& tous geffx'qut lesprSsen-t'e$:peaverVt concerner de permettre au porteur ,.73Wnw*...ereij assistance protection of which 3U..........may stand in '•heed. <and Given under our hand ind seal-at-arms at day^E ent et de lui accorder tout le secours et toute la protection dont^u^/.. .pourrait avoir besoin. Donne" sous Notre seing t scellS de Nos armesTl Ottawa 19&.0.. IT-This passport contains 32 pages. Ce passeport contient 32 pages. PASSEPORT £0 Vi'.:.. CANADA No. of passport 1 No du passeport / Name of beareOf* . Nom du porteuFt^  " 110898 Accompanied by his wife Accompagno de sa femme and....; .^....children etde...... .enfants I NATIONAL STATUS I ;. NATIONALITY I" Jant, .i/apris These are to request and require in the Name the Viceroy and[Governor-General of India all those] whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford every assistance and protection of which is* stand in need. Given at oCcs.Lpic -mt DESCRIPTION SIGNALEMENT Profession' Profession. Place and date ~) /. s , of birth f « y ^ < f c « t y ' -l:L  Lien et date I "Ka.//^ t*'t, de naUsauce J Domicile 1 /£<X>1. it Domicile ) Height) ft. / in. Taille > Colour of eye* \ 'J*?tr*&tTM. Conleur dos ,venx j Colonr of hair Conleur des clitveux j V i s i b l e d i s t i n gu i s h -ing nun k j . Sigues particuliors Wife - Femme LV f t - H !nr -ft ? jjLhJ*&Ji~ -Kaine Now CHILDREN - ENFANTS Age Age Sei Seie 43 C h a p t e r 4: G e t t i n g E s t a b l i s h e d : T h i s was Canada, t h e end o f t h e i r l o n g j o u r n e y . The newcomers would l a n d i n e i t h e r V i c t o r i a o r Vancouver and j o i n t h e i r l o v e d ones. S i k h communities e x i s t e d i n b o t h p o r t s by t h i s t i m e . The V i c t o r i a S i k h Temple had been b u i l t i n 1912 and t h e Vancouver Temple was b u i l t i n 1908 by t h e o r i g i n a l p i o n e e r s . A s m a l l S i k h temple had a l s o been e s t a b l i s h e d i n P a l d i , on Vancouver I s l a n d , i n 1918 by t h e Mayo Lumber Company. On t h e m a i n l a n d , i n A b b o t s f o r d and New W e s t m i n s t e r two t e m p l e s were b u i l t i n 1912 by t h e S i k h community ( B u c h i g n a n i , 1985, p . 4 3 ) . I n F r a s e r M i l l s , t h e r e was a company b u i l t t e m p l e . Temples a l s o e x i s t e d i n Nanaimo and G o l d e n . The t o t a l S i k h p o p u l a t i o n i n B r i t i s h Columbia i n t h e e a r l y 1920s was j u s t o v e r 1000, b u t t h e r e was an i m b a l a n c e i n t h i s community, as B u c h i g n a n i (1985) s t a t e s : By 1925 about 90 p e r c e n t o f t h e p o p u l a t i o n was made up o f men o v e r f o r t y o r o l d e r ; because most a d u l t c h i l d r e n c o u l d n o t i m m i g r a t e t h e r e were o n l y a h a n d f u l o f young men i n t h e community. There were no more t h a n f o r t y women, a l l o f whom were m a r r i e d t o immigrant men. On a v e r a g e , one man l i v e d w i t h h i s f a m i l y f o r e v e r y t h i r t y men who d i d n o t . (p.74) These were t h e s u r v i v o r s , t h e b r a v e ones who had weathered t h e s t o r m , r e s i s t e d t h e p r e s s u r e s t o l e a v e , and c o n s i d e r e d Canada t h e i r home. The i n f u s i o n o f t h e new S i k h s was v e r y welcome. B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a ' s S i k h community saw them as t h e i r f u t u r e . The age and gender i m b a l a n c e would soon be c o r r e c t e d w i t h t h e a r r i v a l o f t h e i r women and c h i l d r e n . T h i s would e n s u r e t h e growth o f t h e i r community. 44 The t e m p l e p l a y e d an i m p o r t a n t r o l e i n h e l p i n g t h e s e newcomers c o n n e c t w i t h t h e i r r e l a t i o n s and f r i e n d s . I t a l s o a s s i s t e d i n f i n d i n g h o u s i n g and work. On l a n d i n g , t h e temple was u s u a l l y t h e i r f i r s t s t o p . Here t h e y c o u l d seek s p i r i t u a l s t r e n g t h and r e n e w a l . They would t h a n k God f o r t h e i r s a f e j o u r n e y , o f f e r a d o n a t i o n , e a t a meal and check i n w i t h t h e t e m p l e o f f i c i a l s . Accommodations were a l s o a v a i l a b l e u n t i l s u c h t i m e as t h e newcomers c o u l d e s t a b l i s h t h e m s e l v e s . Mr. D. S i h o t a d e s c r i b e s h i s welcome: On a r r i v a l a t V i c t o r i a , we were met by some o f o u r own l o c a l p e o p l e . W i t h t h e i r a s s i s t a n c e we c l e a r e d customs. There was q u i t e a c l o s e k n i t group o f p e o p l e , o ur S i k h p e o p l e , and t h e y h e l p e d each o t h e r a g r e a t d e a l . We were welcomed i n t o t h e i r homes u n t i l s u ch t i m e as my Dad c o u l d f i n d a j o b and we c o u l d go o u t and e s t a b l i s h o u r s e l v e s . Soon a f t e r l a n d i n g , t h e r e was a r o u t i n e t h a t was u s u a l l y f o l l o w e d . I t was t h e " C a n a d i a n i z a t i o n " o f t h e s e new i m m i g r a n t s . The women would go o u t w i t h t h e i r husbands t o shop f o r new c l o t h e s . I t was t h e custom t h e n t o d r e s s Western s t y l e i n p u b l i c , s a v i n g t h e i r I n d i a n d r e s s f o r i n s i d e t h e home. T h i s was s t r i c t l y u p h e l d i n t h o s e days, as Mrs. P. Sangha e x p l a i n s : On t h e day t h a t I a r r i v e d i n 193 2, my husband t o o k me t o t h e shop t o g e t new c l o t h e s r i g h t away. I p l e a d e d w i t h him t h a t I hadn't had a n y t h i n g t o e a t and t h a t I was s t a r v i n g , b u t he d i d n o t l i s t e n . F i r s t , we g o t t h e new d r e s s e s t h e n l a t e r we g o t something t o e a t . I t was t h e r u l e t h e n t o d r e s s l i k e t h e w h i t e l a d i e s and keep o u r h a i r c o v e r e d w i t h a s c a r f a t a l l t i m e s . T h i s was one o f t h e s a c r i f i c e s t h a t had t o be made. I t was t h e need t o conform, as c l o s e as p o s s i b l e , t o t h e mode 45 o f d r e s s common t o Canada. A l l o f t h e women r e s p o n d e n t s a g r e e d t h a t t h e s i t u a t i o n was n o t l i k e t o d a y when I n d i a n women can be seen i n e t h n i c d r e s s i n p u b l i c . T h i s was unheard o f i n t h e o l d days. Mrs. P. J o h l adopted w e s t e r n d r e s s e n r o u t e : When we s t o p p e d i n Hong Kong I bought some d r e s s e s . Everybody s a i d t h a t we c o u l d n ' t l a n d u n l e s s we d r e s s e d p r o p e r l y . The p i o n e e r s i n s i s t e d t h a t we d r e s s l i k e t h e o t h e r Canadian p e o p l e . They would n o t l e t anyone d r e s s d i f f e r e n t l y , we had t o show t h a t we c o u l d f i t i n and be j u s t l i k e t h e w h i t e p e o p l e . I n k e e p i n g w i t h t h i s p h i l o s o p h y o f c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e Can a d i a n ways, most young men would g e t t h e i r h a i r c u t and g e t new c l o t h e s . A l m o s t a l l o f them came w e a r i n g t u r b a n s and had n e v e r c u t t h e i r h a i r because o f t h e i r s t r i c t r e l i g i o u s u p b r i n g i n g . Devout S i k h s n e v e r c u t t h e i r h a i r , so t h i s d e c i s i o n was v e r y d i f f i c u l t f o r some men. I t was b o t h a p e r s o n a l c h o i c e i n f l u e n c e by t h e s t r e n g t h o f t h e i r own r e l i g i o u s c o n v i c t i o n s and p r e s s u r e from o u t s i d e s o c i a l f o r c e s t o conform. These f o r c e s i n c l u d e d f a m i l y , f r i e n d s and t h e dominant s o c i e t y . F o r Mr. M. Mangat i t was v e r y t r a u m a t i c : My dad made me c u t my h a i r . R i g h t a f t e r I g o t o f f t h e s h i p he t o o k me t o t h e Japanese b a r b e r a t F r a s e r M i l l s . I c r i e d a l l t h e way t h r o u g h i t , I c o u l d n ' t s l e e p f o r a c o u p l e o f n i g h t s . I ' l l n e v e r f o r g e t t h a t . Mr. K. B a i n s had a s i m i l i a r e x p e r i e n c e : My two b r o t h e r s were w o r k i n g a t Sooke Lake i n t h e s a w m i l l . They came t o see me t h e day a f t e r I l a n d e d i n V i c t o r i a . F i r s t t h i n g i n t h e morning, Bunt s a i d , " L e t ' s go t o town." We went t o town t o a J a p a n e s e b a r b e r . They made me s i t down and g e t a 46 h a i r c u t . He s a i d , " I don't want you t o wear t h i s t u r b a n around here.'-' He t h e n t o o k me t o buy some new c l o t h e s , t h i c k e r c l o t h e s f o r w i n t e r . W h i t e b a r b e r s would n o t c u t t h e h a i r o f A s i a n p e o p l e , so S i k h s had t o go t o a Japanese o r C h i n e s e b a r b e r . T h i s p r a c t i c e p e r s i s t e d w e l l i n t o t h e 1940s as Mr. D. S i h o t a e x p l a i n s : The b a r b e r s i n Duncan d i d n o t c u t t h e h a i r o f E a s t I n d i a n p e o p l e . We used t o go t o t h e C h i n e s e b a r b e r as a consequence. I went t o t h e Canadian b a r b e r a t one p o i n t . I s a t and t h e y k e p t t a k i n g o t h e r p e o p l e and i g n o r i n g me. I s a i d I want a h a i r c u t . He s a i d , " S o r r y , we don't c u t y o u r h a i r " . They would n o t c u t t h e h a i r o f any C h i n e s e , J a p a n e s e o r E a s t I n d i a n . T h i s was i n 1943. These c o n c e s s i o n s t h a t t h e S i k h s made were done i n o r d e r t o f i t i n w i t h t h e o t h e r C a n a d i a n s . They would always s t a n d o u t because o f t h e i r s k i n c o l o u r , b u t a t l e a s t an a t t e m p t was made t o a s s i m i l a t e . Most S i k h s f e l t t h a t t h e s e were s i m p l y s u r f a c e changes and t h a t t h e y had n o t changed i n any f u n d a m e n t a l way. " C a n a d i a n i z a t i o n " was t h e p r i c e t h e y had t o pay f o r a c c e p t a n c e , an o f f e r i n g g i v e n t o make Can a d i a n l i f e a l i t t l e e a s i e r f o r them. Now t h e newcomers were p r e p a r e d t o g e t on w i t h t h e i r l i v e s . A l l t h e s e p e o p l e had a p l a c e t o go s i n c e t h e i r s p o n s o r s , t h e o r i g i n a l p i o n e e r s , had a f o o t h o l d h e r e . Many went t o l i v e i n t h e i r own homes o r r e n t e d homes; some moved i n t o company-owned bunkhouses. The p i o n e e r s had a l r e a d y e s t a b l i s h e d s m a l l communities around t h e t e m p l e s and p l a c e s o f work. The l a r g e s t community was i n Vancouver, c e n t e r e d around t h e S i k h Temple a t 1866 West 2nd Avenue, i n K i t s i l a n o . I t 47 had i t s r o o t s i n t h e 1904-1908 t i m e p e r i o d when most men fo u n d employment i n t h e many lumber m i l l s l o c a t e d i n t h e F a l s e Creek a r e a . They e i t h e r l i v e d i n t h e i r own homes o r l i v e d commually i n r e n t e d homes. B r o t h e r s Chanan, Bawa and Nand S i n g h J o h l , who came t o Canada i n 1905 and 1906, were among t h e f i r s t t o e s t a b l i s h t h e m s e l v e s i n t h i s a r e a . A f t e r w o r k i n g i n t h e lumber m i l l s f o r many y e a r s , t h e y s t a r t e d a lumber c a r t a g e b u s i n e s s i n 1918 a t Cedar Cove S a w m i l l (see t h e p h o t o g r a p h a t t h e end o f t h e c h a p t e r ) . Nand S i n g h J o h l ' s son K a r n a i l d e s c r i b e s h i s f a m i l y ' s e x p e r i e n c e s : My f a m i l y bought o u r f i r s t house i n 1911, a t 1785 West 2nd Avenue. I t was about h a l f a b l o c k from t h e t e m p l e . They p a i d $275 a t t h a t t i m e . Then t h e y bought a n o t h e r house a c r o s s t h e s t r e e t , i t was 1768 West 2nd Avenue, i n 1914. They used t o t e l l us t h e y p a i d around $475 f o r t h a t one. Wages a t t h a t t i m e when t h e y f i r s t came o u t were about 10 c e n t s an hour. Then l a t e r t h e y s a i d wages went down when t h e war was on, t h e n t h e y were g e t t i n g 50 c e n t s a day. They bought t h e house on t h o s e wages, so t h a t was a l o t o f money a t t h a t t i m e . They g o t t h e i r f i r s t c o n t r a c t a t t h e Cedar Cove S a w m i l l , (see photo) . T h i s was on West 6 t h Avenue. T h i s was f o r h a u l i n g wood. They had t h e i r own t r u c k s and t h e i r own h o r s e s and b u g g i e s . They a c q u i r e d t h e t r u c k s i n 1918, b u t f i r s t t h e y h a u l e d t h e wood w i t h t h e h o r s e and buggy. They were t h e o n l y ones, o f o u r p e o p l e , who had a b i g c o n t r a c t w i t h t h e s a w m i l l s . They used t o g e t t h e wood from t h e s a w m i l l and go from house t o house t o s e l l i t f o r f i r e w o o d because everybody used t o b u r n wood. Then l o t s o f o u r p e o p l e g o t i n t o t h e wood b u s i n e s s a f t e r u s . About t w e l v e o f our p e o p l e worked i n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r m i l l i n t h e e a r l y days. But t h e y a l s o worked i n Hemby S a w m i l l s and G i r o d a y S a w m i l l s w h i c h were b o t h c l o s e by and A l b e r t a S a w m i l l s w h i c h was r i g h t t h e r e t o o . Q u i t e a few o f them us e d t o work a t R o b e r t s o n and H a c k e t t . These m i l l s were around t h e G r a n v i l l e B r i d g e . G i r o d a y s and Hemby were on one s i d e . R o b e r t s o n and H a c k e t t was on t h e o t h e r s i d e o f t h e b r i d g e , t h i s was where most o f o u r p e o p l e worked. Q u i t e a few o f them 48 worked a t A l b e r t a S a w m i l l s w h i c h was j u s t a l i t t l e f u r t h e r down from Cedar Cove. They used t o have a cookhouse and bunkhouse t h e r e f o r o u r p e o p l e . They u s e d t o a l s o have a cookhouse/bunkhouse a t R o b e r t s o n and H a c k e t t , t h e r e were about 30 t o 40 p e o p l e l i v i n g t h e r e . There were a c t u a l l y s m a l l m i l l s a l l a l o n g t h e r e b u t t h e s e were t h e b i g ones. G i a n i Harnam S i n g h , t h e p r i e s t a t t h e 2nd Avenue t e m p l e , was one o f t h e o r i g i n a l p i o n e e r s who came t o Canada i n 1906. He a r r i v e d from I n d i a e d u c a t e d i n E n g l i s h and S a n s k r i t e n a b l i n g him t o r e a d and w r i t e l e t t e r s f o r h i s S i k h n e i g h b o u r s on 2nd Avenue. T h i s k e p t him i n t o u c h w i t h e v e n t s i n t h e v i l l a g e s and i n Canada. He l e c t u r e d a t t h e temple about p o l i t i c s , r e l i g i o n and s o c i a l a f f a i r s . He was t h e f i r s t S i k h p r i e s t i n Canada and t h e f i r s t S i k h t o be i n v o l v e d i n t h e wood b u s i n e s s . He owned s e v e r a l p r o p e r t i e s i n t h e t e m p l e a r e a w h i c h he r e n t e d t o f e l l o w S i k h s . A t 47 y e a r s o l d , he r e t u r n e d t o I n d i a t o marry and i n 1929 r e t u r n e d w i t h h i s w i f e , J a g d i s h Kaur. She d e s c r i b e s t h e 2nd Avenue community a t t h i s t i m e : When we a r r i v e d h e r e e v e r y t h i n g was a l r e a d y s e t f o r u s . My husband owned t h r e e houses and s e v e r a l wood t r u c k s and h o r s e s and b u g g i e s f o r h a u l i n g wood. He had p a r k e d t h e t r u c k s and l e f t e v e r y t h i n g i n t h e hands o f Chanan and Nand S i n g h . They l o o k e d a f t e r a l l t h e houses and r e n t s , t h e y p a i d a l l t h e t a x e s and b i l l s w h i l e my husband was away. We l i v e d a t 1847 West 2nd Avenue and t h e o t h e r houses were on 3 r d Avenue, r e n t e d t o our p e o p l e . I was l u c k y , e v e r y t h i n g was a l l s e t , no p r o b l e m . Next t o t h e house, on h a l f an a c r e t h e r e was a l a r g e wood s t o r a g e l o t and a l a r g e b a r n where t h e t r u c k s and h o r s e s and b u g g i e s were s t o r e d . Our b u s i n e s s was a l l s e t on my a r r i v a l , I was t o o l u c k y . Many o f o u r p e o p l e a t t h i s t i m e s o l d wood. They p i c k e d up wood from t h e m i l l s and went door t o d o o r and s o l d i t f o r a p r o f i t . Most s t i l l had h o r s e s and b u g g i e s and some, i f t h e y c o u l d a f f o r d i t , had t r u c k s . T r u c k s were v e r y e x p e n s i v e . We had 49 s e v e r a l t r u c k s , made o f m e t a l , even t h e wheels were m e t a l . There were no d o o r s though. He k e p t two d r i v e r s , S a r a n S i n g h and T a r l o c h a n S i n g h . They made about $4 t o $5 a day. They were v e r y good p e o p l e , a l l o f o u r p e o p l e were good, v e r y t r u s t w o r t h y . Everybody g o t a l o n g w e l l t h e n . They h e l p e d one a n o t h e r and r e s p e c t e d each o t h e r , no f i g h t i n g a t a l l . I s p e n t most o f my t i m e a t t h e te m p l e , p r a y i n g , c l e a n i n g and c o o k i n g i n t h e k i t c h e n . T h ere were about 20 f a m i l i e s i n t h e tem p l e a r e a and t h e tem p l e was t h e c e n t e r . E v e n i n g s and weekends were s p e n t a t t h e te m p l e . We a l l s o c i a l i z e d h e r e , t h e r e was nowhere e l s e t o go. We r a r e l y mixed w i t h w h i t e p e o p l e , u n l e s s t h e y came t o t h e house t o o r d e r wood P r i o r t o t h e a r r i v a l o f t h e women and c h i l d r e n , t h e men who l i v e d on 2nd Avenue s p e n t most o f t h e i r t i m e w o r k i n g and s a v i n g t h e i r money. The h o u r s were l o n g and t h e work was h a r d p h y s i c a l l a b o u r . They had l i v e d a f r u g a l l i f e up t i l l t h i s t i m e , b u t w i t h t h e a r r i v a l o f t h e i r f a m i l i e s t h e r e was cau s e f o r j o y and c e l e b r a t i o n . Many o f t h e p i o n e e r s s p e n t some o f t h e i r h a r d e a r n e d money f o r t h e b e t t e r m e n t o f t h e i r f a m i l i e s . I n s t e a d o f r e n t i n g homes and l i v i n g communally, most men bought homes f o r t h e i r w i v e s and c h i l d r e n and p u r c h a s e d f u r n i t u r e and h o u s e h o l d goods t o make l i f e e a s i e r . One p i o n e e r , on t h e a r r i v a l o f h i s d a u g h t e r - i n - l a w and gr a n d s o n , bought a f a m i l y c a r , a 1927 B u i c k (see t h e p h o t o g r a p h a t t h e end o f t h e c h a p t e r ) . There was o n l y one o t h e r c a r i n t h e S i k h community a t t h i s t i m e and i t was bought f o r t h e same r e a s o n . P r i o r t o t h i s t i m e , such e x t r a v a g a n c e was c o n s i d e r e d f o o l i s h . Now t h i n g s had changed; t h e y had a r e a s o n t o c e l e b r a t e . T h e i r f a m i l i e s had f i n a l l y j o i n e d them. 50 The c l o s e n e s s and c a r i n g i n t h e 2nd Avenue community was c o n s t a n t l y r e f e r r e d t o by t h e p e o p l e I i n t e r v i e w e d . I t was l i k e a l a r g e f a m i l y a c c o r d i n g t o Mrs. B. J o h a l , whose e x t e n d e d f a m i l y l i v e d n e a r t h e t e m p l e : We l i v e d i n a t h r e e s t o r y house w i t h my i n -l a w s and husband's c o u s i n and h i s f a m i l y . Whoever came t o town s t a y e d w i t h us as w e l l , i t seemed t h a t t h e r e was always someone s t a y i n g w i t h u s , b u t t h a t was t h e way i t was i n t h o s e days. Nobody minded, f i r s t t h e y would come see us and t h e n go w h erever e l s e t h e y had t o go. Everybody on 2nd Avenue was good, when t h e whitemen p a s s e d by t h e y w o u l d t i p t h e i r h a t s t o u s . There was a l o t o f r e s p e c t t h e n . Not f a r from t h e t e m p l e , a few m i l e s away, a n o t h e r group o f S i k h s l i v e d and worked a t t h e A l b e r t a S a w m i l l s on 6 t h Avenue. D u r i n g t h e t h i r t i e s , ' t h e r e was a l w a y s one bunkhouse f o r t h e S i k h s , so t h e r e must have been about 20 t o 25 men w o r k i n g t h e r e d u r i n g t h i s t i m e . They l i v e d i n a bunkhouse and a t e i n a communal cookhouse p r o v i d e d by t h e company f o r t h e use o f i t s w o r k e r s . T h i s was a v e r y common form o f accommodation i n t h e e a r l y days and most m i l l s had a cookhouse/bunkhouse s e t up f o r t h e i r employees. Mr. S. G i l l d e s c r i b e s t h e A l b e r t a S a w m i l l ' s bunkhouse as b e i n g a l o n g wooden s t r u c t u r e d i v i d e d i n t o 10 o r 12 s m a l l rooms w i t h two beds i n each room. A l o n g h a l l d i v i d e d t h e bunkhouse. The rooms were on e i t h e r s i d e o f t h i s h a l l . A s m a l l s i t t i n g a r e a w i t h a wood-burning s t o v e was a t one end o f t h e h a l l . T h i s was t h e o n l y s o u r c e o f h e a t . There was an o uthouse a s h o r t d i s t a n c e away. There m i g h t be s e v e r a l o f t h e s e bunkhouses a t any one m i l l , d epending on t h e s i z e o f 51 t h e w o r k f o r c e . These bunkhouses were d i v i d e d a l o n g r a c i a l l i n e s and each group l i v e d i n a s e p a r a t e bunkhouse. The cookhouse was a s e p a r a t e b u i l d i n g w i t h a c e n t r a l k i t c h e n where s u p p l i e s and g r o c e r i e s were s t o r e d and f o o d was p r e p a r e d . These were managed and r u n by e l d e r S i k h s o r men who were n o t o t h e r w i s e employed. They would p r e p a r e t h e f o o d f o r t h e w o r k e r s and i n t u r n be s u p p o r t e d by t h e men who e a r n e d wages. A l l t h e men would e a t t o g e t h e r and s h a r e d t h e c o s t s . A t some s t a g e i n t h e i r l i v e s , v i r t u a l l y a l l S i k h men w o u l d have l i v e d i n a bunkhouse and e a t e n i n a cookhouse. A n o t h e r m i l l community was l o c a t e d a l o n g t h e F r a s e r R i v e r . Mr. G. J o h l , who came t o Canada i n 1921, j o i n e d h i s f a t h e r who was w o r k i n g a t Dominion S a w m i l l s . T h i s m i l l was l o c a t e d a t t h e c o r n e r o f Boundary Road and M a r i n e D r i v e , t h e p r e s e n t l o c a t i o n o f t h e Canadian White P i n e Lumber m i l l . About f o r t y S i k h s were w o r k i n g h e r e a t t h i s t i m e , l i v i n g i n t h r e e bunkhouses and e a t i n g i n a l a r g e cookhouse. There was even a S i k h foreman i n t h e m i l l named Sundar S i n g h , who h e l p e d Mr. J o h l g e t a j o b when he was 15 y e a r s o l d . The l a r g e s t m i l l community was l o c a t e d a t F r a s e r M i l l s i n New W e s t m i n s t e r , c l o s e t o M a i l l a r d v i l l e . The S i k h s c a l l e d i t " M i l l s i d e " . A c c o r d i n g t o Mr. M. Mangat, who came t o Canada i n 1925, " t h e r e were o n l y two f a m i l i e s h e r e t h e n , t h e r e s t were a l l s i n g l e men". The company even b u i l t a temple f o r i t s w o r k e r s . A c c o r d i n g t o Mr. S. G i l l , who came t o j o i n h i s f a t h e r t o l i v e and work h e r e , t h i s t e mple was 52 c o n s t r u c t e d around 1908, when h i s f a t h e r f i r s t came t o Canada. He d e s c r i b e s t h i s scene when he a r r i v e d i n 1925: There were between 200 t o 300 S i k h s . They had 4 o r 5 cookhouses and d i f f e r e n t s i z e d bunkhouses, some had 30, 40 o r 50 p e o p l e l i v i n g i n them. T h a t ' s how t h e y l i v e d t h e n . We had o u r own te m p l e , a s m a l l one b u i l t by t h e m i l l a t t h e i r own expense. I t was a v e r y good company, b u t f o r wages t h e r e was a f i v e c e n t d i f f e r e n c e between us and w h i t e p e o p l e . We g o t 25 c e n t s an hour and t h e w h i t e s g o t 30 c e n t s f o r t h e same j o b . My dad was p u l l i n g lumber on t h e g r e e n c h a i n , i t was h a r d work. We'd s t a r t a t 8 o ' c l o c k and f i n i s h a t 5 o ' c l o c k . Sometimes I d i d 5 h o u r s o v e r t i m e , 13 h o u r s a day. Most S a t u r d a y s and Sundays I worked as w e l l , so 7 days a week. We d i d n o t g e t p a i d o v e r t i m e i n t h o s e days. We g o t a l i t t l e e x t r a f o r w o r k i n g on Sunday, we'd work 8 h o u r s and t h e y ' d pay us f o r 10 h o u r s . My f i r s t j o b was on t h e resaw. When t h e y f i r s t t o o k me t o my j o b t h e y i n t r o d u c e d me t o a S i k h foreman.named R a n j , He s a i d t h a t i f he showed me how t o do a j o b c o u l d I do i t ? I s a i d t h a t I c o u l d . So I watched t h e o t h e r men do t h e i r j o b s on t h e resaw and t h a t ' s how I l e a r n e d how t o do i t . He was a good man, s e v e r a l t i m e s I would l e a v e and go e l s e w h e r e f o r b e t t e r pay, he a l w a y s t o o k me back. I would go wherever t h e r e was b e t t e r pay. There was b e t t e r money on Vancouver I s l a n d , so I would go work a t Mayo o r Kapoor. They p a i d 35 c e n t s an hour. We a l l d i d t h a t , we'd move t o b e t t e r p a y i n g j o b s . S m a l l c l u s t e r s o f S i k h s l i v e d around s e v e r a l s m a l l lumber m i l l s and lumber y a r d s i n d i f f e r e n t p a r t s o f t h e Lower M a i n l a n d . They were on Main S t r e e t , M a r i n e D r i v e and F r a s e r S t r e e t i n Vancouver, on M i t c h e l l I s l a n d i n Richmond, and D o l l a r t o n i n N o r t h Vancouver. Some S i k h s a l s o l i v e d i n t h e Cedar C o t t a g e a r e a because o f i t s c e n t r a l l o c a t i o n f o r t h e wood t r u c k b u s i n e s s and t h e a v a i l i b i l i t y o f l o t s f o r wood s t o r a g e . These were a l l j u s t c l u s t e r s o f f o u r o r f i v e 53 h o u s e h o l d s , b u t a r e w o r t h m e n t i o n i n g s i n c e t h e y d i d come up i n t h e i n t e r v i e w s . From t h e b e g i n n i n g , t h e S i k h s were r e s p e c t e d as b e i n g v e r y h a r d w o r k e r s , r e l i a b l e and t r u s t w o r t h y (see t h e l e t t e r s o f r e f e r e n c e a t t h e end o f t h e c h a p t e r ) . T h i s i s why t h e m i l l s w ould h i r e them. As t i m e went on, S i k h s sought b e t t e r wages and b e t t e r w o r k i n g and l i v i n g c o n d i t i o n s . W i t h i n t h e i r g r oup, t h e y had a s t r o n g communication network. They knew what t y p e o f work and what wages were a v a i l a b l e t h r o u g h o u t t h e p r o v i n c e . They were e n t e r p r i s i n g and e x t r e m e l y m o b i l e . They would t r a v e l g r e a t d i s t a n c e s f o r b e t t e r w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s o r t o make more money. S e v e r a l o t h e r avenues o f employment t h a t were r e l a t e d t o m i l l work s t a r t e d t o open up. One t h a t has a l r e a d y been mentioned i s t h e i n d e p e n d e n t wood t r u c k b u s i n e s s based i n V ancouver and V i c t o r i a . S i k h s s t a r t e d g e t t i n g l a b o u r c o n t r a c t s i n t h e m i l l s : on t h e g r e e n c h a i n , l o a d i n g b o x c a r s , i n t h e d r y k i l n , h a u l i n g wood o r sawdust o r c u t t i n g p o l e s . Some even had t h e i r own lumber m i l l s , u s u a l l y l o c a t e d o u t o f town. T h i s g r e a t l y i n c r e a s e d t h e i r f i n a n c i a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s and gave them g r e a t e r economic freedom and autonomy. The m a j o r S i k h m i l l owners were Mayo S i n g h and Kapoor S i n g h . Mayo S i n g h came from I n d i a i n 1906 w i t h l i t t l e e d u c a t i o n . He f i r s t s t a r t e d w o r k i n g i n t h e farms i n C h i l l i w a c k and l a t e r i n t h e lumber m i l l s (Muthanna, 1982, P.717). Kapoor S i n g h on t h e o t h e r hand was e d u c a t e d . A f t e r g r a d u a t i n g from h i g h s c h o o l i n I n d i a he went t o San 54 F r a n s i s c o i n 1906 (Redway, 1984, p.16). He t r a v e l l e d up and down t h e P a c i f i c c o a s t and l a t e r t o T o r o n t o . H i s i n t e r e s t i n t h e lumber i n d u s t r y b r o u g h t him i n c o n t a c t w i t h Mayo S i n g h . A c c o r d i n g t o B r i a n Redway, t h e i r f i r s t j o i n t b u s i n e s s v e n t u r e began as p a r t n e r s w i t h o t h e r S i k h s when t h e y bought o u t a f a i l i n g lumber m i l l i n New W e s t m i n s t e r i n 1914. They had a l l been employees t h e r e and knew t h e work. The lumber market was p o o r due t o t h e war, b u t w i t h some l u c k and p l e n t y o f h a r d work t h e b u s i n e s s became p r o f i t a b l e . A few y e a r s l a t e r , Mayo and Kapoor expanded t h e i r b u s i n e s s by moving t h e i r base o f o p e r a t i o n s t o Vancouver I s l a n d . I n 1918, t h e s e two men e s t a b l i s h e d t h e Mayo Lumber Company, a much l a r g e r m i l l n e a r Duncan. A s m a l l m i l l town, c a l l e d P a l d i a f t e r Mayo's v i l l a g e i n I n d i a , d e v e l o p e d around t h i s m i l l . S e v e r a l hundred p e o p l e worked h e r e and Mayo b u i l t a s m a l l S i k h Temple f o r t h i s community i n 1918 and a much l a r g e r t e m p l e i n 1928 ( J o h a l and Sundher, 1977, p.45) [see t h e p h o t o a t t h e end o f t h e c h a p t e r ] . I n t h e mid t h i r t i e s s e v e r a l women and c h i l d r e n were l i v i n g i n P a l d i , as can be seen i n t h e p h o t o g r a p h a t t h e end o f t h e c h a p t e r . A n o t h e r m i l l was s t a r t e d a t Sooke Lake i n t h e l a t e t w e n t i e s c a l l e d t h e Kapoor Lumber Company. T h i s m i l l a l s o had a l o g g i n g camp a t Shawnigan Lake. I t employed about 300 men. T h i s work f o r c e was d i v i d e d i n t o f o u r g r o u p s : whitemen, S i k h s , C h i n e s e , and Japanese. I n t h e l a t e t h i r t i e s , a c c o r d i n g t o Mr. K. B a i n s , o n l y two S i k h f a m i l i e s r e s i d e d t h e r e . The r e s t were s i n g l e men. A s e p a r a t e camp e x i s t e d f o r 55 each o f t h e r a c i a l groups w o r k i n g a t t h e m i l l . A one room s c h o o l house s e r v e d t h e whole community. Mr. D. S i h o t a d e s c r i b e s h i s e x p e r i e n c e s : G o i n g t o t h e m i l l was q u i t e an e x p e r i e n c e . I t t o o k p r a c t i c a l l y a whole day from V i c t o r i a , t o go by a r i c k e t y o l d v e h i c l e , o v e r l o g g i n g r o a d s , up and down, t w i s t i n g , w i t h b i g b o u l d e r s i n t h e way, b e f o r e you c o u l d a r r i v e a t t h e m i l l . I t was v e r y i s o l a t e d b u t t h e r e was a community r i g h t t h e r e . A l o t o f o u r p e o p l e , P u n j a b i s w o r k i n g i n t h e m i l l , some Can a d i a n p e o p l e , some C h i n e s e . There was a s t o r e , a l i t t l e one room s c h o o l and i n t h e s c h o o l t h e y had g r a d e s one t o t e n . We moved i n t o a bunkhouse, about t h r e e o f us i n one s m a l l room. Two o f us boys would be i n a bed. The rooms would be 12 f t . by 12 f t . i n t h e bunkhouses. I n a l o n g bunkhouse t h e r e m i g h t be 8 o r 10 s u c h rooms, w i t h a c e n t r a l a r e a w i t h a drum s t o v e would keep t h e p l a c e warm i n t h e w i n t e r t i m e . The washrooms, t h e y ' d be d e t a c h e d , away from t h e main bunkhouse. There would be a cookhouse n e a r b y where a l l t h e f o o d was p r e p a r e d . There was a cook, who p r e p a r e d a l l t h e f o o d and l o o k e d a f t e r p u r c h a s i n g and so on. The c o s t t o each i n d i v i d u a l was s h a r e d , i t was s o r t o f a d e m o c r a t i c h o u s e h o l d , r u n on t h a t b a s i s . There were a few women: Kapoor S i n g h ' s w i f e , two d a u g h t e r s , h i s b r o t h e r ' s w i f e . There were some Ca n a d i a n e n g i n e e r s and t h e i r f a m i l i e s , as w e l l . Mayo and Kapoor S i n g h used t h e i r w e a l t h f o r t h e b e n e f i t o f t h e i r community. They p r o v i d e d j o b s f o r t h e men, l e d t h e f i g h t f o r e q u a l r i g h t s , and f i n a n c e d many d e l e g a t i o n s t o Ottawa t o e x p l a i n t h e i r problems t o government o f f i c i a l s . S p e a k e r s were sometimes i n v i t e d t o i n f o r m and i n s p i r e t h e men. Mr. K. B a i n s e x p l a i n s : Once i n a w h i l e , i n t h e cookhouse t h e y ' d have speeches about p o l i t i c s and a l l t h a t , what's h a p p e n i n g i n I n d i a and who's r i g h t and what t h e C o ngress p a r t y and t h e B r i t i s h a r e d o i n g . Sadhu S i n g h Dhami used t o come t h e r e and p e o p l e from t h e V i c t o r i a and Vancouver gurdwaras would come as w e l l . Sometimes t o c o l l e c t money. We'd g i v e one o r two d o l l a r s , i t was a b i g d e a l i n t h o s e days. I f 56 a n y t h i n g came up i n I n d i a , some d i s a s t e r , t h e y ' d r a i s e money i n t h i s way. These were two community l e a d e r s who c a r e d f o r t h e i r w o r k e r s and would l a t e r be i n s t r u m e n t a l i n g e t t i n g t h e f r a n c h i s e f o r t h e E a s t I n d i a n s i n Canada. A n o t h e r v e r y i m p o r t a n t Vancouver I s l a n d S i k h community was H i l l c r e s t s i t u a t e d about f o u r m i l e s from Duncan. L o c a t e d h e r e was a l a r g e m i l l owned by C a r l t o n Stone c a l l e d t h e H i l l c r e s t Lumber Company. T h i s m i l l had i t s b e g i n n i n g i n 1912, when t h e f i r s t S i k h s s t a r t e d w o r k i n g h e r e f o r Mr. Stone ( S i n g h , 1936, p . 7 ) . He r e c o g n i z e d t h e v a l u e o f e m p l o y i n g S i k h s and encouraged them t o work i n h i s f o r e s t r y o p e r a t i o n s . I n t h e e a r l y t h i r t i e s , T a r a S i n g h was h i s S i k h foreman and Lakha S i n g h and Magar S i n g h were h i s a s s i s t a n t s . Mr. Magar S i n g h t e l l s t h i s s t o r y : There were about 40 o f o u r p e o p l e t h e r e i n 1929 when I f i r s t a r r i v e d i n H i l l c r e s t . They s t a y e d i n a bunkhouse, t h e r e was a C h i n e s e bunkhouse, a Japanese bunkhouse, and o u r p e o p l e ' s bunkhouse. There were t h r e e s e p a r a t e bunkhouses. There were f o u r men who had t h e i r w i v e s w i t h them a t t h i s t i m e : K i s h a n S i n g h , I n d e r S i n g h A k h a r a , R a l l a J h a n , and Nama. They had no c h i l d r e n a t t h i s t i m e . A f t e r , t h e y s t a r t e d t h e i r f a m i l i e s . A l i t t l e l a t e r Bhan S i n g h G i l l came w i t h h i s w i f e . The Goras ( w h i t e p e o p l e ) had t h e i r bunkhouse on t h e o t h e r s i d e o f t h e o f f i c e , t h e r e were j u s t a few. They were m o s t l y m a r r i e d p e o p l e : t h e Stone f a m i l y , t h e manager's f a m i l y , and someone e l s e . T h ere weren't v e r y many Gora p e o p l e o n l y f o u r o r f i v e , m o s t l y A s i a n p e o p l e worked t h e r e . Our p e o p l e worked m o s t l y on t h e g r e e n c h a i n , p u l l e d t h e c a r t s , and p i l e d lumber i n t h e y a r d . They made b i g p i l e s t o d r y t h e lumber, t h e y d i d n ' t have a d r y k i l n t h e n , t h e y b u i l t i t l a t e r . When I f i r s t came, I s t a r t e d on t h e g r e e n c h a i n , t h e n I went on t h e j u m p - r o l l e r . T h a t ' s where I c u t my damn f i n g e r o f f , (he shows me h i s hand w i t h a m i s s i n g f i n g e r ) . Then I went t o f e e d i n g t h e resaw and t h e n I became t h e charge hand o f t h e 57 g r e e n c h a i n . My d u t i e s were t o keep e v e r y t h i n g g o i n g . Our head man was T a r a S i n g h K a u n i , he a s s i s t e d i n h i r i n g o u r p e o p l e , you can c o n s i d e r him o u r foreman. I was i n c h a rge o f t h e d r y k i l n and Lakha S i n g h was i n c h a r g e o f t h e g r e e n c h a i n . H i l l c r e s t was a v e r y c l o s e community. Mr. Stone r e l i e d on h i s S i k h w o r k e r s so much t h a t he b u i l t a gurdwara f o r t h e S i k h s and t h e i r f a m i l i e s i n 1935 ( S i n g h , 1936, p . 8 ) . The p h o t o g r a p h s a t t h e end o f t h e c h a p t e r show t h e i n t e r i o r and e x t e r i o r o f t h e H i l l c r e s t S i k h t e m p l e . There was a l s o a community h a l l b u i l t f o r t h e use o f a l l o f t h e w o r k e r s . The C a n a d i a n f a m i l i e s l i v e d i n about 30 homes b u i l t around t h e p e r i m e t e r o f t h e m i l l . There was a s c h o o l b u i l d i n g where two t e a c h e r s t a u g h t a l l t h e w o r k e r s ' c h i l d r e n . A t t i m e s , t h e y t a u g h t o v e r 50 s t u d e n t s i n t h i s one room s c h o o l house. Over h a l f o f t h e p e o p l e I i n t e r v i e w e d had a t one t i m e worked a t H i l l c r e s t because i t was a p l a c e where one c o u l d a l w a y s g e t a j o b . Mr. D. S i h o t a g i v e s t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n i n 1937: I c a n remember a l i n e up o f p e o p l e w a i t i n g a t t h e o f f i c e o f t h e m i l l , w a i t i n g f o r any odd j o b t h a t m i g h t open up. We l i v e d i n t h e bunkhouse and a t e a t t h e cookhouse. I had about a m i l e and a h a l f w a l k t o s c h o o l , t h e m i l l s c h o o l i n a m i l l town. There, I s t a r t e d i n grade t h r e e and my b r o t h e r , who i s o l d e r , hadn't a c q u i r e d as much E n g l i s h as I had so he s t a r t e d i n g rade two. I t was a blow t o him and he was n o t i n t e r e s t e d i n s c h o o l . So i t wasn't t o o l o n g a f t e r t h a t , he q u i t s c h o o l o u t r i g h t and went t o work i n t h e m i l l . The wages were 29 t o 32 c e n t s an h o u r , you worked s i x days a week. Sometimes you would g e t a S a t u r d a y a f t e r n o o n o f f , so you'd go downtown and do y o u r b u s i n e s s o r buy g r o c e r i e s o r w h a t e v e r . The work was h a r d . Most o f o u r p e o p l e worked i n t h e m i l l o r on t h e g r e e n c h a i n o r out i n t h e y a r d . Few worked i n t h e l o g g i n g camp i t s e l f . Of o u r p e o p l e , t h e r e were about 60 s i n g l e p e o p l e and f o u r f a m i l i e s . There was D a l i p S i n g h ' s f a m i l y , t h e ( f u t u r e ) J u d g e ' s b r o t h e r and mother, 58 Mrs. O p p a l . Then t h e r e was t h e Doman f a m i l y . H e r b i e was a l i t t l e f e l l o w I used t o r i d e him on my b i c y c l e t o Duncan. Mr. Doman was t h e man i n c h a r g e , n o t H e r b i e ' s f a t h e r b u t a r e l a t i v e , an u n c l e , he was i n charge o f t h e c o n t r a c t w i t h t h e m i l l . He would g e t w o r k e r s . Herb's dad used t o o p e r a t e t h e t r u c k s w h i c h t o o k t h e wood t o Duncan, f i r e w o o d w h i c h t h e y s o l d t o t h e p e o p l e . A t t h a t t i m e t h e r e was a Japanese s e t t l e m e n t and a C h i n e s e s e t t l e m e n t . These were s e g r e g a t e d , each by t h e m s e l v e s . E a s t I n d i a n s and Europeans were by t h e m s e l v e s , as w e l l , i n s e p a r a t e l o c a t i o n s . I t h i n k t o o t h a t t h e j o b s t h a t were o f f e r e d t o t h e s e e t h n i c communities were somewhat d i f f e r e n t . The l a b o u r i n g groups were t h e C h i n e s e and t h e P u n j a b i s . The Japanese managed t o g e t t h e b e t t e r j o b s t h a t i n v o l v e d more t e c h n i c a l t r a i n i n g . The b e s t j o b s , t h e e n g i n e e r s and p e o p l e who were t h e b o s s e s a t t h e m i l l , went t o t h e Europeans. I o p e r a t e d a resaw on my summer h o l i d a y s . There were v e r y few o f o u r p e o p l e who were a l l o w e d t o o p e r a t e a machine. When he would go o f f t o t h e washroom o r t o have h i s smoke, I would o p e r a t e t h e machine and I c o u l d do i t j u s t as w e l l as he c o u l d , b u t he was v e r y c o n s c i o u s o f t h e f a c t t h a t he b e t t e r n o t r e l i n q u i s h t h e machine t o me f o r t o o l o n g , because t h e n he might have t o r e l i n q u i s h i t t o me o u t r i g h t somewhere down t h e r o a d . You s o r t o f u n d e r s t o o d t h a t t h e r e was a l e v e l a t w h i c h you c o u l d f u n c t i o n , beyond t h a t i t was o u t o f y o u r r e a c h . V i c t o r i a was t h e o t h e r Vancouver I s l a n d S i k h community. I t s t e m p l e was b u i l t i n 1912. T h i s community was c e n t e r e d a r o u n d M a r k e t S t r e e t w i t h t h e gurdwara l o c a t e d a t 1210 Topaz S t r e e t . Most S i k h s worked i n t h e s i x o r seven lumber m i l l s i n town o r had t h e i r own wood t r u c k s and s o l d wood door t o d o o r . Mrs. P. Sangha's husband A j a i b had s e v e r a l wood t r u c k s . A t one t i m e , he a l s o owned a g r o c e r y s t o r e t h a t s o l d s p i c e s and o t h e r s p e c i a l t y i t e m s t o h i s p e o p l e . Mrs. Sangha s a y s t h a t i n 1934 t o 1935 about 20 t o 25 f a m i l i e s were l i v i n g i n V i c t o r i a . A c c o r d i n g t o Mr. T. S. Tiwana t h i s number grew t o about 30 t o 40 f a m i l i e s i n t h e mid f o r t i e s . 59 A g r i c u l t u r e was t h e e n t e r p r i s e , o t h e r t h a n l u m b e r i n g , t h a t t h e S i k h s engaged i n t o any g r e a t e x t e n t . They had come from a f a r m i n g background i n t h e Punjab so t h e y came h e r e knowing how t o farm and how t o l i v e o f f t h e l a n d . They u s u a l l y began by w o r k i n g on r e n t e d l a n d u n t i l t h e y c o u l d a f f o r d t o buy t h e i r own farm. T h e i r f i r s t farm was u s u a l l y a p a r t n e r s h i p o r a c o o p e r a t i v e v e n t u r e . Some p l a c e s mentioned where p e o p l e worked on v e g e t a b l e farms a r e Ladner, A b b o t s f o r d , A g a s s i , Kamloops, S a a n i c h , and P i t t Meadows. Mr. Manga J a g p a l g o t h i s s t a r t i n f a r m i n g by w o r k i n g as a g a r d e n e r f o r C o l o n e l V i c t o r Spencer i n 1930: A f t e r l a n d i n g , a l l o f us were t a k e n t o t h e gurdwara by t h e tem p l e p e o p l e . They c o n t a c t e d o ur r e l a t i v e s and t h e n my u n c l e came and t o o k me t o t h e Spencer home a t 1750 T r i m b l e S t r e e t . He had been t h e i r g a r d e n e r f o r t h e l a s t 13 y e a r s and I l i v e d w i t h him i n t h e s e p a r a t e g a r d e n e r ' s q u a r t e r s . I t was a l i t t l e l o n e l y a t f i r s t , b e i n g o n l y 15 y e a r s o l d , and away from home f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e . We worked f o r v e r y good p e o p l e . Sometimes whitemen would make f u n o f my t u r b a n as t h e y p a s s e d by on t h e r o a d . They would make w e i r d n o i s e s and I g o t i n t o a few f i g h t s , u n t i l Mr. Spencer had a t a l k w i t h them. He had been i n I n d i a i n W o r i d War I and knew t h e meaning o f t h e t u r b a n t o t h e S i k h s . He t o l d t h e neighbourhood p e o p l e t o t r e a t us w i t h r e s p e c t and t h e y d i d a f t e r t h a t . He was a v e r y p o w e r f u l man. He even t o l d h i s own c h i l d r e n t o be c a r e f u l when p l a y i n g w i t h me so as n o t t o t o u c h my t u r b a n . H i s c h i l d r e n were about t h e same age as me and we o f t e n p l a y e d t o g e t h e r . When I s t a r t e d w o r k i n g t h e r e I g o t p a i d $45 a month, w i t h no l i v i n g c o s t s . T h i s was good money, t h e s e were d e p r e s s i o n t i m e s , and some m i l l w o r k e r s o n l y made a d o l l a r a day t h e n . The work was v e r y e a s y , we worked a c c o r d i n g t o our own s c h e d u l e . He had a t e n a c r e e s t a t e and we l o o k e d a f t e r a l l t h e g a r d e n i n g . He a l s o had h i s own c a r p e n t e r and greenhouse man. I worked t h e r e f o r t h r e e y e a r s , t h e n Mrs. Spencer g o t me a j o b a t t h e J e r i c h o G o l f and 60 C o u n t r y C l u b , a t my r e q u e s t . The wages were b e t t e r t h e r e , 35 c e n t s an hour, n i n e h o u r s a day. I worked t h e r e from 1933 t o 1941. We had o u r own on-s i t e h o u s i n g h e r e as w e l l . Many o f o u r o l d t i m e r s worked h e r e , my v i l l a g e r s . Harnam S i n g h was t h e b o s s o f 13 o r 14 p e o p l e t h e r e , i t was a huge g o l f c o u r s e , o u r p e o p l e were t h e ones t h a t o r i g i n a l l y b u i l t i t . I n 1936, I g o t t h e foreman's j o b from Harnam S i n g h , t h e o t h e r s were a l l g e t t i n g t o o o l d and I was younger and c o u l d do a l l t h e work. I n 1941, t h i s g o l f c o u r s e s o l d o u t and moved t o t h e B r i t i s h P r o p e r t i e s . That was t o o f a r f o r me t o go so I t r i e d t o g e t a j o b w i t h t h e P a r k s Board as a g a r d e n e r . I remember g o i n g t o t h e i r o f f i c e i n S t a n l e y P a r k and a s k i n g f o r a j o b . When I t o l d t h e f e l l o w a t t h e f r o n t desk about my e x p e r i e n c e s w o r k i n g f o r t h e Spencer f a m i l y and t h e g o l f c o u r s e , he was a s t o n i s h e d . He s a i d , "How d i d you g e t s u c h good work?" I answered t h a t I g o t t h e good j o b s because I was c a p a b l e and c o u l d do t h e work. He s a i d t h a t he'd n e v e r h i r e me t h e r e because I was a f o r e i g n e r . So I s t a r t e d l o o k i n g f o r work i n a s a w m i l l . Mr. J a g p a l l a t e r owned farms i n C h i l l i w a c k , M i s s i o n and P i t t Meadows. There was a s i z e a b l e S i k h community i n Kelowna w h i c h engaged i n some mixed v e g e t a b l e f a r m i n g , b u t m o s t l y f r u i t f a r m i n g . The S i k h s had f a m i l y owned and o p e r a t e d o r c h a r d s b e g i n n i n g i n 1924. A c c o r d i n g t o Mrs. A. K. S i n g h , t h e f i r s t S i k h s who owned t h e i r own farms h e r e were h e r f a t h e r Mr. Mehar S i n g h Sangha, Bagu B a s r a n , Banta S i n g h Sangra and Lachman S i n g h . These p e o p l e c l e a r e d p o r t i o n s o f t h e i r l a n d and owned from 30 t o 100 a c r e s . I n t h e t h i r t i e s , a n o t h e r t e n S i k h s j o i n e d them and by 1934 t h e S i k h p o p u l a t i o n was about 100, n o t i n c l u d i n g t h e c h i l d r e n . She named t e n f a m i l i e s w i t h c h i l d r e n a t t h i s t i m e , t h e r e s t b e i n g s i n g l e men. S i n c e t h e s e were D e p r e s s i o n y e a r s , many S i k h s would go t h e r e t o work d u r i n g h a r v e s t t i m e 61 and t h e p o p u l a t i o n would grow c o n s i d e r a b l y . Some even r e n t e d o r h a l f - s h a r e d farms d u r i n g t h e s e d i f f i c u l t t i m e s . When t h e economy improved t h e s e p e o p l e would go back t o work i n t h e m i l l s . They n e v e r had a temple b u t had t h e i r s o c i a l g a t h e r i n g s a t t h e R u t l a n d Community H a l l , as seen i n t h e p h o t o g r a p h a t t h e end o f t h e c h a p t e r . Mrs. S i n g h went on t o say t h a t Kamloops had about 60 permanent S i k h s i n t h e mid t h i r t i e s . Sher S i n g h and h i s s o n s , Sucha and Hardev owned 100 a c r e s o f l a n d . They grew m o s t l y tomatoes and some mixed v e g e t a b l e s . On t h e i r l a n d t h e y a l s o o p e r a t e d a s m a l l m i l l where t h e y made r a i l w a y t i e s . Chanan S i n g h and h i s son Banta owned a 60 a c r e farm on t h e Thompson R i v e r where t h e y grew mixed v e g e t a b l e s . Pakher S i n g h Mann r e n t e d 50 a c r e s f o r mixed v e g e t a b l e f a r m i n g . F o r t h e S i k h s i n B r i t i s h Columbia t h e t w e n t i e s and t h i r t i e s was a l s o a t i m e f o r f a m i l y r e n u n i f i c a t i o n and community b u i l d i n g w i t h t h e a r r i v a l o f t h e w i v e s and c h i l d r e n . D u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d t h e f i r s t S i k h s were b o r n i n Canada and t h e i m b a l a n c e i n t h e gender and age makeup o f t h e community began t o change. The S i k h s had t o b a t t l e h a r d economic t i m e s , p r e j u d i c e i n t h e j o b market, and poor w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s . The g u e s t f o r b e t t e r j o b s , pay and accommodations was made p o s s i b l e by h a v i n g a s t r o n g f a m i l y and community network. The S i k h s were h i g h l y m o b i l e and s e n s i t i v e t o t h e f l u c t u a t i o n s i n t h e j o b market. They worked h a r d , l i v e d w i t h i n t h e i r means, saved t h e i r money and c o o p e r a t e d w i t h one a n o t h e r . 62 As a l w a y s , t h e t e m p l e p l a y e d an i m p o r t a n t r o l e d u r i n g t h e s e y e a r s . I t was t h e base o f o p e r a t i o n s , t h e i r h e a d q u a r t e r s f o r whatever a c t i o n would t a k e p l a c e . A l l c ommunications w i t h I n d i a , w i t h i n t h e p r o v i n c e and w i t h Ottawa went t h r o u g h t h e temple committee, t h e K h a l s a Diwan S o c i e t y . H o u s i n g , employment, h e a l t h and w e l f a r e c o u l d a l l be t a k e n c a r e o f a t t h e gurdwara. B e g i n n i n g i n 1939, t h e S i k h community's economic f o r t u n e began t o change f o r t h e b e t t e r . The community r e a l l y s t a r t e d t o e s t a b l i s h i t s e l f . T h i s was m a i n l y due t o t h e e f f o r t s o f t e m p l e committees. I n 1942 under The N a t i o n a l War S e r v i c e s R e g u l a t i o n s , any s i n g l e men and c h i l d l e s s widowers o f t h e ages 20-40 ( i n c l u s i v e ) , who were B r i t i s h s u b j e c t s , and who had been i n Canada f o r a t l e a s t one y e a r , were b e i n g c a l l e d f o r c o m p u l s o r y m i l i t a r y s e r v i c e . Many S i k h s were i n c l u d e d i n t h i s group and g o t n o t i c e s t o r e p o r t f o r b a s i c t r a i n i n g . But t h e t e m p l e i n t e r v e n e d on t h e i r b e h a l f . T h i s was t h e p e r f e c t t i m e t o t a k e a s t a n d and f i g h t f o r t h e f r a n c h i s e . So t h e y engaged t h e l e g a l s e r v i c e s o f B i r d and B i r d , a Vancouver law f i r m , and r e f u s e d t o go t o war u n t i l t h e y were g r a n t e d f u l l f r a n c h i s e r i g h t s (see t h e l e t t e r a t t h e end o f t h e c h a p t e r ) . C o n s e q u e n t l y , S i k h s were n o t o b l i g a t e d t o j o i n t h e armed f o r c e s and go t o war. Mr. P. G i l l came v e r y c l o s e t h o u g h , as he e x p l a i n s : I g o t c a l l e d t o go i n t o t h e Army, a l o t o f us g o t c a l l e d b u t t h e y d i d n ' t want t o go. I g o t my b a s i c t r a i n i n g i n Vernon. Then I went t o H a l i f a x 63 f o r advanced t r a i n i n g . Three days b e f o r e g o i n g o v e r s e a s , I h u r t my f i n g e r t r a i n i n g on t h e a n t i -a i r c r a f t gun. They s e n t me t o t h e h o s p i t a l and w h i l e I was t h e r e my u n i t l e f t f o r Europe. I was t h i r t y days i n t h e h o s p i t a l , I t h i n k . Then I came back t o a new u n i t , m o s t l y U k r a i n i a n s . My f i n g e r w o uld s t i l l n o t work p r o p e r l y so t h e y l o w e r e d my c a t e g o r y and s e n t me back h e r e . I wasn't f i t t o go o v e r s e a s . I was s t a t i o n e d a t E x h i b i t i o n P a r k where t h e y had t h e Japanese l o c k e d up. They d i d n ' t t r e a t them t o o good, t h e y l o s t e v e r y t h i n g . They wasn't no t r o u b l e m a k e r s , no, no, n o t one c a s e . We had a l o t o f J a p a nese n e i g h b o u r s on 2nd Avenue. F o r two b l o c k s t h e r e was o n l y one w h i t e house, t h e r e s t were Japanese and E a s t I n d i a n s . They d i d n ' t l o c k up Germans o r I t a l i a n s . I guess t h e y made a m i s t a k e . Then I g o t moved t o P o r t A l b e r n i . I l i v e d i n a t e n t i n a b i g camp f o r s i x months. They had a l o t o f s o l d i e r s o v e r t h e r e between A l b e r n i and P o r t . A l b e r n i . They were s c a r e d t h a t t h e Japanese might come a l o n g t h e w a t e r t h e r e . Then t h e y s e n t me back t o Shaughnessy f o r some s o r t o f check up. W h i l e I was t h e r e my u n i t l e f t f o r t h e A l e u t i a n I s l a n d s . I m i s s e d t h a t t o o . Then I asked f o r a d i s c h a r g e and t h e y gave i t t o me. Mr. P. G i l l i s mentioned by s e v e r a l S i k h s as t h e o n l y member o f t h e S i k h community a c t u a l l y t o have gone i n t o t h e Armed F o r c e s . S e v e r a l o f t h e men t h a t I i n t e r v i e w e d d i d g e t t h e c a l l b u t d i d n o t go because o f t h e f u r o r r a i s e d by t h e te m p l e c o m m i t t e e s . A l t h o u g h t h e government r e l e n t e d and d i d n o t p u r s u e t h i s m a t t e r o f compulsory m i l i t a r y s e r v i c e f o r t h e S i k h s , t h e f r a n c h i s e was n o t g r a n t e d u n t i l some y e a r s l a t e r . The p o o r f o r t u n e o f t h e Japanese was d e e p l y f e l t by t h e S i k h s . There a r e many r e f e r e n c e s t o how u n f a i r l y t h e y were t r e a t e d by t h e a u t h o r i t i e s . Mrs. J . K. S i n g h , who l i v e d on 2nd Avenue, d e s c r i b e s h e r f e e l i n g s : They g o t k i c k e d o u t by t h e government. They had t o l e a v e t h e i r homes, t h e y c o u l d n ' t t a k e 64 a n y t h i n g w i t h them, o n l y what t h e y were w e a r i n g . They had t o l e a v e e v e r y t h i n g e l s e , t h e i r f u r n i t u r e , b e l o n g i n g s , c l o t h e s , p o s s e s s i o n s a l l b e h i n d . They j u s t t o l d them t o g e t o u t and t h e y d i d . These were o u r n e i g h b o u r s and t h e y went empty-handed. I t made me f e e l p r e t t y bad s e e i n g a l l t h i s . They t o l d us a t t h e te m p l e t h a t i f we d i d n ' t s t a y good, t h i s c o u l d happen t o us as w e l l . They s t o o d up i n t h e gurdwara and t o l d us t h e s e t h i n g s . We were s c a r e d . These f e a r s were w i d e s p r e a d t h r o u g h o u t t h e S i k h community. They f e l t uneasy n o t o n l y because o f t h e f a t e o f t h e i r n e i g h b o u r s , b u t because o f t h e Canadian government's p a s t t r e a t m e n t o f t h e S i k h s and t h e u n c e r t a i n t y o f t h e i r p r e s e n t s t a t u s . The common f e e l i n g was t h a t t o d a y i t was t h e Ja p a n e s e and tomorrow i t may be u s . Mr. D. S i h o t a , who was l i v i n g i n H i l l c r e s t , d e s c r i b e s h i s f e e l i n g s : I went t o s c h o o l w i t h some o f t h e Japanese k i d s and o f c o u r s e had an o p p o r t u n i t y t o v i s i t them o c c a s i o n a l l y i n t h e i r homes. They were v e r y f i n e p e o p l e and i t came as a s u r p r i s e t o me when t h e war b r o k e o u t i n 1941, a f t e r P e a r l Harbour, a l l o f a sudden t h e y were t o l d v e r y q u i c k l y (snaps h i s f i n g e r ) t o l e a v e . Those k i d s had become f r i e n d s . I c o u l d n ' t see any r e a s o n why t h e y s h o u l d be u p r o o t e d i n t h a t way and s e n t away. I t seemed t o me t h a t t h i s was a n o t h e r way t o g e t a t t h e A s i a t i c s . I had h e a r d o u r p e o p l e say don' t c o u n t on permanency i n Canada. They were a l w a y s f e a r f u l t h a t t h e y ' d be d e p o r t e d . Even d u r i n g t h e war t h e y were f e a r f u l t h a t t h e y ' d be d e p o r t e d . I was o f t h e i m p r e s s i o n t h a t no, t h e y c a n ' t do t h a t . Young i d e a l i s m , I gues s , b u t when I saw what happened t o t h e Japanese I became a b i t more p h i l o s o p h i c a l about i t . I f i t c o u l d happen t o them i t c o u l d happen t o anybody. The m i l l s e x p e r i e n c e d a s h o r t a g e o f l a b o u r . Because t h e S i k h s d i d n o t have t o go war, t h e y t o o k t h e b e t t e r j o b s . J o b s were p l e n t i f u l and employers c o u l d n o t f i n d good w o r k e r s . S i k h s had a s o l i d r e p u t a t i o n as good r e l i a b l e l a b o u r e r s so t h e i r s e r v i c e s were i n demand. Everyone had a 65 good j o b . They t o o k o v e r many l a b o u r c o n t r a c t s and t h e i r t r u c k i n g b u s i n e s s e s p r o s p e r e d . S i k h s ' b u s i n e s s e s f l o u r i s h e d and t h e i r c o n t r a c t s become more l u c r a t i v e , and t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l i n v e s t m e n t s i n r e a l e s t a t e grew. Many o f t h e Japanese s o l d t h e i r p r o p e r t i e s a t d i s c o u n t p r i c e s t o t h e i r S i k h n e i g h b o u r s . Mr. K. J o h l d e s c r i b e s t h e s e e v e n t s on 2nd Avenue, ne a r t h e t e m p l e : I c a n r e a l l y remember t h e Japanese g e t t i n g k i c k e d o u t because I was o l d e r t h e n . We used t o have a l o t o f Japanese k i d s f o r f r i e n d s . Some o f t h e J a p a n e s e used t o work f o r my dad, t h e y used t o p i c k wood o u t o f t h e b u n k e r s , on t h e c h a i n s . They worked f o r him f o r q u i t e a w h i l e . They used t o work i n t h e same s a w m i l l s . So when t h e y were g o i n g t o be moved o u t b ecause o f t h e war, t h e y came up t o my dad. I was t h e r e s i t t i n g i n t h e l i v i n g r o o m a t t h e same t i m e l i s t e n i n g t o them. They wanted t o s e l l him t h e i r h o uses. Whoever had some p r o p e r t y , t h e y s a i d , " How about t a k i n g o u r p r o p e r t y o f f o u r hands?" We have some p a p e r s h e r e and w e ' l l s i g n i t o v e r t o .you. My dad t o l d them, " I j u s t c a n ' t t a k e i t o v e r , I j u s t don't have t h a t much money." I t was t h e w a r t i m e t h e n and t h i n g s were t o u g h , so t h e good f r i e n d s ' houses he d i d buy. I remember he gave them $200. Some o f them j u s t begged him. They s a i d , " G i v e me $100 f o r my house!" So he bought 1633 West 2nd.and 1635 West 2nd o f f t h e Japanese. The r e a s o n I remember t h e a d d r e s s i s because we had them f o r a l o n g t i m e a f t e r t h a t . One he bought f o r $200 and t h e o t h e r f o r $150. Then he bought f o u r houses on t h e c o r n e r o f 4 t h Avenue and F i r S t r e e t , r i g h t on t h e c o r n e r . The t o t a l o f a l l f o u r houses was $400, t h a t was around 1940. Then, my u n c l e bought an apartment, a 10 s u i t e apartment on 1600 b l o c k West 5 t h Avenue f o r $1100 from t h e J a p a n e s e . Our p e o p l e bought about 35 houses down t h e r e from t h e Japanese. They were j u s t b e g g i n g them s a y i n g , " P l e a s e t a k e o u r b u i l d i n g , t h e y ' r e g o i n g t o move us o u t tomorrow, t o d a y i s o u r l a s t day." The 1940s were i n d e e d a boom t i m e f o r S i k h s l i v i n g i n t h e p r o v i n c e . I t was sad and u n f o r t u n a t e t h a t i t was a t t h e 66 expense o f t h e i r o l d n e i g h b o u r s , t h e Japa n e s e . A s u r v e y was done i n t h e l a t e f o r t i e s by t h e K h a l s a Diwan S o c i e t y and s e n t t o Ottawa. I t s purpose was t o show t h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h t h e S i k h s were an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f t h e Canadian economy. T h e i r i n v o l v e m e n t i n l u m b e r i n g and a g r i c u l t u r e had n o t changed. Out o f an E a s t I n d i a n p o p u l a t i o n i n Canada o f 1394, " a p p r o x i m a t e l y 80% o f t h e men a r e engaged i n l u m b e r i n g , e i t h e r as w o r k e r s , d i s t r i b u t o r s , o r owners, t h e r e m a i n i n g 20% a r e f o r t h e most p a r t f a r m e r s " ( P a n d i a , 1948, p . l ) . There were 335 indepe n d e n t l y - o w n e d b u s i n e s s e s , c l a s s i f i e d as f o l l o w s ( B u c h i g n a n i , 1985, p. 9 9 ) : F u e l M e r c h a n t s 130 S a w m i l l Owners '-•— 29 L o g g i n g O p e r a t o r s '•— 10 M i s c e l l a n e o u s 91 Fa r m i n g ( d a i r y , t r u c k , g a r d e n i n g , g r e e n h o u s e s and g e n e r a l f a r m i n g ) • 75 Total=335 The s u r v e y c o u n t e d 2 00 f a m i l y owned and o c c u p i e d homes and 102 r e n t e d homes. A c c o r d i n g t o t h i s s u r v e y , t h e f o r t u n e s o f t h e S i k h community had grown c o n s i d e r a b l y d u r i n g t h e War y e a r s and i n t o t h e l a t e f o r t i e s . The community had p r o s p e r e d e c o n o m i c a l l y t h r o u g h h a r d work, e x t e n s i v e s o c i a l n e t w o r k i n g and b e t t e r employment o p p o r t u n i t i e s . The S i k h s had become e s t a b l i s h e d by i n v e s t i n g i n t h e i r b u s i n e s s e s , farms, homes and p r o p e r t i e s . The e v e n t s o f t h e war y e a r s a s s i s t e d . T h e i r numbers were g r o w i n g s l o w l y and becoming more b a l a n c e d i n terms o f age and gender. However, t h i s new found p r o s p e r i t y d i d l i t t l e t o change 67 t h e i r l e g a l s t a n d i n g as Canadians. A t t h i s t i m e t h e y were s t i l l u n a b l e t o c a l l Canada t h e i r home. rO 9/ 80 p • To WHOM IT MAY ^OKCERJT: This i s to c e r t i f y that the "bearer Jaswant Singh has "been '.:n our snploy for about Three months and we have found him to be an honest and painstaking worker. V/e recommend him to any one requiring his services. The Rat Portage lumber Co.Limited ?5 fteb J f i r Dumber Co. p i . 1 A N \J PAOTU RB R8 OP ALU KINDS OF ROUGH AND DRESSED CEDAR AND FIR LUMBER l io ths , Sh ing les , Sash , Doors, Tu rn ings , Etc . ORAWCR an ^JCatia-imo, QL/CJ. Feb. 2?., TflOS*. To TThon It Ma:•• concern, The Bearer, .TaBnentsinsh, was i n ny employ n M l s t *rs fit Harrison River M i l l s and ronr.d r l r . very capable man and very c a p a b l e i n p i l i n g .lumber and etc., and can reccoinner.d h im as a sooa worker. A D O N H I A L L C O M M U N I C A T I O N S T O T H I C O M P A N Y A L L A 9 M I M I H T * N M M I V i a M A O C A R B • U B J * C T TO » M l O V * L »T H O M I O m C « . A N D C O M T I M a C N T UPOM • T H I K K * . A C C I M N T * . P I M M AMD B I L A V * H T O N D O U I C O M T K O i . C A P I T A L P A I D U P . f f O O . O O O T H E SOVEREIGN LUMBER COMPANY L I M I T E D C E D A R . FIR, A N D PINE L U M B E R A N D L A T H HIQJH QRADC CKDAR O F A L L KINDS A SPECIALTY T C L i a . A r a A N D l i n u i orncm, S I C A M O U S J U N C T I O N . B . C . A N N I S . B . C Sept. 13,1910 1B,_ To T^horn it nay cone urn; -The Bearer Jaswant Singh was in our employ as Hindoo Forenar. fo^ about two months, and we found hin a good v.'orker, anc very r e l i a b l e . THE SOVEREIGN L U M B E R Cc. Lief. Manager. JAS C. S H K L O S . P I I U H K T ADORCSS A L L COMMUNICATIONS TO THE COMPANY L. W. CAMERON. NANAQIR • U I I M I i m i NOWMEVER NA0I A l t IUEJECT TO l » » U l IT HOME OPPICI. AND CONTINGENT UPON JTHIAIi ACCIDENTS. PIREE AND 0ELAVS EIYOND OU» CONTROL C A P I T A L P A I D U P . S J S O . O O O T H E M O N A R C H L U M B E R C O M P A N Y L I M I T E D ' ^.Vo" l;."oVLV.«r C E D A R . F I R AND P I N E L U M B E R AND L A T H .191 ../ A-*-- e.. A - c < . J ACCOUNTANT BIRD & BIRD V A N C O U V E R . B . C . Ootober 8 t h , 1942. The following l e t t e r to be forwarded to the following newspapers: The E d i t o r , Vazxoourer Daily Province. Vancouver Sun. V i c t o r i a Dally Tlmea. V l o t a r i a Colonist. ..«.. Federationlst, Vanoourer. Labour Statesman. Congress Hews. Holdea Bldg. Columbian, Hew lestaainster. T r a i l News, T r a i l . Canadian Press, Vanoourer News-Herald. President, Amaxioan Tederation of Labour* Ottawa, President, Canadian Ooztoress of Labour. Ottawa. Dear S i r : We are iiyrtnrud3d»d by the Ehalsa Divan Society, which body r c p r e s i ^ t e ^ i l l "Cast Indiana* resident i n B r i t i s h Columbia, to forward you the enclosed P e t i t i o n . "Seat Indiana" of B r i t i s h Columbia are d i s q u a l i f i e d from voting at any e l e c t i o n . This i s the only Prorlnee i n Canada where "Sast Indiana" are deprlred of the f r a n c h i s e . Nevertheless, they are l i a b l e to be o a i l e d f a r m i l i t a r y serrloe. Thus they s u f f e r the same o b l i g a t i o n s as other B r i t i s h subjects, without being eb le to enjoy the ULke p r i v i l e g e s . I t i s with the objeot of remedying t h i s s i t u a t i o n that the P e t i t i o n , a copy of which i s enolossd, has been forwarded to the proper Dominion Government and P r o v i n c i a l a u t h o r i t i e s . Conourrently with the forwarding of the P e t i t i o n , our c l i e n t s are sending to the Minister (BIRD a B I R D VANCOUVER. B. C. (2) of National Defence a ccmnunication protesting against the imposition upon them of compulsory m i l i t a r y s e r v i c e . Should the P e t i t i o n be allowed and our c l i e n t e be granted the franchise they w i l l no longer have any objection to m i l i t a r y s e r v i c e , but on the contrary, they w i l l moat g l a d l y do t h e i r part to f u r t h e r the war e f f o r t . Our o l i e n t s seek your, assistance i n making a ar w i l l be appreciated. bis p u b l i c i t y you may choose p o l i t i c a l unrest i n India. the franchise v i l l hare to above. They hope Tours very t r u l y , SIB:HS 88 C h a p t e r 5: G e t t i n g an E d u c a t i o n One o f t h e advantages o f coming t o Canada was t h e o p p o r t u n i t y f o r t h e c h i l d r e n t o g e t an e d u c a t i o n . Many S i k h p a r e n t s r e a l i z e d t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f l e a r n i n g E n g l i s h and s e n t t h e i r c h i l d r e n t o s c h o o l f o r t h i s r e a s o n . The S i k h s ' s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e s were mixed. On 2nd Avenue, t h e c h i l d r e n went t o Henry Hudson s c h o o l on t h e c o r n e r o f C y p r e s s and C o r n w a l l s t r e e t s . I t was a t r a u m a t i c e x p e r i e n c e f o r t h e ones who knew l i t t l e E n g l i s h , s i n c e t h e y w ould have t o s t a r t i n grade one. Mr. G. B i l l a n was 14 y e a r s o l d when he was p u t i n a grade one c l a s s . C o n s e q u e n t l y he d i d n o t s t a y i n s c h o o l l o n g and q u i t t o s e l l wood w i t h h i s u n c l e . T h i s vras t h e c a s e w i t h many o f t h e o l d e r c h i l d r e n . About a dozen c h i l d r e n were b o r n and b r o u g h t up on 2nd Avenue d u r i n g t h e e a r l y 1930s. They had more p o s i t i v e s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e s , s i n c e t h e y went t o s c h o o l knowing t h e language and t h e c u l t u r e . Mr J . Sangara, a C a n a d i a n b o r n S i k h , d e s c r i b e s h i s e x p e r i e n c e s a t M o b e r l y S c h o o l i n South Vancouver i n 1930: I was a l w a y s s p e a k i n g E n g l i s h . T h i s one t i m e , Dad came t o s c h o o l t o t a l k t o me and I s a i d t o him n o t t o come t o s c h o o l t o see me because t h e o t h e r k i d s m i g h t t h i n k I'm an E a s t I n d i a n ( l a u g h s ) . I was t h e o n l y E a s t I n d i a n k i d a t M o b e r l y i n t h o s e d a y s . Mr. P. B a i n s had a s i m i l i a r e x p e r i e n c e i n D o l l a r t o n , i n N o r t h Vancouver: I went t o s c h o o l i n Deep Cove from 1927-1929. A t t h a t t i m e t h e r e were m o s t l y Japanese l i v i n g t h e r e and I was t h e o n l y E a s t I n d i a n k i d a t t h a t t i m e . I l e a r n e d Japanese as w e l l as E n g l i s h . 89 Most young S i k h s would g a i n a f u n c t i o n a l knowledge o f E n g l i s h a t s c h o o l and, as soon as an o p p o r t u n i t y f o r work p r e s e n t e d i t s e l f , t h e y would q u i t s c h o o l t o b e g i n w o r k i n g . Work had an immediate r e t u r n i n t h e form o f wages and money. E d u c a t i o n , on t h e o t h e r hand, was dependent on t h e f u t u r e . The S i k h s ' f u t u r e i n B r i t i s h Columbia was n e v e r s e c u r e , so e d u c a t i o n was t o o much o f a gamble; i t was t i m e and e f f o r t s p e n t on u n c e r t a i n t y . What f u r t h e r l e s s e n e d t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f e d u c a t i o n was t h a t t h e S i k h s l a c k e d t h e p r o v i n c i a l , m u n i c i p a l and f e d e r a l f r a n c h i s e . As a consequence, many j o b s and p r o f e s s i o n s were n o t open t o them. Norman B u c h i g n a n i (1985) e x p l a i n s : They were s i m u l t a n e o u s l y e x c l u d e d from a h o s t o f o t h e r t h i n g s t h a t were dependent on b e i n g a p r o v i n c i a l v o t e r : t h e y c o u l d n o t v o t e f o r o r become s c h o o l t r u s t e e s o r t r u s t e e s ofimprovement d i s t r i c t s ; n e i t h e r c o u l d t h e y be e l e c t e d t o p r o v i n c i a l p u b l i c o f f i c e n o r s e r v e on j u r i e s . A l t h o u g h e x c l u s i o n from t h e v o t e r s ' l i s t d i d n o t l e g a l l y r e s t r i c t them from p u b l i c s e r v i c e t h i s became a u n i v e r s a l p r a c t i c e . P u b l i c works c o n t r a c t s s p e c i f i e d t h a t t h e y n o t be employed. The same r e s t r i c t i o n a p p l i e d t o t h e s a l e o f Crown t i m b e r , and t h e p r o f e s s i o n s o f law and pharmacy were i n f o r m a l l y c l o s e d t o them. (p.21) What f u r t h e r compounded t h i s p r o b lem was t h a t most b u s i n e s s e s and p r i v a t e f i r m s would n o t h i r e them because o f t h e i r m a r g i n a l s t a t u s ; t h e y b e l i e v e d them t o be f o r e i g n e r s and n o t r e a l C a n a d i a n s . To s u p p o r t t h i s n o t i o n o f b e i n g u n a b l e t o f i n d s u i t a b l e employment i n t e r v i e w e e s would m e n t i o n t h e names o f h i g h l y e d u c a t e d S i k h s who were v i c t i m s o f t h e d i s c r i m i n a t o r y h i r i n g p r a c t i c e s and t h e r e f o r e ended up w o r k i n g i n t h e s a w m i l l s . They s t r o n g l y b e l i e v e d t h a t 90 e d u c a t i o n was a dead end as a means o f g e t t i n g a j o b i n t h e dominant s o c i e t y . D e s p i t e t h e s e f a c t o r s , a few S i k h s s t i l l went t o g r e a t l e n g t h s t o f u r t h e r t h e i r e d u c a t i o n . Mr. R. H a l l had a d i f f i c u l t t i m e even i n h i g h s c h o o l . He would have t o m i l k t e n cows each morning b e f o r e w a l k i n g seven m i l e s t o h i s h i g h s c h o o l i n P i t t Meadows. He would g e t t o s c h o o l l a t e each day, u s u a l l y a f t e r 11:00 o ' c l o c k . A f t e r h a l f a day o f s c h o o l , he would t h e n w a l k t h e seven m i l e s back home. These were o n l y some o f t h e d i f f i c u l t i e s t h a t he e n c o u n t e r e d . Mr. H a l l e x p l a i n s what happened as he c o n t i n u e d h i s e d u c a t i o n : E v e r y summer I would work a t H i l l c r e s t t o pay f o r my e d u c a t i o n . I t was h a r d p h y s i c a l work. Sometimes, I t h i n k t h a t I s h o u l d n e v e r have gone t o u n i v e r s i t y because i t was b l o o d , sweat and t e a r s . I n my l a s t y e a r , I worked n i n e h o u r s n i g h t s h i f t a t B a r n e t , Kapoor's m i l l . Walked from t h e r e t o Burnaby, where t h e s t r e e t c a r began, t o o k t h e s t r e e t c a r t o g e t t o U.B.C, changed my c l o t h e s and t r i e d t o g e t t o my f i r s t l e c t u r e a t 8:30 a.m. each day. I wonder why I d i d n ' t g e t t h e Governor G e n e r a l ' s Medal ( l a u g h s ) . I f i n a l l y g r a d u a t e d i n 1946. I'm an i d e a l i s t , I wanted an e d u c a t i o n f o r e d u c a t i o n ' s s ake. I knew t h a t I w o u l d n ' t g e t a b e t t e r j o b . When I was w o r k i n g a t H i l l c r e s t , t h e young guys would l a u g h and say t h a t , " I f you go t o s c h o o l , y o u ' l l be t h e most h i g h l y q u a l i f i e d lumber w o r k e r i n t h e c o u n t r y so why a r e you g o i n g t o s c h o o l ? The w h i t e p e o p l e a r e n ' t g o i n g t o g i v e you a j o b i n t h e o f f i c e s . " I ' d say you guys j u s t d r i n k y o u r booze, and have y o u r p a r t i e s , s i n g y o u r songs and w h a t e v e r e l s e you l i k e t o do, j u s t l e t me l i v e my l i f e . I p r e f e r t o spend my money o v e r h e r e . I may n e v e r become a wo r k e r i n t h i s p l a c e o r g e t t h i s t y p e o f p o s i t i o n , b u t i f an o p p o r t u n i t y e v e r came up, i t w o u l d n ' t be you, i t might be me. They made f u n o f me a l l t h e t i m e . Those were t h e younger guys, t h e o l d e r guys, i n c l u d i n g my f a t h e r , were always t e l l i n g me, "Get t h e most e d u c a t i o n you can, i t ' s t h e o n l y t h i n g t h a t w i l l s t a y w i t h you." That was good a d v i c e , 91 t h a t was r e a l good a d v i c e . I was b e h o l d i n g t o t h o s e o l d guys because I was a b l e t o s t a y on c o u r s e and away from a l l t h e t h i n g s t h a t o u r young guys were g e t t i n g i n t o t h e n . A f t e r 1947, when j o b s opened up somewhat, Mr. H a l l g o t a j o b w i t h t h e f e d e r a l government. He worked f o r t h e C i t i z e n s h i p and I m m i g r a t i o n Department and t h e S e c r e t a r y o f S t a t e - M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m . He was i n s t r u m e n t a l i n s e t t i n g up t h e Human R i g h t s Program and NACIO ( N a t i o n a l A s s o c a t i o n o f C a n a d i a n s whose O r i g i n s a r e i n I n d i a ) . H i s l a s t d u t i e s w i t h t h e government had been a d d r e s s i n g t h e s e t t l e m e n t problems o f r e f u g e e s . He i s now r e t i r e d and l i v i n g i n Ottawa. A n o t h e r S i k h who a c h i e v e d s u c c e s s t h r o u g h e d u c a t i o n was Mr. D. S i h o t a . H i s t e a c h e r s were i n s t r u m e n t a l i n e n c o u r a g i n g him t o go on w i t h h i s e d u c a t i o n . H i s own p e o p l e were n o t so e n c o u r a g i n g : V e r y few p e o p l e went on and g o t an e d u c a t i o n . By t h e t i m e t h e y were 14 o r 15 t h e y j u s t l e f t s c h o o l t o f i n d a j o b i n t h e m i l l . I remember when I was about 14, t h e q u e s t i o n came up. I had j u s t f i n i s h e d e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l and wanted t o go t o h i g h s c h o o l i n Duncan. The a d v i c e from numerous p e o p l e was, "You a r e w a s t i n g y o u r t i m e , Why go on? You can e a r n more money i n a m i l l t h a n y o u ' l l e v e r g e t w i t h y o u r e d u c a t i o n . " They would t a l k about o t h e r p e o p l e who had g o t t h e i r d e g r e e s and c o u l d n ' t g e t a j o b . There's one who had a degree i n A g r i c u l t u r e . I t h i n k he g o t t h e degree i n E a s t e r n Canada b u t l i v e d h e r e , H a z a r a S i n g h Garcha, was h i s name. There were no p r o f e s s i o n a l s from t h e S i k h community b e i n g employed o r h i r e d by anybody i n Vancouver o r B.C. a t t h a t t i m e . So he was u n a b l e t o s e c u r e a p o s t i o n and c o n s e q u e n t l y p e o p l e were a d v i s i n g me n o t go on. I ' d p r o b a b l y end up g e t t i n g a degree and s t i l l h a v i n g t o work i n a m i l l . I ' d waste a l l t h a t t i m e . I s o r t o f l i k e d s c h o o l and I d e c i d e d I ' d b e t t e r keep g o i n g , i n s p i t e o f t h e o p p o s i t i o n from o u r own community and l a c k o f encouragement from some p e o p l e . There were o t h e r s a t t h e same t i m e who s a i d , " E d u c a t i o n i s t h e o n l y way t o go, g e t as 92 much e d u c a t i o n as you p o s s i b l y can g e t , come what may, i t w i l l be a b e n e f i t t o you." B e f o r e e n t e r i n g h i g h s c h o o l , Mr. S i h o t a g o t h i s h a i r c u t and t o o k o f f h i s t u r b a n and changed h i s ways. He t h o u g h t t h a t t h i s would be a good t i m e t o make t h e s e t y p e s o f changes s i n c e he was g o i n g i n t o a new s i t u a t i o n . He t r i e d t o be more " e a s y - g o i n g and f r e e " t o b e t t e r f i t i n w i t h t h e o t h e r s t u d e n t s . Mr. S i h o t a ' s e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l t e a c h e r , Mr. Y a r d a t H i l l c r e s t , was i n s t r u m e n t a l i n m o t i v a t i n g him t o p u r s u e h i s e d u c a t i o n and go on t o h i g h s c h o o l . H i s i n t e r e s t i n e d u c a t i o n stems from t h i s s p e c i a l t e a c h e r ' s i n f l u e n c e and i n s t r u c t i o n . He was n o t o n l y a good t e a c h e r and encouraged him t o become i n v o l v e d i n many s c h o o l a c t i v i t i e s b u t showed him much p e r s o n a l r e s p e c t . Mr. S i h o t a e x p l a i n s : My t e a c h e r was a good t e a c h e r . I l i k e d him v e r y much, he gave me a l l t h e o p p o r t u n i t i e s t o p r o g r e s s a t my own speed. He'd g i v e me e x t r a books t o l o o k a t and r e a d . He k e p t me i n v o l v e d i n o t h e r s c h o o l a c t i v i t i e s . He g o t o t h e r k i d s t o h e l p me. I was f a i r l y good i n s p o r t s s o , he'd p u t me i n c h a r g e o f l o o k i n g a f t e r t h e games. So t h r o u g h t h a t k i n d o f encouragement I remained i n t h e e d u c a t i o n a l f i e l d . He even i n v i t e d me t o h i s house f o r d i n n e r . T h i s must have been i n June, when I was f i n i s h i n g e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l . T h i s t o me was k i n d o f unheard o f , a C a n a d i a n i n v i t i n g an E a s t I n d i a n S i k h t o h i s house and o f f e r a meal. To my knowledge i t wasn't b e i n g done. So t h a t was q u i t e an e x p e r i e n c e t o go t o t h i s s t r a n g e e n v i r o n m e n t , where t h e t a b l e i s s e t and a l l t h e k n i v e s , f o r k s and c u t l e r y a r e t h e r e . I t was a v e r y n i c e l y a p p o i n t e d house. I ' d n e v e r seen a n y t h i n g l i k e t h a t i n t h e bunkhouses and cookhouses o f our own community. Mr. S i h o t a went on and d i d w e l l i n h i g h s c h o o l i n Duncan. H i s s t r o n g s u b j e c t s were Math and S c i e n c e . H i s o n l y 93 p r o b l e m was F r e n c h , w h i c h he found d i f f i c u l t , even though he a l r e a d y knew P u n j a b i , Urdu, and E n g l i s h . H i s s u c c e s s i n h i g h s c h o o l gave him r e c o g n i t i o n from h i s t e a c h e r s and p e e r s . He f e l t t h a t he was one o f them: I n t h e Duncan h i g h s c h o o l , I went up t o grade e l e v e n . A t t h e end o f t h e e l e v e n t h y e a r , t h e y were p i c k i n g somebody t o be p r e s i d e n t o f t h e C o u n c i l f o r g r ade 12, and my name was s u g g e s t e d . I n e a r l y g o t i t , a p p a r e n t l y t h e r e was some o p p o s i t i o n from some o f t h e p a r e n t s i n t h e community, t h a t an E a s t I n d i a n s h o u l d become t h e p r e s i d e n t o f t h e S t u d e n t C o u n c i l i n Duncan. My s c i e n c e t e a c h e r t o l d me l a t e r t h a t i f t h a t hadn't e n t e r e d i n t o i t , t h a t I wou l d have been e l e c t e d . A n o t h e r t h i n g happened a t t h a t t i m e , t h e war was on and I was i n Army C a d e t s . I t was p a r t o f t h e s c h o o l program. You had t o b e l o n g t o them as p a r t o f t h e P.E. program. I was a S a r g e a n t t h e r e , and t a k i n g t h e p l a t o o n o u t t o do t h e i r r e g u l a r march I ' d be t h e o f f i c e r and I ' d be g i v i n g t h e commands and t h e y ' d be o b e y i n g them. To me i t d i d n ' t m a t t e r and t o t h e s t u d e n t s i t d i d n ' t m a t t e r b u t i t m a t t e r e d t o t h e community, t h a t I was i n c h a r g e . There were some c o m p l a i n t s t o t h e s c h o o l a b out t h a t . A f t e r f i n i s h i n g h i g h s c h o o l i n V i c t o r i a , Mr. S i h o t a t o o k a y e a r o f f t o work a t t h e H i l l c r e s t i n o r d e r t o f i n a n c e h i s e d u c a t i o n a t U.B.C. The S i k h community's n e g a t i v e a t t i t u d e t o w a r d e d u c a t i o n was s t i l l s t r o n g i n t h e 1940s. N e v e r t h e l e s s , more p e o p l e were g o i n g on t o g e t a u n i v e r s i t y e d u c a t i o n . He m e n t i o n s J e r r y H u n d a l, R a n j i t H a l l , P r i t a m Sangha, t h e two Kapoor d a u g h t e r s and R a n j i t M a t t u . They a l l a t t e n d e d U.B.C. w h i l e he was t h e r e from 1945-1949. He found no d i s c r i m i n a t i o n a t u n i v e r s i t y . H i s p r o f e s s o r s t r e a t e d him f a i r l y and he was w e l l a c c e p t e d . He g r a d u a t e d w i t h a B a c h e l o r o f A r t s d e gree, m a j o r i n g i n Economics and P s y c h o l o g y , i n 1949. 94 Mr. S i h o t a t r i e d u n s u c c e s s f u l l y t o g e t a j o b i n b u s i n e s s , f o r a t t h i s t i m e i t was s t i l l d i f f i c u l t f o r E a s t I n d i a n s t o b r e a k i n t o t h e p r o f e s s i o n s . As had been p r e d i c t e d , he ended up w o r k i n g i n a m i l l , o n l y now o p e r a t i n g a machine, t h e resaw. On t h e a d v i c e o f a f r i e n d , he went t o Normal S c h o o l and g o t h i s t e a c h i n g degree. He was t h e f i r s t S i k h t e a c h e r i n Vancouver, a t Renfrew S c h o o l . H i s c a r e e r i n e d u c a t i o n i n c l u d e d e l e m e n t a r y and h i g h s c h o o l t e a c h i n g , c o u n s e l l i n g , v i c e p r i n c i p a l , p r i n c i p a l and a d m i n i s t r a t i v e d u t i e s a t t h e d i s t r i c t l e v e l . I n h i s own words, g e t t i n g an e d u c a t i o n had been w o r t h w h i l e , w i t h "never a d u l l moment". Mr. H a l l and Mr. S i h o t a were t h e o n l y ones o u t o f t h e 24 i n t e r v i e w e e s who chose t o go t o u n i v e r s i t y and g e t a d e g r e e . They had a dream and r e a l i z e d i t by p u r s u i n g t h e i r e d u c a t i o n a t g r e a t p e r s o n a l s a c r i f i c e and expense. These two p e r s o n a l h i s t o r i e s s e r v e t o t e a c h a v a l u a b l e l e s s o n i n how c e r t a i n i n d i v i d u a l s a r e c a p a b l e o f o v e r c oming g r e a t o b s t a c l e s by p e r s e v e r a n c e and d e d i c a t i o n t o t h e i r g o a l s . 95 C h a p t e r 6: S o c i a l L i f e The S i k h s ' s o c i a l c i r c l e was v e r y r e s t r i c t e d s i n c e work t o o k up much o f t h e i r t i m e and energy. Any t i m e t h a t was n o t o c c u p i e d by work was s p e n t i n t h e company o f t h e i r f a m i l y o r f e l l o w S i k h s a t t h e i r homes o r a t t h e te m p l e . They seldom v e n t u r e d f a r from t h e s e t h r e e venues: work, home, and t e m p l e . A f t e r work d u r i n g t h e week t h e S i k h s would s o c i a l i z e amongst t h e m s e l v e s i n t h e i r homes o r bunkhouses. They seldom went o u t s i n c e t h e y were t o o t i r e d and had l i t t l e t i m e and money t o spend on e n t e r t a i n m e n t . On most o c c a s i o n s t h e y w ould t a l k about c o n d i t i o n s h e r e o r i n t h e v i l l a g e s o r about p o l i t i c s , d r i n k t e a and f i n d ways t o amuse t h e m s e l v e s , Mr. R. H a l l r e c a l l s h i s s i t u a t i o n a t F r a s e r M i l l s i n 1924, when he was seven y e a r s o l d : We p l a y e d ' g h u l i - d h a n d a ' ( P u n j a b i game), and we p l a y e d a l l t h e s e o t h e r k i n d s o f games t h e r e w i t h t h e grown ups. They i n c l u d e d me, I was t h e o n l y k i d around, t h e r e s t were a l l a d u l t s . I have a f o n d memory o f F r a s e r M i l l s . Even a t t h a t age I c o u l d r e a d Gurmukhi q u i t e w e l l . These f e l l o w s , o l d e r men would s i t around i n t h e y a r d and t a k e t h e i r enamel mugs o f t e a and s i t i n t h e sun, i n t h e e v e n i n g . They would s i t t h e r e and j u s t s o r t o f r e s t f o r t h e y ' d done a h a r d day's work. Sometimes on t h e weekend t h e y ' d be r e s t i n g a f t e r washing t h e i r c l o t h e s and so on. They somehow g o t t o know t h a t I c o u l d r e a d Gurmukhi, somebody gave me a Banda Bahadur, a c l a s s i c a l I n d i a n t a l e o f a b r a v e p e r s o n . I used t o s i t t h e r e and r e a d t h i s t o them. They would say "Ah ha, Ah ha." I don't know i f t h e y were s a y i n g t h a t f o r my r e a d i n g o r i f t h e y were j u s t e n j o y i n g t h e i r cups o f t e a , ( l a u g h s ) . I t was e n j o y a b l e f o r me and f o r them. The s t r o n g bond t h a t e x i s t e d among t h e S i k h s i s c o n s t a n t l y r e f e r r e d t o by a l l o f t h e i n t e r v i e w e e s . Lamenting 96 t h e l o s s o f t h a t c l o s e n e s s w i t h t h e growth o f t h e community i s v e r y t y p i c a l o f t h e p e o p l e I i n t e r v i e w e d . Mr. Amar M a t t u d e s c r i b e s t h e c a m a r a d e r i e o f t h e e a r l y days: We were so c l o s e t h e n . One way o r a n o t h e r we a l w a y s t r i e d t o g e t t o g e t h e r . We'd go v i s i t i n g t o one a n o t h e r ' s houses. Where y o u r daddy used t o work a t Spe n c e r ' s house, we'd go v i s i t him t h e r e . We were a l l guys, one o r two y e a r s a p a r t i n age. We g o t t o g e t h e r whenever we c o u l d . On weekends most s o c i a l i z i n g o c c u r r e d a t t h e tem p l e . The t e m p l e o r gurdwara s e r v e d t h e S i k h s i n many ways. I t s p r i m e f u n c t i o n was as a r e l i g i o u s and s o c i a l c e n t e r b u t i t d i d much more t h a n t h a t . I t f e d them l i t e r a l l y , s p i r i t u a l l y , and f i g u r a t i v e l y . The temple committee and t h e i r r e l i g i o u s l e a d e r s were i n t o u c h w i t h e v e r y a s p e c t o f an i n d i v i d u a l ' s l i f e h e r e and i n I n d i a . They h a n d l e d a l l b i r t h s , d e a t h s , m a r r i a g e s , engagements, c e l e b r a t i o n s , p a r t n e r s h i p s , and p e t t y s q u a b b l e s . T h e i r r o l e i n v o l v e d c o u n s e l l i n g , m e d i a t i n g , a d v i s i n g , t r a n s l a t i n g , h o u s i n g , employment, h e a l t h , c o m m u n i c a t i o n s , and t h e f i g h t f o r j u s t i c e and e q u a l i t y . Any a c t i o n t h a t was p l a n n e d and any f i g h t t h a t was f o u g h t had i t s b e g i n n i n g a t t h e t e m p l e . By 1925, t h e K h a l s a Diwan S o c i e t y had autonomous b r a n c h e s i n Vancouver, A b b o t s f o r d , New W e s t m i n s t e r , G o l d e n , Duncan, Coombs, and Ocean F a l l s - v i r t u a l l y everywhere t h a t S i k h s l i v e d i n any number ( B u c h i g n a n i , 1985, p . 8 4 ) . T h i s was a p r o v i n c e wide o r g a n i z a t i o n , l e d by l o c a l l y e l e c t e d committee members whose d u t i e s were t o manage each temple 97 and t o m a i n t a i n c o n s t a n t communication w i t h each o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l t e m p l e s . To g u a r a n t e e t h e economic s u r v i v a l o f each o f t h e d i f f e r e n t t e m p l e s , s p e c i a l r e l i g i o u s c e l e b r a t i o n s were s h a r e d . I n t h i s way, a l l o f t h e p r o v i n c e ' s S i k h s would g a t h e r i n V i c t o r i a f o r B a i s a k h i c e l e b r a t i o n s , i n Vancouver f o r Guru Gobind's B i r t h d a y , i n a n o t h e r l o c a t i o n f o r Guru Nanak's B i r t h d a y and so on. They would s t a y a t one a n o t h e r ' s houses o r a t t h e t e m p l e s o v e r n i g h t . Mrs. P. K. J o h l e x p l a i n s : E v eryone from a l l o v e r t h e p r o v i n c e would come t o t h e s e f u n c t i o n s . They would even s t o p work on t h e farms t o a t t e n d t h e Akand P a t h . I t was so i m p o r t a n t t o see one a n o t h e r and keep i n t o u c h . We s t a y e d a t p e o p l e ' s house, s l e e p i n g wherever, no one c a r e d t h e n as l o n g as we were t o g e t h e r . No one s t a y e d i n h o t e l s . T here were many s t o r i e s o f l o a d i n g up t h e wood t r u c k w i t h p e o p l e and d r i v i n g t o A b b o t s f o r d o r New W e s t m i n s t e r f o r t h e s e s p e c i a l r e l i g i o u s s e r v i c e s . T h i s was common p r a c t i c e s i n c e most p e o p l e d i d n o t have c a r s and t h e r e were p l e n t y o f wood t r u c k s i n t h e community. T h i s s h a r i n g o f r e l i g i o u s days k e p t t h e p r o v i n c e ' s S i k h s i n t o u c h w i t h one a n o t h e r and promoted t h e w e l f a r e o f each community. G o i n g t o t h e tem p l e was e s p e c i a l l y i m p o r t a n t f o r t h e women, s i n c e t h e y seldom l e f t t h e c o n f i n e s o f t h e i r own homes. T h e i r s o c i a l l i v e s were v e r y r e s t r i c t e d . They m a i n l y l o o k e d a f t e r t h e i r husbands, c h i l d r e n , and r e l a t i v e s , s p e n d i n g t h e i r t i m e d o i n g d o m e s t i c and h o u s e h o l d d u t i e s . Mrs. P. K. J o h l e x p l a i n s : 98 We a l l had s m a l l c h i l d r e n t o c a r e f o r b u t s t i l l gave a l o t o f t i m e t o t h e t e m p l e . I n t h o s e days t h e gurdwara was e v e r y t h i n g t o u s . We n e v e r went t o shows, c l u b s o r anywhere e l s e l i k e t h a t . We met o u r f r i e n d s a t t h e temple and we were r e a l c l o s e t h e n . We had a l o t o f l o v e f o r one a n o t h e r i n t h o s e days. Most p e o p l e d i d n o t have t h e i r own immediate f a m i l i e s h e r e t h e n , so f r i e n d s h i p s were v e r y s t r o n g and t h e gurdwara was our home. Most o f t h e women n e v e r had t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o l e a r n E n g l i s h and t h o s e who d i d l e a r n e d much l a t e r from t h e i r c h i l d r e n . Whatever t i m e t h e y s p e n t away from t h e i r homes was a t t h e t e m p l e . They would p r a y , s o c i a l i z e , cook, c l e a n , b a b y s i t , a r r a n g e m a r r i a g e s , and g o s s i p . The S i k h s were v e r y p r o u d o f t h e i r gurdwara and t h e y showed t h e i r p r i d e by h a v i n g s p e c i a l f u n c t i o n s and g u e s t s . Whenever s p e c i a l g u e s t s would come everyone would a t t e n d . I n 1929, t h e K h a l s a Diwan S o c i e t y i n v i t e d two v e r y i m p o r t a n t p e o p l e t o Vancouver and V i c t o r i a . Reverand C h a r l e s F. Andrews, a f r i e n d and c o l l e a g u e o f Mahatma Ghandi , and t h e famous p o e t R a b i n d r a n a t h Tagore were i n v i t e d t o see f i r s t hand t h e p l i g h t o f t h e E a s t I n d i a n s i n Canada. There a r e p h o t o g r a p h s o f t h e s e s p e c i a l v i s i t o r s a t t h e end o f t h e c h a p t e r . Sometimes m u s i c i a n s , a t h l e t e s , p o l i t i c i a n s , o r v i s i t o r s f rom I n d i a w o u l d come t o t h e t e m p l e . L o c a l l y e d u c a t e d S i k h s l i k e Sadhu S i n g h Dhami and Darshan S i n g h Sangha would d i s c u s s t h e u n i o n movement o r l o c a l p o l i t i c s . Mrs. J . K. S i n g h , whose husband Harnam S i n g h was t h e p r i e s t o f t h e 2nd Avenue t e m p l e , r e c a l l s t h e s e days: 99 P e o p l e would t a l k about t h e problems i n t h e v i l l a g e s , t h e l a c k o f freedom because o f t h e B r i t i s h R a j , t h e l a c k o f e d u c a t i o n f o r t h e c h i l d r e n , t h e p o o r s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l c o n d i t i o n s . They were so h e l p l e s s i n t h o s e days. We f e l t s o r r y f o r them so we'd t a k e a c o l l e c t i o n and send money back t o t h e v i l l a g e s . Some o f t h e men who would l e c t u r e were: my husband, M i t S i n g h , Geevan S i n g h B r a i c h from M i s s i o n , Sundar S i n g h from A b b o t s f o r d and o t h e r men o f r e s p e c t . The S i k h s c o n t r i b u t e d t h e i r t i m e and money g e n e r o u s l y t o t h e i r gurdwara. By t h e i r own a c c o u n t s , t h e Vancouver K h a l s a Diwan S o c i e t y had c o n t r i b u t e d $295,463 t o v a r i o u s s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l c a u s e s b e f o r e 1921 (Lowes, 1952, p. 4 0 ) : 1. t o s u f f e r e r s from massacres $4,330 2. t o f a m i l i e s o f p o l i t i c a l p r i s o n e r s $2,100 3. t o s u f f e r e r s from p o l i t i c a l c a u s e s $30,700 4. t o Congress T i l a k Swaraj f u n d $3,333 5. t o r e l i g i o u s and e d u c a t i o n a l causes....$148,000 6. t o Komagata Maru c a s e $50,000 7. t o i m m i g a t i o n c a s e s $30,000 8. t o d e p u t a t i o n s t o Cdn. and B r . g o v ' t s . . $12,000 9. t o H i n d u s t a n i P r e s s i n Canada $15,000 T o t a l $295.463 The f i n a n c i a l r e p o r t s o f t h e 2nd Avenue t e m p l e , i n c l u d e d a t t h e end o f t h e c h a p t e r , show t o t a l a s s e t s as o f J a n u a r y 31, 1940 t o be: Land $800.00 B u i l d i n g s $6,000.00 F u r n i t u r e $2,000.00 Cash i n t h e bank $5,135.96 T o t a l A s s e t s $13.935.96 D u r i n g t h e war y e a r s t h e te m p l e c o l l e c t e d $37,382.73 ( P a n d i a , 1947, p . 5 ) : C a r r i e d o v e r from 1940 $5,189.22 T o t a l R e c e i p t s i n 1941 $4,908.37 II II i n 1942 $7,974.55 " •• from 1943-1945 - ; $16,110.59 Loan from N a g i n d e r G i l l $3,200.00 T o t a l $37.382.73 100 W i t h o u t t h e s e f u n d s t h e community knew t h a t t h e f i g h t f o r t h e i r r i g h t s would n e v e r be p o s s i b l e . So t h e y donated w h a t e v e r t h e y c o u l d . I t was an i n v e s t m e n t i n t h e i r f u t u r e . T h i s was a c o n s i d e r a b l e sum o f money g i v e n t h e s i z e and c o m p o s i t i o n o f t h e S i k h community. The 1941 Census, i n c l u d e d i n T a b l e s 4-6 i n t h e Appendix, shows t h a t t h e r e were o n l y 888 men i n t h e p r o v i n c e t h e n . O n l y a p o r t i o n o f them c o n t r i b u t e d wages s i n c e many o f t h e s e men were t o o o l d (18% o v e r 60) o r t o o young t o work (25% under 1 5 ) . S i k h s seldom v e n t u r e d out o f t h e i r own e t h n i c community f o r a number o f r e a s o n s : r a c i a l p r e j u d i c e , l a c k o f f a c i l i t y w i t h E n g l i s h , f e a r and l a c k o f s o c i a l o p p o r t u n i t y . Some men w ould go t o t h e t h e a t r e s downtown o r r e s t a u r a n t s f o r a meal b u t t h e y would go w i t h one a n o t h e r , n o t m i x i n g w i t h w h i t e p e o p l e . Some e s t a b l i s h m e n t s would n o t s e r v e S i k h s . Mr. K. J o h l e x p l a i n s : There was S c o t t ' s C a f e on G r a n v i l l e S t r e e t and t h e Beacon T h e a t r e and t h e S t r a n d T h e a t r e , nobody was a l l o w e d i n t h e r e w i t h a b e a r d and t u r b a n . There was a s i g n t h e r e s a y i n g t h a t you a r e n o t a l l o w e d i n i f you had a b e a r d and t u r b a n . There were some b i g h o t e l s , l i k e t h e Vancouver H o t e l , t h a t would n o t a l l o w S i k h s i n e i t h e r . Mr. N. M a h a l , a t u r b a n n e d S i k h , t e l l s o f g o i n g t o t h e Ivanhoe H o t e l on Main S t r e e t i n Vancouver w i t h two o t h e r S i k h s who b o t h had t h e i r h a i r c u t . They g o t s e r v e d b u t t h e w a i t e r r e f u s e d t o s e r v e him, s i n c e he had a b e a r d and t u r b a n . Mr. Magar S i n g h d e s c r i b e s a s i m i l i a r s i t u a t i o n i n Duncan: 101 When we used t o go t o t h e b e e r p a r l o u r we had t o s i t i n a s e p a r a t e room i n t h e c o r n e r , t h i s was f o r anyone w i t h a t u r b a n and b e a r d . T h i s was i n 1934 t o 1936, t h e n I shaved i n 1938 and I c o u l d s i t w i t h t h e w h i t e p e o p l e . Same t h i n g i n t h e cinema t h e y used t o make us s i t u p s t a i r s . There was o n l y one t h e a t r e i n Duncan t h e n . Mr. P. B a i n s knew E n g l i s h v e r y w e l l and s o c i a l i z e d w i t h w h i t e p e o p l e . He would c h a l l e n g e t h e s e e s t a b l i s h m e n t s about t h e u n f a i r t r e a t m e n t o f t h e i r S i k h c u s t o m e r s : I t o o k my u n c l e D i d a r S i n g h t o t h e Rex T h e a t r e on H a s t i n g s . We used t o c a l l i t Beacon, t h a t ' s where t h e t r a m used t o come i n . T h i s was i n 1943. There was a good movie he wanted t o see and t h e y would n o t l e t him i n because o f t h e t u r b a n . I s a i d t h a t i f t h e t u r b a n was g o i n g t o h i n d e r someone's v i e w , we would buy t h e l a r g e s e a t . I t was h i g h e r up and no one was b e h i n d u s . I p a i d e x t r a money f o r i t . He had no excuse t h e n so he l e t us i n . Then, I saw l a d i e s s i t t i n g w i t h g r e a t b i g h a t s on i n f r o n t o f u s . So I c a l l e d o v e r t h e manager and t o l d him t o s i t down i n o u r s e a t s and see how t h e s e l a d i e s ' h a t s were h i n d e r i n g o u r v i e w s . So t h e n t h a t opened t h e g a t e s r i g h t t h e r e . S p o r t s were a good way t o widen t h e s o c i a l c i r c l e . A s p o r t s l e a g u e was e s t a b l i s h e d between t h e S i k h m i l l w o r k e r s on Vancouver I s l a n d . T h i s m i l l l e a g u e was a r e c r e a t i o n l e a g u e more f o r s o c i a l p u r p o s e s t h a n f o r c o m p e t i t i o n . The p l a y e r s from t h e H i l l c r e s t m i l l a r e shown i n a team p h o t o g r a p h a t t h e end o f t h e c h a p t e r . Mr. R. H a l l was t h e l e a g u e o r g a n i z e r and he e x p l a i n s how i t worked: T h i s was t h e f i r s t v o l l e y b a l l l e a g u e f o r young S i k h s . We p l a y e d amongst o u r s e l v e s . Then we had t h e i d e a t h a t we would s e t up a cup. So we went t o T a r a S i n g h ( t h e foreman a t H i l l c r e s t ) and s a i d w ould he s e t up a cup. We bought a cup and had i t i n s c r i b e d . We ( H i l l c r e s t ) p l a y e d w i t h Youbou, A l b e r n i , V i c t o r i a and so on w i t h d i f f e r e n t s a w m i l l teams made up o f o u r p e o p l e . They used t o a l l come t o H i l l c r e s t f o r a tournament. We used t o 102 p u t up n o t i c e s i n t h e cookhouses and everyone w o u l d come. I t was a b i g d e a l . S p o r t s were a l s o a means f o r a group o f Vancouver S i k h s t o s o c i a l i z e w i t h and g a i n t h e r e s p e c t o f t h e dominant c u l t u r e . Some s p o r t s - m i n d e d men began t h e I n d i a G r a s s Hockey C l u b i n 1933. The c l u b j o i n e d t h e M a i n l a n d G r a s s Hockey League. The men would work i n t h e lumber m i l l s o r d r i v e wood t r u c k s d u r i n g t h e day and p r a c t i c e g r a s s hockey i n t h e e v e n i n g s and compete on t h e weekends. They p l a y e d a g a i n s t f o u r e s t a b l i s h e d teams: The Vancouver C l u b , The C r i c k e t i e r ' s C l u b , t h e V a r s i t y C l u b , and t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B.C. C l u b ( S i n g h , 1936, p . 5 ) . I n 1934, t h e y were t h e l e a g u e champions w i n n i n g t h e M a i n l a n d League Cup and t h e 0. B. A l l a n Cup. They a r e shown i n a p h o t o g r a p h a t t h e end o f t h e c h a p t e r . Mr. S. G i l l p l a y e d on t h i s team: I n o u r f r e e t i m e we p l a y e d g r a s s hockey, on Sunday and S a t u r d a y . F i v e o r s i x o f us came from I n d i a b e i n g a b l e t o p l a y t h e game. We t h o u g h t t h a t we were f r e e on t h e weekends, why n o t p l a y g r a s s hockey, so we formed a team. I n 1934, 1935 and 1936 we were t h e b e s t i n Vancouver. We c o n s i s t e n t l y b e a t a l l t h e o t h e r f o u r teams i n t h e l e a g u e d u r i n g t h e s e y e a r s . Three o f o u r p l a y e r s g o t chosen on t h e A l l s t a r team w h i c h was made o f t h e b e s t p l a y e r s from a l l f i v e teams. One o f them was me, a l s o J a g i r S i n g h and Magar S i n g h G i l l . We were t h r e e o f t h e e l e v e n members on t h e A l l s t a r team t o go t o V i c t o r i a . We went t h e r e and won as w e l l , no one had done t h a t b e f o r e . We g o t a l o t o f r e s p e c t from t h e w h i t e p e o p l e . I t was mentioned i n t h e newspaper, my name used t o come up q u i t e o f t e n . One o f t h e most i n f l u e n t i a l o f a l l t h e S i k h l e a d e r s and someone who encouraged s o c i a l i z i n g w i t h t h e o t h e r Canadian p e o p l e was Mr. K a r t a r S i n g h . He r e c o g n i z e d t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e " C a n a d i a n i z a t i o n " o f E a s t I n d i a n s . He came t o Canada 103 i n 1912 and l i v e d apart from any East Indian people i n Toronto u n t i l 1929 when he was c a l l e d to Vancouver by the Khalsa Diwan Society. They wanted him to help i n the f i g h t f o r t h e i r r i g h t s f o r he had a very good knowledge of the English language as well as the Canadian culture. Kartar Singh edited a newspaper c a l l e d India and Canada  - A Journal of Interpretation and Information. Three front pages of t h i s paper are at the end of t h i s chapter. I t was written i n English and Gurmukhi and had two purposes (Singh, 1929, p.3): For i t s immediate usefulness, t h i s p u b l i c a t i o n w i l l endeavour to place before the Canadian public the t r u t h and nothing but the t r u t h , about the people of North India, now resident i n Canada. A f t e r giving examples and f a c t s , i t s appeal w i l l be to i n v i t e Canada to s c i e n t i f i c a l l y examine now - when s u f f i c i e n t p r a c t i c a l r e s u l t s are ava i l a b l e - the f i t n e s s or unfitness, the merits and demerits, of the Sikh s e t t l e r s i n Canada. The other aspect of the work of t h i s journal w i l l be to inform, through i t s Punjabee section, the people of North India here and at home, about the l i f e , i n s t i t u t i o n s , problems, requirements, standards and ideals of Canada. This journal was published p e r i o d i c a l l l y from June 1929 to September 1936. I t was very well written and informed both the Sikh and non-Sikh community of s i g n i f i c a n t events here and i n India. Since many Sikhs did not s o c i a l i z e beyond t h e i r own family or neighbourhood, t h i s journal added another dimension to t h e i r s o c i a l l i v e s . I t helped give them some legitimacy. Seeing t h e i r a f f a i r s appear i n p r i n t made the Sikhs f e e l more a part of the Canadian s o c i a l s e t t i n g . 104 Throughout t h e S i k h s ' y e a r s i n Canada b u t e s p e c i a l l y a f t e r W o r l d War I I , much o f t h e community's t i m e and energy was f o c u s e d on g a i n i n g t h e f r a n c h i s e . Whenever and wherever S i k h s would g a t h e r , t h e y would p u t a s i d e t h e i r p e t t y d i f f e r e n c e s and c o n c e n t r a t e t h e i r e f f o r t s on g a i n i n g t h e f r a n c h i s e . Mr. J . U p p a l e x p l a i n s : We began a f i g h t t o g e t o u r r i g h t s , t o g e t t h e f r a n c h i s e , so t h a t we c o u l d v o t e and be f i r s t c l a s s c i t i z e n s j u s t l i k e e verybody e l s e . Which up t i l l t h i s t i m e we weren't. To t h a t end, we h e l d numerous m e e t i n g s and campaigns demanding t h a t we be g i v e n o u r r i g h t s . The p e o p l e a t t h e f o r e f r o n t were t h e committee o f t h e S i k h t e m p l e , N a g i n d e r S i n g h G i l l was t h e s e c r e t a r y , Dr. P a n d i a and o t h e r s . There was a y o u t h group, o f w h i c h I was a p a r t , The E a s t I n d i a n Youth A s s o c i a t i o n . I n t h a t c a p a c i t y we h e l d mass me e t i n g s a t t h e v a r i o u s t h e a t r e s i n town. We worked f o r o u r r i g h t s by t r y i n g t o t e l l t h e p e o p l e t h a t t h e r e was an i n j u s t i c e b e i n g done t o u s . We had a p a r a d e w i t h b a n n e r s s t a t i n g t h a t we wanted o u r r i g h t s t o v o t e . They had w a i t e d l o n g enough. Much o f what t h e S i k h s wanted and needed now was t i e d t o t h e i r r i g h t t o v o t e . So t h i s one i s s u e dominated a l l o t h e r s and became t h e community's major g o a l . The S i k h s who l e d t h i s campaign were N a g i n d e r S i n g h G i l l , G u r d i t S i n g h , Kapoor S i n g h , Mayo S i n g h , K a r t a r S i n g h , and Dr. D. P. P a n d i a . Some o f them a r e seen i n a p h o t o g r a p h a t t h e end o f t h e c h a p t e r . They would send c o r r e s p o n d e n c e t o Ottawa o r send d e l e g a t i o n s t h e r e t o meet w i t h government o f f i c i a l s t o e x p l a i n t h e i r s p e c i a l s i t u a t i o n . Dr. P a n d i a , a H i n d u l a w y e r who came t o Canada i n 1939, was c r e d i t e d w i t h s i n g l e - h a n d e d l y c o n v i n c i n g t h e f e d e r a l government t o g r a n t amnesty t o about 218 i l l e g a l l y a r r i v e d S i k h i m m i g r a n t s t h e n 105 l i v i n g i n t h e p r o v i n c e . He c h a l l e n g e d t h e F e d e r a l government and he won, so he had a g r e a t f o l l o w i n g amongst t h e S i k h s . W i t h t h e end o f t h e war i n 1945 t h e r e was g e n e r a l l y a g r e a t e r c o n c e r n f o r human r i g h t s and f a i r p l a y . The C.C.F. p a r t y and t h e I n t e r n a t i o n a l Woodworkers o f A m e r i c a b o t h s i d e d w i t h t h e E a s t I n d i a n s i n t h e i r f i g h t f o r t h e f r a n c h i s e . Dr. P a n d i a headed t h e group t h a t p r e s e n t e d a b r i e f t o t h e E l e c t i o n A c t Committee i n 1946 ( K o h a l y , 1971, p . 2 9 ) . T h i s b r i e f was a c c e p t e d and t h i s committee recommended t h e n e c e s s a r y changes i n t h e A c t t o g i v e t h e f r a n c h i s e t o t h e E a s t I n d i a n s . I t was e n a c t e d i n t o law A p r i l 2, 1947, and a few months l a t e r S i k h s were g r a n t e d t h e m u n i c i p a l f r a n c h i s e . S i k h s f i n a l l y had t h e r i g h t s o f o t h e r C a n a d i a n s . Samuel R a j , (1980), e x p l a i n s t h e i r o n y o f t h i s s t r u g g l e : The day I n d i a became p o l i t i c a l l y f r e e , E a s t I n d i a n s c e a s e d t o become s e c o n d - c l a s s c i t i z e n s i n Canada. The t r a g e d y o f t h e E a s t I n d i a n e x p e r i e n c e i n Canada i s t h a t t h e r i g h t s and p r i v i l e g e s f o r w h i c h t h e y s t r u g g l e d f o r so l o n g , came t o them o n l y when t h e b a s i s o f t h e i r c l a i m s became o b s o l e t e : B r i t i s h r i g h t s and p r i v i l e g e s were t h e i r s o n l y when t h e y c e a s e d t o be B r i t i s h s u b j e c t s and c i t i z e n s , (p.75) The S i k h s had f i n a l l y become Canadians. They c o u l d now c a l l Canada t h e i r home. lob no "SOCIETIES ACT" ANNUAL REPORT OF KHALSA DIY/AN SOCIETY AS OF JANUARY  51ST. 1940. Assets. L i a b i l i t i e s . Land 800.00 Buildings 6000.00 n i l -Furniture 2000.00 Cash in Bank 5135.96 $15955.96 REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE: Income 05033.47 Expenses. $4750.37 LIST OF DIRECTORS; Names. Addresses, Occupations. Sowarn Singh (Seoy) Bhola Singh (Pres) Natara Singh (Treas.) Banta Singh. Ghania Singh. Mil l Worker. Wood Dealer. M i l l Yorker. M i l l Worker, v/ood Dealer. DATED this o!<i ZJi day of June, A.D. 1941. CERTIFIED CORRECT. _Direotor. Director, ir3 Indi i Canada A Journal of Interpretation and Information VOL. 1. VANCOUVER. C A N A D A — J U L Y . 19l'y NO. V r K > 0 l V L r ' D G E M K N T w < ! l r f W p f , n n o t < ! l h c presence of a delegate from the commercial organization of . . . . Bp| rj t behind our undertaking their province, will K I V B Impetus to the ambition* ami desires of till* Journal, aa wc expressed In our firs: Issue, haa brought reciprocal expreaalnm ot sympathy and goodwill, from Im-portant Canadian Jourants aa well as from many Canadian citizens of no:e. We wish to offer our thanks to all and we alao want to assure them that never will we try to derta'.e from expressing things pleaaant and unpleasant that need commendation aa well as correction, but only in a spirit and language which will lead to a better understanding and a finer appreciation, betweeu the people of this great Dominion and India. We wish to draw the at-t • n 11 o n of B1IA0 SINGH'S FKKIIH'AMKNT our readers to the full account, ou puge two. of the experiences that Mr. Uhag Singh. U. A., went through last month ami up to the first week of this month In his endeavours to come to Canada Just for a few days visit from ller-Veliy I'nliersily where he is pro-paring for his M.A. degree and after a considerable expense • pei tally to a student—he failed to reach Canada. It is a typical raae of the treatment that the Indian youngmen are up agains* and we hope and expect that all Justice loving citizens and read-ers of Ibis unfortunate story trhlrh wt hare given accurately lo tho heat of our pnowlcdge. will rxer: their Influence to end Ihls slate of affairs. A DEI.EOATK V**™ ntua I'L.NJAU l h 'p n uT,ab5 delegate, representing the Punjab Chamber or Commerce will at-tend the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Convention, to be held at Edmonton on the 11th and nth of September and at Calgary on September 1-th. This delegate will come from Delhi, the capital of India. Practically all of the Kast Indians, resident In Drlllsh Columl la are from the Punjab, the most Xorthcrnly and the coolest province in India. While some of these In-dians have not arisen beyond the day workers in the mills, there are some who have made notalle succsss In commer-cial life and others have become successful farmers. The of the commercial!;' minded among them to devote attention and time to the developing of trade between Canada and In-dia and specially ai they art near one of the finest ports of contact with India on the Pacific—Vancouver. Every at* tempt to develop trade should be encouraged. We have Just been informed by Mr. Dallp Singh, a director of the American Hindustani Trading Co. of California, a corporation charter-ed by the state and organized by the Kasi Indiana there, to develop trade with India, lhat he applied to the Canadian Immigration De-partment to allow him to visit Canada lo the Interests of his company and received a reply dated June 11th from Divisional Commissioner. Vancouver, regret-ling that no action could be tak-»n with a view to facilitate his movement to Canada. If a broad-en view of the commercial activ-ities of the Kast Indians Is taken, that would help and encourage mu-tually desired trade. A few of the members of the Hlndu.ttanee c^ung-M.'n's Association, whose annual Conference was held on June »th. at their Hall at the Mayo I.um-ber Co. grounds near Duncan. II.C. Top row from left to right: Ithagat Singh. Jagat Singh Maun. Kewal Klshan Sbarma. Sitting: AJaih Singh Sangha. K. X. Patide TIIK SAVIM.'S OK w,"iIiabdo TWO BRITISHERS no more than any other British Gov-ernment haa done to change conditions In India, perhaps, even less and until the vast population baa been enducated. aelf govern-ment can never come'." said Sir James Simpson. representative of Associated Chamters of Com-merce of India and Ceylone In the Indian legislative Assembly. In Toronto and all through his Dominion wide tour In June and he was quoted In every lnr;e city In Canada wherever he went. We know that he Is the mouth-piece of the llrftlsh Commercial Interests In India. And .here fa what Rt. Hon. J. Ramsay Mac-Donald. present Prime Minister of Rrltaln said, presiding at the British Commonwealth Labor Conference al I-ondon. on July U2S: "I hope that, within a period of months rather than years, there will be a new Dominion added to the Commonwealth of our nations, a Dominion of another race, a Dominion that will find self respect as sn equal within this commonwealth. I r*fer to India." Which one uf the two Scotchmen Is telling the truth? T H E P L I G H T O F A N I N D I A N S T U D E N T , P A G E 2 H4 India&Cafiada A Journal of Interpretation and Information foJ^TtffT fife c ? ^ T VWL, . I I . IU.MI T». M U n VANCOUVER, CANADA—MARCH. 1930. 3«CM. CUM Nul lalUr i \ U . i Here We Are Again ! I'll STEADY E F F O R T S , during the last thirteen months, for the purpose of establishing some sort of an Informative and Interpretive medium, through which to bring the people of India and Canada closer together, on every plane «f endeavour, where they happened to contact each other, or wherever their Inter-CHIH iieu in ed to show tendencies of growth for their mutual benefit and Interests, came to an end, with the close of January. 1930. During these months we succeeded In laying the foundation of this work, as far as It was possible for one man with the (term of the Idea, to exert and accom- —-——-i.:r— . - • • •  pllsh. with the very limited resources an,i m u m at his dtspossl. With the prow.ni Issue of "Inula & Canada" a further and progressive stage of our w>.-k begins. After carrying on this work, until the middle of October, we had to leave for Kaslern Canada on an Important trip, whtih look us right up to the Atlantic const. We returned to Vancouver, on Christmas Eve. after an absence of »'»ty-e lght <:aya. with a renewed Inspir-ation and enthusiasm for our wcrk. as tlie result of our contact with so many heautlful souls, wherever we went. The kindness and courtesy which It w u our good fortune to experience, from those whom we vuslted snd the staunch Mends of hoth India and Canada whom * • discovered, lo so many Important plai-es. waa Inspiring Indeed. This sounds paradoxical when we know as a matter of fart that our countrymen In Canada are receiving anything but fair play. In many ways. In the name of Canada, and a part of our duty Is Involved In bringing to light those things which need mend-ing and where education on the both e ldn la sorely needed. And. here Is the work that we must keep doing, without any thought of success or failure, with hope and charity aa our motto. In the Inn-rests of things that endure rather than those that perish and destroy. Th« sun wsa shining, aa It only shlnea on the Pacific Coast, aa we neared Vanrnuver. The happy day of Chrlstmaa over, our Immediate concern became to find somewhat larger quarters than the partitioned small room at the back of a store, where thla publication had lta birth In June. 1929. Now, here la our new place, both ample and comfortable, for the present at least, and far better suited to carry on thla work more "rngrosslvely than It waa possible to do In the old place. Here, we are not only having the fun of writing copy In two languages, the roots of both of which «<> In ihe common origin. Sanskrit, but have also lo find time to set the Indian tyi>«« with our own hands, as no one else In tlji« country knows how to do It. We wmit m ten vou frankly that this sct-t'"« nf ih» Tunjabce type Is a mighty slnw job, for the present lime al any The snapshot below was taken la front oi Ihe Hart House, Toronto, at the time of Mr. Andrew*, recent visit there. Kriuii left lo right: (1) Karfar Slni.-h: <*) Mr. C. K. Andrews) (3) Mr. F. J . Moore of Hart House. nfr% fvjj-re" ^?jr£ 0 -ZrS^ WsJtJ f XTX7 V x T H T T T - ? > * TTI PviJAJ 7rrp; HaifgTHTj'grttT cfw a 1 3 at* of f ? " R Pwd W A' A $ < S g « d § »T<fz>HT J s " t f o T H f ^ y " t WJA g dti'^t %• Pwjes J ?rn«y P T % > > f % c(A«' f~T3 ChsTl = T e r T TO w i C I H ^ A d ' x i d 1 d t S # l f x T x 7 rj-^Ud'A'h*TT U H i f HT7>HT #t7 mT 7rrwWT»t o T U U c T 9 f t T § f c T R 7 3 + nz T S H T 3 » m T f$Tg UJ'AH f « T T T y c T O f x T x 7 > M c f 5 H S 3H Svrt rHsre 9 JT'TC? HTA-W~t2 PwUdd' f s CTH f Z o T T e r r $ T r f < T " T 7 T H 7TIT Tjri trcT f r 9 "GTrf ZU S'cl T T r i T3T f r§" ^ H j o ^ W U 7 J % f f T t § y • T r T x T r PraTS CTH'T f W A x * ' H f J •arz'r Jd«S 'era ^ ^raH9 f ? 7 + ^  fn? ur*?a x ? AT! 7 c r 4 ? TjT*HT W > * T T c T ?>+ UTJ l T § f t j d l J r T T f i n j ? f s i j ' d VUA m i l >KUCTT•grai/i/t5 >»sx3raVr TJTMV^TH fv/w-9 nmT ^ c r - g o r %S firw \?H f f r a r u s % f rsr ITS 5TCT • J B ^ T ? % f > 7 T T A ' A T T T $ U T o r ' } { i j i f i t x j ^ J l f t j t r j r 3 ^ § T I T ^ •ariT 33JT§ fw3 € u^ft H5 «T a i ' & d'<Scs'tUT^frarrrfw T T x T T H T f " r T T - J o t W A ^ T ? - H T T c T 5 IfTt e T J I t l U ^ T o f f x ? ? ? TTT 71 Q j x f ¥tJ fa^jr 5 • ?R T3* TTWT H1"^ J R ^ AI A 3 fw JA J A> A >K w"! Y I « r a c T t f s * s TTT5?rr a T c T l ? % ^ nsruanUTJ J U T ? 1 f t , H 7 o T trru 7 T 3 T U s T T a T c T TTaH % fn^l f r w T F * m « t ? % J g J ' A j f y B f r 7 # " T 5 T Ts-TT^ J ' o f J f e T H 5 WTf d d c ? » T r WTT'hHT - J d j J r o f 3 "5? TTT V^ U J ' x J g l ? T r ? r < ? S c T j T § V f t 9 ' d d UT3TT ^  T T H - f § % T T 77+ A d i g 4? rl r i f a i f J^wd'A1 ^ ul x ? * is&r UHT TJTA 3 y A j ' n n - r a r T a r r % f » 7 x t fr<T fvrw S d'<32 TJTST^ CT rwzl x ? T J T T o f f x T x 7 A ^ T R ^ W % T Vrt t-rrtr i iidd'd ftStif 4 fvm j ' d d " v f r r i d s e1 A 1 1 f i. MS Indi A Journal of Interpretation and Information VOL. 3—XO. 1 V A X C O U V E B , B.C.—SEPT k . \ l l iKR, 1936 KARTAH SINGH, Editor Golden Jubilee and T i e Sikh Temple The Vancouver Golden Jubilee which fell due thii year hat given impetus to much decorative work done by way of beautifying the city. The Sikh Community here lecm to have been moved by thii same Jubilee spirit. Tho local Sikh Temple building which w u built about thirty yeara ago hat been remodelled to give it r. mora distinctive appearance. The inter-ior aa well at exter-ior decorations have been carried oat to give it beauty and Eastern atmosphere. The symbolic mos-aic panels togeth-er with a consider-able amount of dec-orative tile work, executed by Messrs. Darlington 4 Has-kiiif has transform-ed the appearance of the building en-tirely. The most "interesting piece of work which is un-N n in Western Canada is the mos-aic pieture of Guru Nnnak. the founder rt Sikhism in the fifteenth century, which makes up rar t of the front deccration*. T h i « mcsaie picture, the e s t of which is borne by Mr. Knn-onr Sin*;h. is made of Venetian class material, on back-ground of French enamel. The Sikhs first arrived in Vancouver when the city was only about twenty years old. and thick timbers covered the 'lands where beautiful homes and gardens now *prend in the suburban areas. We are clad that in this year of the city's Golden Jub-ilee, the Sikhs have mode their old Temple building » place of artistic beaut''. A Welcome Visit Mr. Kodanda Rao's visit to British Col -umbia, during this summer, was an event of more than passing interest to the In-dian Community here. Although, we are always glad to welcome visitors from In--could not resist the temptation of visiting the Indian Communities scattered around both the North nd South Americas. He managed to prolong his stay and paid im-portant visits to Trinidad and British Gaiaaa, With his visit to British Colum-; b j f o l l o w e d by his trips to F i j i , Australia dia to this Dominion, but Mr. Rao's visit lan&^Uew Zealand, he has received a first-had national as well as internationl sig- ' |hand p r a c t i c a l education about Indians nificance. He spent a year, as a Carnegie , joventaa, which we believe, would be most Scholar, in the Department of Race Rela- * jfoloatiTg.^oY <ce whose life is devoted to tions, in the Yale University, U.S.A., and AnejjM]fficaIfrtllhd.a, including the Indian-incorporated the results of his studies in J*oT*i5t«*^.H^W"blIe* he re, ha was most t n i -• ga B B -*• •E^ -HfcaajfojfijS disabilities, nder^: which, an -it'"Jth$i»n, subject H i r W e s t y K i n g L ~"I, lab-y ^ i i i ^ ^ n P British 'CoIom"bia\ ,y*rThat en-quiry aneVT'purposv ; J l e d him to the Par-I llament Buildings at • Victoria. We are anxious that the number of responsible men in India, who know the problems of the In-'*'.- dims overseas, at & J . r s t hand, should prow, they M R . K O D A N D A R A O IN V A N C O U V E R S I T T I N G from left to right. (1) Mr . K a i o a r S inrh of the Kapcor Lonmber Com-peny, Ltd. . Sooke. B .C. . who was Mr. Rao's host in Vancouver. ( 2 ) M r . Kodanda Rao. M A . Editor, the Servant of India. l*oona. India. (.1) Mr. Kartar Singh. Standing. (1) Mr. J . i . HundaJ. (2) Mr . Gurdit Singh, Secretary. Canadian HlpduaUna • Cengreea. a book, entitled. E A S T E R N VS . W E S T E R N C I V I L I Z A T I O N , which is now in the hands of the publishers. While thus engaged, he f o u n t ! t.me to visit Eastern Canada and . delivered lectures in the important cen-tres there. A publicist, with the experi ••nee of a decade behind him. and une who has consistently taken special interest it thy problem* of the Indians o v e r s e a s , be' are /:,,the only men who -^caa Intelligently in-- terpret and report H-.our problems to our •'.people at home and . thus help us from • " where they ara sta-tioned and able to exert their influ-ence. We are hap-py that one more Indian publicist, in the person of Mr. Kodanda Rao, V A . , has been posted Mt first hand• aa to the condition of the In-dians in Canada. The'establishment by the Indian N.ition-H1 Congress of a Foreign Department head-ed by Mr . R. M . Lohia , we believe, is a step in the right direction. The Congress nlms i t '"keeping m touch and co-operating with the Indiana abroad. 116 C h a p t e r 7: C o n c l u s i o n s A f t e r more t h a n f o r t y y e a r s i n t h i s c o u n t r y , t h e S i k h s were g r a n t e d f u l l f r a n c h i s e r i g h t s i n 1947. I t was n o t u n t i l t h e n t h a t t h e p e o p l e I i n t e r v i e w e d f e l t t h a t t h e y were t r u l y C a n a d i a n s . Some o f them had been b o r n h e r e , o r came as i n f a n t s and knew no o t h e r c o u n t r y , b u t i t was o n l y i n 1947 t h a t t h e i r e f f o r t s f o r e q u a l i t y were rewarded w i t h f u l l and e q u a l s t a t u s . Now a l l t h a t remained was f o r t h e Canadian p e o p l e t o r e c o g n i z e t h e S i k h s as t h e i r e q u a l s . The p e o p l e I i n t e r v i e w e d f e l t u n c o m f o r t a b l e d i s c u s s i n g t h e t o p i c s o f r a c i s m and d i s c r i m i n a t i o n . They would r a t h e r n o t t a l k about t h e s e t h i n g s because t h e y f e l t n o t h i n g was t o be g a i n e d by b r i n g i n g up t h e u n p l e a s a n t a s p e c t s o f t h e p a s t . They s i m p l y s a i d t h a t t h i n g s were b e t t e r now and t h a t laws p r o t e c t e d a l l p e o p l e from s u f f e r i n g s uch i n d i g n i t i e s . Some p e o p l e s t a t e d t h a t r a c i s m and d i s c r i m i n a t i o n had br o u g h t them c l o s e r t o g e t h e r as a group and s t r e n g t h e n e d t h e i r r e s o l v e . Many i n t e r v i e w e e s s a i d t h a t t h e y were n o t t h e o n l y ones t r e a t e d u n f a i r l y i n t h e p a s t . "Look what happened t o t h e J a p a n e s e . " I n t h e p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r s we have seen some o f t h e e v e n t s and c i r c u m s t a n c e s t h a t l e d t o t h e S i k h s b e i n g a b l e t o c a l l Canada t h e i r home. D u r i n g t h e e a r l y y e a r s t h e y s t r u g g l e d . They worked h a r d , saved, p a i d t a x e s , bought p r o p e r t y , i n v e s t e d w i s e l y , s e n t d e l e g a t i o n s , engaged l e g a l s e r v i c e s , p r a y e d and w a i t e d f o r t h i n g s t o change. I f t h e y 117 e n c o u n t e r e d an o b s t a c l e t h e y n e v e r gave up, b u t m e r e l y t r i e d a d i f f e r e n t r o a d g o i n g i n t h e same d i r e c t i o n . I n t h e i n t e r v i e w s , when I asked each p e r s o n why t h e S i k h s were s u c c e s s f u l and u l t i m a t e l y overcame a l l t h e d i f f i c u l t i e s t h e y f a c e d , t h e r e was o n l y one answer. I t was because " t h e y a r e h a r d w o r k e r s " . The work e t h i c i s c r e d i t e d f o r t h e S i k h s ' s u c c e s s i n Canada. F o r them economic a c t i v i t i e s a r e l o c a t e d w i t h i n a r e l i g i o u s and s o c i o - c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t . Thus t h e work an i n d i v i d u a l does i s c l o s e l y l i n k e d t o t h e c o n c e p t o f " b e i n g a good S i k h " ( J o y , 1984, p.8 8 ) . By d o i n g h a r d h o n e s t l a b o u r t h e S i k h s became s t r o n g e r p h y s i c a l l y , f i n a n c i a l l y and s p i r i t u a l l y . The i n t e r v i e w e e s s a i d t h a t S i k h s a r e n o t a f r a i d o f h a r d p h y s i c a l work and w i l l t a k e whatever j o b t h e y can g e t , u n t i l t h e y can g e t a b e t t e r j o b . Mr. K. B a i n s e x p l a i n s : The o l d t i m e r s say t h a t t h e r e a r e two t h i n g s t h a t h e l p e d us g e t e s t a b l i s h e d : t h e s t r e n g t h o f o u r arms and t h e s t r e n g t h o f o u r money. F i r s t l y , w i t h o u r p h y s i c a l power we can work i n t h e h a r d e s t j o b s , p h y s i c a l l y we can endure much more t h a n o t h e r p e o p l e . O t h e r s w i l l s a y , "The h e l l w i t h i t and pack i t i n " . We don't do t h a t . S e c o n d l y , I f t h e y c o u l d n o t f i g h t t h e i r b a t t l e because o f l a c k o f knowledge o r e d u c a t i o n , t h e y c o u l d c o l l e c t money l i k e nobody's b u s i n e s s . W i t h t h i s money t h e y c o u l d h i r e some p e o p l e who c o u l d do t h e j o b . T h a t ' s how we g o t e s t a b l i s h e d h e r e , w i t h m u s c l e s and money. The men and women I i n t e r v i e w e d a l s o a t t r i b u t e d t h e i r s u c c e s s t o t h e i r s t r o n g sense o f community and t h e i r s o c i a l and r e l i g i o u s network. T h i s h e l p e d ease t h e p a i n and s u f f e r i n g d u r i n g t h e bad t i m e s . I t was t h e key t o t h e i r s u r v i v a l . They alw a y s s u p p o r t e d one a n o t h e r and d e v e l o p e d a 118 s y stem o f m u t u a l a i d . Mr. R. H a l l s a y s t h a t wherever you went, " a l l you had t o do was l o o k up a S i n g h and t h e y would h e l p " . Mrs. P. K. J o h l e x p l a i n s : I n t h e e a r l y days we s t u c k t o g e t h e r t h r o u g h t h i c k and t h i n . We s h a r e d w i t h one a n o t h e r . I f someone d i d n o t have something t h e n we g o t t o g e t h e r and s h a r e d what we had w i t h them. I f a newcomer came h e r e we s e t them up w i t h a p l a c e t o s t a y and a j o b . I t was o u r d u t y , someone d i d i t f o r u s . The e x t e n t o f t h i s communal s t r e n g t h and r e l i a n c e i s i l l u s t r a t e d by a s t o r y t o l d by Mr. M. J a g p a l : The o l d t i m e r s r e a l l y s t u c k t o g e t h e r . They were a l w a y s t h e r e f o r one a n o t h e r . I f someone g o t a bad l e t t e r from I n d i a , everyone l a i d t h e i r p a y c h e c k s on t h e t a b l e . I f t h e y were i n t r o u b l e and needed money o r someone i n t h e i r f a m i l y g o t h u r t o r damage t o c r o p s happened back home, we a l l h e l p e d . We'd say pay us back when you c a n , j u s t send t h e money now. Two S i k h f a m i l i e s s u f f e r e d t r a g e d i e s i n t h e t h i r t i e s . B o t h p a r e n t s d i e d i n t h e s e f a m i l i e s and t h e community l o o k e d a f t e r t h e c h i l d r e n . The o l d t i m e r s t o o k t h e s e k i d s as t h e i r own. There was one g i r l and two boys. The boys were l o o k e d a f t e r by t h e men i n one bunkhouse and t h e g i r l went t o a c h i l d l e s s woman who t o o k t h e g i r l as h e r own. A n o t h e r q u e s t i o n I a s k e d was what a d v i c e would t h e y g i v e a new i m m i g r a n t from I n d i a , i n l i g h t o f t h e i r own e x p e r i e n c e s i n Canada. T h e i r r e s p o n s e s had a common theme. Newcomers s h o u l d t r y t o f i t i n w i t h t h e o t h e r Canadian p e o p l e , i n terms o f d r e s s , f a s h i o n , h a i r s t y l e s and a t t i t u d e s . They s h o u l d adapt t o Canadian ways l i k e o t h e r C a n a d i a n s and l e a v e t h e problems o f I n d i a b e h i n d them. Mrs. J a g d i s h Kaur S i n g h c a u t i o n s , "but n e v e r f o r g e t I n d i a , you c a n ' t , I ' l l n e v e r f o r g e t my I n d i a " . 119 A l l t h e i n t e r v i e w e e s a d v i s e w o r k i n g h a r d and s a v i n g money, b e i n g h o n e s t and h e l p i n g members o f t h e community, l i k e t h e y d i d i n t h e e a r l y days. The v a l u e o f l e a r n i n g t h e E n g l i s h language i s s t r e s s e d and g e t t i n g a good e d u c a t i o n i s e n couraged by most p e o p l e . S o c i a l i z i n g o u t s i d e o f t h e i r own g roup i s m e ntioned by some p e o p l e as b e i n g v e r y i m p o r t a n t s i n c e t h a t w i l l h e l p them g a i n g r e a t e r a c c e p t a n c e . A c t i v i t i e s s u c h as g o i n g t o n i g h t s c h o o l , j o i n i n g teams, community c e n t e r s , and g o i n g t o t h e Y.M.C.A. a r e s u g g e s t e d . O v e r a l l , i m m i g r a n t s s h o u l d t r y t o adopt a more f l e x i b l e l i f e s t y l e , a v o i d l i v i n g i n i s o l a t i o n and mix w i t h o t h e r C a n a d i a n p e o p l e . T h i s a d v i c e g i v e n t o newcomers t o d a y i s v e r y s i m i l i a r t o t h a t g i v e n t o newcomers i n 1929 by K a r t a r S i n g h i n t h e f i r s t i s s u e o f I n d i a and Canada. Many o f t h e S i k h s I i n t e r v i e w e d had t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o have r e a d i t and must have l i v e d by h i s words. The t i m e l e s s n e s s o f t h i s message i s uncanny: I t i s a g r e a t j o y t o me t o f i n d t h a t h e r e i n t h i s d i s t a n t l a n d you s t i l l keep up y o u r own r e l i g i o u s f a i t h and do n o t n e g l e c t y o u r S i k h r e l i g i o n . That i s t h e r i g h t t h i n g t o do i f you want t o r e m a i n i n a d i s t a n t c o u n t r y w i t h m o r a l c h a r a c t e r and good s o c i a l and f a m i l y t r a d i t i o n s s u c h as t h o s e w h i c h s t i l l r e main i n I n d i a i t s e l f . I am so g l a d t o f i n d t h a t t h e K h a l s a Diwan S o c i e t y i s t h e c e n t r e o f y o u r own l i f e i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a . That i s q u i t e r i g h t and p r o p e r and good. F o r w i t h o u t t h a t b i n d i n g l i n k you a r e bound t o f a l l t o p i e c e s . But i f you keep t h i s b i n d i n g f o r c e o f y o u r own p u r e r e l i g i o u s f a i t h i n t a c t , t h e n you w i l l p r e s e r v e y o u r c h a r a c t e r a l s o and y o u r f a m i l y l i f e w i l l be good and p u r e . You must c l i n g t o g e t h e r and h e l p one a n o t h e r . Do n o t l e t any 120 member o f y o u r community come t o g r i e f and r u i n t h r o u g h y o u r n e g l e c t . S e c o n d l y , you must remember t h a t you a r e g u e s t s i n a new c o u n t r y and you have t o o b s e r v e t h e f i r s t law o f h o s p i t a l i t y , w h i c h i s t o accommodate y o u r s e l v e s as f a r as p o s s i b l e and pay e v e r y c o n s i d e r a t i o n t o t h e manners and customs o f t h i s new c o u n t r y where y o u r c h i l d r e n a r e b e i n g b o r n and where you y o u r s e l v e s have e l e c t e d t o l i v e . T h i s i s a n e c e s s i t y i n e v e r y c o u n t r y where p e o p l e e m i g r a t e i f good w i l l and f r i e n d l y f e e l i n g a r e t o be o b s e r v e d . T h i s does n o t mean t h a t you a r e t o a l t e r a l l y o u r own good customs and manners o f l i v i n g , b u t r a t h e r t h a t you a r e t o seek a t e v e r y p o i n t t o f i n d a common m e e t i n g p l a c e where y o u r own l i f e and t h e Canadian l i f e c o i n c i d e . To p u t what I w i s h t o say i n two words, you s h o u l d do y o u r b e s t t o p r o v e y o u r s e l v e s "Good C a n a d i a n s " . I f you do t h i s and become proud o f t h e i d e a l s f o r w h i c h Canada s t a n d s you may be c e r t a i n t h a t i n no d i s t a n t p e r i o d you w i l l g a i n y o u r c i t i z e n s h i p . T h e r e f o r e , as one who has a deep a f f e c t i o n f o r you, I u r g e you t o f o l l o w y o u r Gurus who l i v e d a p u r e l i f e a c c o r d i n g t o t h e s p i r i t . Guru Nanak sought t o i d e n t i f y h i m s e l f w i t h e v e r y t h i n g t h a t was good i n I s l a m . He t r i e d t o u n i t e t h e i d e a l s o f t h e two r e l i g i o n s . So i t i s n e c e s s a r y f o r you t o l e a r n t o u n i t e t h e two i d e a l s o f Canada and I n d i a , and I am s u r e you w i l l do i t . The main r e a s o n f o r d o i n g t h i s s t u d y was t o g e t a n o t h e r h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e , t h i s one from t h e p e o p l e who l i v e d t h e h i s t o r y . I a l s o d i d t h i s s t u d y t o f i l l t h e v o i d i n t h e s o c i a l h i s t o r y o f t h e S i k h s as mentioned by b o t h Norman B u c h i g n a n i (1985) and M i l t o n I s r a e l (1987). I t i s i m p o r t a n t t o keep i n mind why t h e r e a r e gaps i n t h e h i s t o r y o f some g r o u p s . Derek Reimer (1984) s t a t e s : The r e a s o n s f o r t h e s e gaps i n t h e h i s t o r i c a l r e c o r d a r e many b u t a common theme i s t h a t some grou p s i n s o c i e t y had n e i t h e r t h e means o r o c c a s i o n t o r e p r e s e n t t h e m s e l v e s by w r i t t e n r e c o r d s and hence o u r knowledge o f them came t h r o u g h i m p e r s o n a l s t a t i s t i c s o r t h e o b s e r v a t i o n s o f a d e t a c h e d and u n s y m p a t h e t i c e l i t e , ( p . l ) 121 T h i s s t u d y has f i l l e d some o f t h e s e gaps by u s i n g an o r a l h i s t o r y a p p r o a c h . O r a l h i s t o r y can g i v e back t o t h e p e o p l e who make and e x p e r i e n c e d h i s t o r y , t h r o u g h t h e i r words, a c e n t r a l p l a c e (Thompson, 1988). These p e o p l e d e s e r v e t o occupy t h a t c e n t r a l p l a c e s i n c e i t i s t h e i r p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e s t h a t h e l p s t o g i v e a more b a l a n c e d and r e a l i s t i c p i c t u r e o f Canadian h i s t o r y and i n t u r n g i v e them t h e s e l f - r e s p e c t and d i g n i t y t h e y d e s e r v e . These S i k h s came t o Canada t o j o i n t h e o r i g i n a l p i o n e e r s . As newcomers t h e y made t h e n e c e s s a r y a d a p t a t i o n s i n o r d e r t o become e s t a b l i s h e d i n t h e i r adopted c o u n t r y and make Canada t h e i r home. Y e t , a c c o r d i n g t o t h e men and women I i n t e r v i e w e d , t h i s n e v e r r e a l l y happened u n t i l 1947 when t h e y f i n a l l y r e c e i v e d t h e r i g h t t o v o t e and became r e a l C a n a d i a n s . These S i k h s c o n s i d e r t h i s t o be t h e f i r s t t i m e t h a t t h e y a c t u a l l y f e l t t h a t Canada, r a t h e r t h a n I n d i a was t h e i r home. 122 P e r s o n a l P o s t s c r i p t - E d u c a t i o n a l I m p l i c a t i o n s : As C a n a d i a n s , we need t o ask o u r s e l v e s whether a t t i t u d e s t o w a r d s S i k h s and o t h e r A s i a n s have r e a l l y changed s i n c e t h e y f i r s t came h e r e i n s i g n i f i c a n t numbers. When we l o o k a t t h e newspaper a r t i c l e s from t h e p a s t and from t h e p r e s e n t , why a r e some Canadians s t i l l t h r e a t e n e d by A s i a n i m m i g r a t i o n ? A r e i m m i g r a t i o n p o l i c i e s f a i r ? S t u d i e s such as t h i s s h o u l d p r o v o k e t h o u g h t and encourage t h e s e a r c h f o r answers t o some c r i t i c a l q u e s t i o n s . What c a n we as e d u c a t o r s do about s t r e n g t h e n i n g t h e Canadian i d e n t i t y ? What can t h e e d u c a t i o n system do t o change a t t i t u d e s t o w a r d s i m m i g r a n t s t o Canada? What i s m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m and i s i t w o r k i n g ? Which works b e t t e r , t h e mo s a i c o r t h e m e l t i n g p o t ? As an e d u c a t o r , who now t e a c h e s i n a s c h o o l s e r v i n g a l a r g e S i k h community, I am p u z z l e d by t h e l a c k o f s u p p o r t and f a i t h t h a t t h e S i k h community has i n e d u c a t i o n and t h e e d u c a t i o n system. As I found i n t h i s s t u d y , i n t h e p a s t S i k h s d i d n o t v a l u e e d u c a t i o n because e d u c a t e d S i k h s were n o t g e t t i n g j o b s due t o d i s c r i m i n a t i o n i n h i r i n g . E d u c a t i o n was seen as a waste o f t i m e s i n c e i t d i d n o t h e l p one t o g e t a b e t t e r j o b w h i c h p a i d more money. F o r t h e S i k h s t h e r e had t o be a r e t u r n on t h e i r i n v e s t m e n t and t h i s had t o be i n terms o f money and power, n o t i n i n t e l l e c t u a l growth o r p e r s o n a l development. B a l j e e t D h a l i w a l (1985) d i d a 123 h i s t o r i c a l s t u d y o f Canadian S i k h s ' v i e w s o f e d u c a t i o n and she had s i m i l i a r f i n d i n g s : E d u c a t i o n t o a S i k h has alw a y s been i m p o r t a n t b u t n o t alw a y s f o r i t s own sake. I n s t e a d , i t has been v i e w e d as a means t o a b e t t e r l i f e . E d u c a t i o n was seldom encouraged as an academic p u r s u i t o r f o r t h e sake o f wisdom, b u t i n s t e a d was encouraged f o r t h e sake o f s o c i a l p r o g r e s s , p r e s t i g e and s o c i a l independence. T h i s a t t i t u d e has n o t changed o v e r t i m e . Many S i k h s s t i l l f e e l t h a t e d u c a t i o n does v e r y l i t t l e t o advance them s o c i a l l y and h e l p them g a i n a c c e p t a n c e w i t h t h e dominant c u l t u r e . The S i k h s ' d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t w i t h e d u c a t i o n i s i n c r e a s e d when t h e y see t h e i r h i g h l y e d u c a t e d and q u a l i f i e d d o c t o r s , t e a c h e r s and o t h e r p r o f e s s i o n a l s come t o Canada and n o t be a l l o w e d t o p r a c t i c e t h e i r p r o f e s s i o n s . T h e i r q u a l i f i c a t i o n s and t r a i n i n g a r e p u t i n t o q u e s t i o n . They must g e t r e t r a i n i n g a t t h e i r own expense w i t h no g u a r a n t e e o f a j o b . T h i s d e v a l u a t i o n o f Sou t h A s i a n e d u c a t i o n a l d e g r e e s i s r o u t i n e ( B u c h i g n a n i , 1980 p.164). From my t e a c h i n g e x p e r i e n c e s , most S i k h s do n o t b e l i e v e t h e r e i s e q u a l i t y o f e d u c a t i o n a l o p p o r t u n i t y . They do n o t f e e l t h a t t h e r e i s f a i r n e s s i n t h e e d u c a t i o n system. They f e e l t h a t t h e i r c u l t u r e i s a t r i s k . T h e r e f o r e many o f them a r e s e n d i n g t h e i r c h i l d r e n t o K h a l s a S c h o o l and o t h e r H e r i t a g e Language Programs. They argue t h a t t h e i r c u l t u r e , l a n g u a g e , a r t s , m u s i c , dance and h i s t o r y a r e i g n o r e d i n t h e c u r r i c u l u m . They a r e n o t v a l u e d . The new Y e a r 2000 Program i s a t t e m p t i n g t o a d d r e s s t h e s e i s s u e s and i n c o r p o r a t e 124 l o c a l l y d e v e l o p e d c u r r i c u l u m . Perhaps s t u d i e s o f t h i s t y p e w i l l be o f some use i n d e v e l o p i n g c u r r i c u l a w h i c h b e t t e r r e f l e c t s t h e h i s t o r i c a l e x p e r i e n c e s o f t h e S i k h s . T h i s s t u d y can s e r v e as a c u r r i c u l u m r e s o u r c e f o r e l e m e n t a r y and s e c o n d a r y S o c i a l s S t u d i e s c o u r s e s on Canadian H i s t o r y o r E t h n i c S t u d i e s . I t p r o v i d e s t h e s o c i a l h i s t o r y o f a m i n o r i t y group, t h e f i g h t f o r r i g h t s , and v a l u a b l e i n s i d e r v i e w s on r a c i a l d i s c r i m i n a t i o n . I t l o o k s a t h i s t o r y from t h e p e r s p e c t i v e o f t h e p e o p l e who l i v e d i t . Through t h e 24 p e r s o n a l h i s t o r i e s , we a r e a b l e t o g e t a c o m p o s i t e p i c t u r e o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a ' s S i k h community from 1920 t o 1947. We g a i n a n o t h e r p e r s p e c t i v e and g e t a c l e a r e r p i c t u r e o f t h e p a s t . The p h o t o g r a p h s , l e t t e r s and documents add c o r r o b o r a t i o n and p r o v i d e more i n s i g h t i n t o t h e l i v e s o f t h i s d i s t i n c t i v e group o f Can a d i a n s . LOOKING AHEAD. A13 1 Race pins back redneck image, Alberta critic says Canadian Press CALGARY — Sales of a lapel pin that has been branded racist and redneck are going so well that another 5,000 have been ordered and there are plans for keychains, coffee mugs, baseball caps, and T-shirts. The pins, designed by Calgary businessman Peter Kouda, depict a barefoot black man, a turbanned Sikh, and an Oriental wearing a Chi-nese coolie hat staring down at a white man. The caption asks, "Who is the minority in Canada?" Kouda said Wednesday he decided to expand the business because he has received nothing but positive comments about the pins. "People told me the pin was cute not racist," said Kouba, who immi-grated to Canada from Czechoslova-kia 20 years ago. The reason he designed the pin was because so many people have complained to him that visible min-orities are taking their jobs away, he said. "It's really offensive to me when people call the pins racist. I get cus-tomers who are black, Chinese, or East Indian who are buying the pin and they don't feel it's racial." Members of a Calgary-based group say they are so outraged by the pin they are Tiling a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission. Marsha Haug, spokesman for Citi-zens Against Racial and Religious Discrimination, said the pin is sell-ing well because of misinformation about immigration. She added the publicity surround-ing the lapel pin reinforces Alberta's redneck image across Canada. "It reinforces stereotypes," she said. "By virtue of the current immi-gration policies, most of the immi-grants coming here are wealthier, or CANADIAN PRESS CONTROVERSIAL PIN: brisk tales In Calgary wholesaler from distributing the pin. Errol Lewis, president of the Man-itoba Association For Rights and Liberties, said he was shocked that a local distributor would order the pin. higher educated, or both, than the average native Canadian no matter where they came from, otherwise they are not let in." In Winnipeg, the leader of a Mani-toba human rights group vowed Wednesday to prevent a Winnipeg 127 B i b l i o g r a p h y Ames, M i c h a e l M. and J o y I n g l i s . C o n f l i c t and Chance i n  B.C.'s S i k h F a m i l y L i f e . Vancouver: B.C. S t u d i e s , W i n t e r : 15-49, 1973. B u c h i g n a n i , Norman. "A Review o f t h e H i s t o r i c a l and S o c i o l o g i c a l L i t e r a t u r e on E a s t I n d i a n s i n Canada." 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" P a t t e r n s o f S i k h M i g r a t i o n t o Canada,1900-1960." i n S i k h H i s t o r y and R e l i g i o n i n t h e T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y , ed. J o s e p h T. O ' C o n n e l l , M i l t o n I s r a e l , W i l l a r d G. Oxtoby. T o r o n t o : C e n t r e f o r South A s i a n S t u d i e s , U n i v e r s i t y o f T o r o n t o , 1988. . The Voyage o f t h e Komagata Maru. Vancouver: U n i v e r s i t y o f B.C. P r e s s , 1989. J o y , Annamma. "Work and E t h n i c i t y : t h e Case o f t h e S i k h s i n t h e Okanagan V a l l e y o f B.C." i n South A s i a n s i n t h e  Can a d i a n M o s a i c , ed. R a b i n d r a Kanungo. M o n t r e a l : K a l a B h a r a t i F o u n d a t i o n , 1984. Kanungo, R a b i n d r a N. ed. South A s i a n s i n t h e Cana d i a n  M o s a i c . M o n t r e a l : K a l a B h a r a t i F o u n d a t i o n , 1984. K o h a l y , I n d e r j i t S i n g h . The Indo-Canadian - A Q u a r t e r l y  Magazine. 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Vancouver: June 3, 1947, copy w i t h a u t h o r . P a n d i a , D. P. l e t t e r t o H. L. K e e n l e y s i d e , Deputy M i n i s t e r o f M i n e s and R e s o u r c e s , Ottawa, March 16, 1948, copy w i t h a u t h o r . R a j , Samuel. "Some A s p e c t s o f t h e E a s t I n d i a n S t r u g g l e i n Canada 1905-1947." i n V i s i b l e M i n o r i t i e s and  M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m : A s i a n s i n Canada, ed. V i c t o r K. U j i m o t o and Gordon H i r a b a y a s h i . T o r o n t o : B u t t e r w o r t h s , 1980. Ramacharan, Subash. "South A s i a n I m m i g r a t i o n : C u r r e n t S t a t u s and A d a p t a t i o n Modes." i n South A s i a n s i n t h e Canadian  M o s a i c , ed. R a b i n d r a N. Kanungo. M o n t r e a l : The K a l a B h a r a t i F o u n d a t i o n , 1984. Redway, B r i a n . S p o t l i g h t on Indo-Canadians. V a n c o u v e r : N a c o i , B.C. C h a p t e r , 1984. R e i d , Derek, ed. V o i c e s - A Guide t o O r a l H i s t o r y . V i c t o r i a : P r o v i n c i a l A r c h i v e s o f B.C., 1984. Roy, P a t r i c i a E. A Whiteman's P r o v i n c e . Vancouver: U n i v e r s i t y o f B.C. P r e s s , 1989. Samuda, R o n a l d and Jo h n W. B e r r y and M i c h a e l L a f e r r i e r e . M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m i n Canada - S o c i a l and E d u c a t i o n a l  P e r s p e c t i v e s . T o r o n t o : A l l y n and Bacon, 1984. S i n g h , K a r t a r . ed. I n d i a and Canada - A J o u r n a l o f I n t e r p r e t a t i o n and I n f o r m a t i o n . Vancouver: Volume 1, Number 1, June 1929. . I n d i a and Canada - A J o u r n a l o f I n t e r p r e t a t i o n and I n f o r m a t i o n . Vancouver: Volume 1, Number 2, J u l y , 1929. . I n d i a and Canada - A J o u r n a l o f I n t e r p r e t a t i o n and I n f o r m a t i o n . Vancouver: Volume 1, Number 4, September, 1929. . I n d i a and Canada - A J o u r n a l o f I n t e r p r e t a t i o n and I n f o r m a t i o n . Vancouver: Volume 2, Number 1, March, 1930. . I n d i a and Canada - A J o u r n a l o f I n t e r p r e t a t i o n and I n f o r m a t i o n . Vancouver: Volume 2, Number 2, A p r i l , 1930. . I n d i a and Canada - A J o u r n a l o f I n t e r p r e t a t i o n and I n f o r m a t i o n . Vancouver: Volume 3, Number 1, 130 September, 1936. S i n g h , K e s a r . C anadian S i k h s ( P a r t I and t h e Komagata Maru  M a s s a c r e . S u r r e y B.C.: K e s a r S i n g h , 1989. S i n g h , Khushwant. A H i s t o r y o f t h e S i k h s . P r i n c e t o n , New J e r s e y : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1966. Thompson, P a u l . The V o i c e o f t h e P a s t - O r a l H i s t o r y . O x f o r d : O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1988 U j i m o t o , V i c t o r K. and Gordon H i r a b a y a s h i . ed. V i s i b l e  M i n o r i t i e s and M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m : A s i a n s i n Canada. T o r o n t o : B u t t e r w o r t h s , 1980. Ward, P e t e r C. White Canada F o r e v e r . M o n t r e a l : Queens U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1978. 131 Appendix 1. R e l e a s e Form 2. Two page I n t e r v i e w S c h e d u l e 3. Complete l i s t o f 24 I n t e r v i e w e e s 4. T a b l e 1 - T o t a l I m m i g r a t i o n by Year (Chadney, 1984,p.26) 5. T a b l e 2 - E a s t I n d i a n I m m i g r a t i o n t o Canada by Sex: A d u l t Female (Chadney, 1984, p.189) 6. T a b l e 3 - E a s t I n d i a n I m m i g r a t i o n t o Canada by Sex: C h i l d r e n (Chadney, 1984, p.190) 7. T a b l e 4 - P o p u l a t i o n o f Hindu R a c i a l O r i g i n and Sex, Canada, P r o v i n c e s and T e r r i t o r i e s , 1941, Census 8. T a b l e 5 - L o c a t i o n o f P o p u l a t i o n o f Hindu R a c i a l O r i g i n i n B r i t i s h C o lumbia, 1941 Census 9. T a b l e 6 - P o p u l a t i o n o f Hindu R a c i a l O r i g i n , By F i v e Y e a r Age Groups and Sex, Canada, 1941, Census PROJECT NAME: An Oral History' gt the JSikhs i n" B\Tiish~c6Tumbia"~( T920-J947J I give my permission for Sarjeet Singh to use the information gathered in this taped interview and other related documents for his Master of Arts Thesis at the University of B.C. and any possible publications. I understand that this information about my recollections and personal history may at a future time be part of the following: The Public Archives of Canada The Provincial Archives of B.C. Asian Studies Department, U.B.C. Special Col lections, U.B.C. Simon Fraser University Archives I further give permission to use my real name: or a name of my choosing : _ in this my personal history. Signed Date Wi tnessed by Date INTERVIEW SCHEDULE Name Address Telephone Interview- Date - Time - Place 1. Date and place of birth 2. In what year did you come to Canada? 3. How old were you then? 4. Describe what i t was like in India at this time 5. Describe the journey over to Canada--duration -finances -companions -possessions -means of travel -departure Info, -arrival info, -problems or concerns -accommodat ion 6. Why did you decide to come to Canada and in particular B.C.? What did Canada mean to you then? What did you hope to find here? 7. Describe your i n i t i a l impressions of Canada? -physical landscape -the Canadian people -climate -reception 8. What adjustments did you have to make when you f i r s t came here? -language -culture I # Page 2 -work -housing -food -social l i f e -family -religion -travel, mobility -health -community -acceptance 9. How did you spend most of your time? What did. you do with your spare time? Who did you spend most of your time with? Who were your closest friends? 10. Did you at any time go back to India? Why? At what cost? ($ and time, etc.) Describe your t r i p or trips back to India. 11. Outline some vivid memories, important events, turning points, in your l i f e in Canada? -successes -failures -disappointments -Joys -highlights -trips -children -ceremonies (citizenship, marriage, births, deaths) 12. What can you t e l l me about the earlier Sikh immigrants who came to B.C. before you? 13. If you were to give advice to a new immigrant to Canada, what would you t e l l them in light of your ovn experiences? 14. As you reflect on your personal history, what does Canada mean to you now? What are the good and bad points about living here? 15. Do you have any photographs, papers, letters, or documents that may explain or show more clearly some of the things we have just talked about? 135 Complete l i s t o f 24 I n t e r v i e w e e s : 18 men and 6 women: I n t e r v i e w e e B i r t h d a t e A r r i v a l i n Canada Mr. Kuldeep S. B a i n s Sept. 1920 Sept.9 ,1938 Mr. P i a r a S. B a i n s Oct. 1922 May 18 , 1927 Mr. Gurdave S. B i l l a n S e p t . 1918 Sept.2 , 1932 Mr. Phangan S. G i l l Apr. 1912 Mar. 1, 1930 Mr. S a r d a r a S. G i l l Aug. 1907 May 18, 1925 Mr. R a n j i t S. H a l l Mar. 1917 -1924 Mr. Manga S. J a g p a l S e pt. 1913 June 1, 1930 Mrs . B h a n i K. J o h a l -1906 Sept.9, 1927 Mr. K a r n a i l S. J o h l Born i n V ancouver.. ..May 20, 1930 Mrs . P r i t a m K. J o h l J a n . 1918 May 4 1936 Mr. Gurbachan S. J o h l June 1906 May 18 , 1921 Mr. J a g a r S. Mahal Dec. 1906 Dec.25, 1924 Mr. N a r a n j a n S. Mahal Oct. 1916 Mar. 6 1931 Mr. Mawa S. Mangat Nov. 1910 Nov.17 ,1925 Mr. Amar S. M a t t u Oct. 1916 J u l y 3 ,1931 Mrs . G u r d i a l K. Oppal Nov. 1913 Dec.14, 1934 Mr. Magar S. R a i Sept. 1909 May 18, 1929 Mr. J a g i n d a r S. Sangara Born i n V ancouver.. ..Jun.28, 1924 Mrs . P a r i t a m K. Sangha June 1904 Jun.13, 1932 Mr. Dedar S. S i h o t a Feb. 1924 Dec. 2, 1936 Mrs . A j i t K. S i n g h Sept. 1922 Oct. 5, 1929 Mrs . J a g d i s h K. S i n g h J u l y 1912 Nov.19, 1929 Mr. T a r a S. Tiwana Sept. 1912 June 1, 1930 Mr. J a g a t S. U p p a l Feb. 1925 Jun.26, 1926 136 TABLE 1. TOTAL IMMIGRATION BY YEAR 9 YEAR NO. YEAR 1904 45 1929 1905 387 1930 1906 2124 1931 1907 2623 1932 1908 6 1933 1909 10 1934 1910 5 1935 1911 3 1936 1912 5 1937 1913 88 1938 1914 0 1939 1915 1 1940 1916 0 1941 1917 0 1942 1918 0 1943 1919 0 1944 1920 10 1945 1921 13 1946 1922 21 1947 1923 40 1948 1924 46 1949 1925 62 1950 1926 62 1951 1927 56 1952 1928 52 1953 NO. YEAR NO. 58 1954 175 80 1955 245 47 1956 330 62 1957 324 33 1958 451 33 1959 716 20 1960 673 13 1961 744 14 1962 529 14 1963 737 11 1964 1154 6 1965 2241 3 1966 2233 0 1967 3966 0 1968 3229 0 1969 5395 1 1970 5670 7 1971 5313 130 63 52 93 81 173 170 EAST INDIAN IMMIGRATION TO CANAOA Bf SEX: ADULT FEMALE # OF ADULT TOTAL # YEAR FEMALES OF IMMIGRANTS X OF FEMALES 1904 4 45 8.8 1905 8 387 2.0 1906 2 2,124 0.0 1907 0 2.623 0.0 1908 1 6 16.6 1909 1 10 10.0 1910 0 5 0.0 1911 1 3 33.3 1912 2 5 40.0 1913 2 88 2.2 1914 0 0 0.0 1915 D 1 0.0 1916 0 0 0.0 1917 0 0 0.0 1918 0 0 0.0 1919 0 0 0.0 1920 2 10 20.0 1921 4 13 30.7 1922 5 21 23.8 1923 11 40 27.5 1924 14 46 30.4 1925 18 62 29.0 1926 19 62 30.6 1927 25 56 44.6 1928 25 52 48.0 1929 21 58 36.2 1930 28 80 35.0 1931 9 47 19.1 1932 8 62 12.9 1933 9 33 27.2 1934 12 33 36.3 1935 4 20 20.0 1936 4 13 30.7 1937 6 14 42.8 # OF ADULT TOTAL YEAR FEMALES OF IMMIGRANTS I OF FEMALES 1938 6 14 42.8 1939 4 11 36.3 1940 4 6 66.6 1941 0 3 0.0 1942 0 0 0.0 1943 0 0 0.0 1944 0 0 0.0 1945 1 1 100.0 1946 3 7 42.8 1947 10 130 7.6 1948 27 63 42.8 1949 24 52 46.1 1950 34 93 36.5 1951 23 81 28.3 1952 27 173 15.6 1953 42 170 24.7 1954 no data a v a i l a b l e 175 no data ava i l a b l e 1955 no data a v a i l a b l e 245 no data a v a i l a b l e 1956 81 330 24.5 1957 86 324 26.5 1958 105 451 23.2 1959 127 716 17.7 1960 152 673 22.5 1061 184 744 24.7 1962 153 529 28.9 1963 236 737 32.0 1964 368 1,154 31.8 1965 654 2,241 29,1 1966 698 2,233 31.2 1967 1,329 3,966 33.5 -1968 1,106 3,229 34,2 1969 1,756 5,395 32.5 1970 1,677 5.670 29.5 1971 1,510 5,313 28.4 EAST INDIAN IMMIGRATION TO CANAOA BY SEX: CHILOERN 1 OF TOTAL I OF I OF rOTAL *" OF YEAR CHILDERN IMMIGRANTS 5 OF CHILDERN YEAR CHILDERN IMMIGRANTS I OF CHILOERN 1904 5 45 11.1 1938 8 14 57.1 1905 2 387 0.5 1939 5 11 *5.4 1906 2 2,124 0.0 1940 2 6 33.3 1907 3 2,623 0.1 1941 3 3 1O0.0 1908 0 6 0.0 1942 0 0 0.0 1909 0 10 0.0 1943 0 0 0.0 1910 1 5 20.0 1944 0 0 0.0 1911 0 3 0.0 1945 0 1 0.0 1912 3 5 60.0 1946 3 7 <2.8 1913 8 88 9.0 1947 9 130 6.9 1914 0 0 0.0 1948 19 63 30.1 1915 0 1 0.0 1949 15 52 28.8 1916 0 0 0.0 1950 23 93 24.7 1917 0 0 0.0 1951 15 81 18.5 1918 0 0 0.0 1952 28 173 16.1 1919 0 0 0.0 1953 34 170 20.0 1920 1 10 10.0 1954 no data a v a i l a b l e 175 no data a v a i l a b l e 1921 4 13 30.7 1955 no data a v a i l a b l e 245 no data a v a i l a b l e 1922 4 21 19.0 1956 91 330 27.5 1923 4 40 10.0 1957 104 324 32.0 1924 11 46 23.9 1958 143 451 31.7 1925 38 62 61.2 1959 161 716 22.4 1926 37 62 59.6 1960 140 673 20.8 1927 29 56 51.7 1961 213 744 28.6 1928 24 52 46.1 1962 142 529 76 .8 1929 35 58 60.3 1963 248 737 33.6 1930 46 80 57.5 1964 379 1154 32.8 1931 34 47 72.3 1965 629 2241 28.0 1932 48 62 77.4 1966 664 2233 29.7 1933 18 33 54.5 1967 1,194 3966 30.1 1934 19 33 57.5 1968 1,014 3229 31.4 1935 16 20 80.0 1969 1,441 5395 26.7 1936 9 13 69.2 1970 1,598 5670 28.1 1937 8 14 57.1 1971 1,362 5313 25.6 POPULATION 0? HINDU R A C I A L 03IGT" A?cD 33X, CANADA, PROVINCES AND T^RITORIES, 1941. CEW«JU% Province Total Male Female Canada 1,465 1,059 406 Prince Seward Island • * *M •» _ — — Nova Scotia 15 10 5 New Brunswick - - - - - - -"uebeo 29 17 12 Ontario 21 12 9 Manitoba 7 4 3 Sashatchewan 2 1 1 Alberta * 48 30 18 B r i t i s h Columbia 1,343 985 358 Yukow — — -ITorthv.'cst Territories Table. 5 LOCATION OF POPULATION OP HINDU RACIAL ORIGIN IN BRITISH COLUMBIAVifc 1941 Subdivision Total Male %emale Division No.3. Subdivision A. Unorganised Parte /' Division No.4. 29 •22 7 Subdivision A Distr iot Municipalities Delta 32 29 3 Fraser a i l l e 34 22 12 Kent 24 16 8 Surrey 24 22 2 Cit ies New Westminster 106 66 40 Subdivision B. Dis tr ic t Municlpalitiefl Burnaby 36 24 12 Richmond 42 27 15 Cit ies Vancouver 303 222 81 Division No.5. Subdivision A. Distr ict Municipalities North Cowichan 26 13 13 Saanich 80 47 33 Unorganized Parte 217 164 53 Cit ies Victor ia 138 108 30 Subdivision C. Unorganized Parts b 60 59 1 Cit ies Port Alberni 26 26 -Division No.6. Subdivision C. Unorganized Parts 33 21 12 HI POPuuATiON" Of HINDU -T?AC»<«vw ORlG-<w t3y Ft V E YEA^S- AG-E GRouPS 3EX. CANADA? 1941. CEK<=>u*> Age Group Total Male Female A l l ages 1,465 1,059 406 0 4 168 90 78 5 - 9 190 104 86 10 - 14 130 70 60 15 - 19 65 48 17 SO - 24 50 37 13 25 - 29 v 84 47 37 30 - 34 93 64 29 35 - 39 84 54 30 40 - 44 50 33 17 45 - 49 61 46 15 50 - 54 172 160 12 55 - 59 131 126 5 •60 - 64 104 101 3 65 - 69 46 43 3 70 - 74 25 25 *• 75 - 79 6 6 80 - 84 5 5 85 - 89 1 1 90 u 

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