Daily Archives: March 29, 2006

Join a dragon boat team that specializes in multicultural and community activities: Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team

Join a dragon boat team that specializes in multicultural and community activities:
Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team

Hope you can join us for a wonderful
season of dragon boat paddling. 
2005 was an incredible year for the
Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team, and the 2006 season is twice as much fun!

In 2005, we were featured on CBC
NewsWorld, we won the David Lam Multicultural Award at Alcan Dragon Boat Festival, we
raced in the medal finals at ADBF and at Harrison Lake, then we finally  won our medals at Vancouver Taiwanese d-boat

out our 2006 activities so far with reports on:

– Cherry Blossom public paddling event,
– Community public paddling on Sundays at Dragon Zone ,
– dragon boat float in the St. Patrick's Day parade
– Lotus Sports Club's “Bill Alley Memorial Dragon Boat regatta”
– False Creek Women's Regatta
– Alcan Dragon Boat Festival report
– Kent Washington “Cornucopia Days” dragon boat race
– Vernon Dragon Boat Race


1)  March 26th – taking beginners out for public paddling at Dragon Zone.
2) “Gung Haggis” lion headed drummer at St. Patrick's Day parade.
3)  The Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat float crosses Davie St. in St. Patrick's Day parade.
4)  Da Ming and Aefa take turns drumming during St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team practices 

Sundays 1pm – 3pm  (Recreation team)
Tuesdays at 6:00 sharp to 7:15 pm (Recreation team)
Wednesday at 7:00pm  (Beginner's + technique practice)

All practices are from Dragon Zone, at Creekside Park
Southeast corner of False Creek
look for Green trailer building
South of Science World – just above aqua bus ferries.

Parking – park on the street. Try Quebec or 2nd Ave.
pay parking available at Science World – no parking on city lot anymore.

Price for Spring paddling is $160 each, and will cover boat rental, coaching, and registration in Alcan Dragon Boat Festival races June 17 & 18.  Other races cost additional.

Price for Summer paddling is $100 each, and
will cover boat rental, coaching, plus registration for one summer
race.  Additional summer races are aproximately $30 each.

Other possible races are:
May 20       Lotus Sports Club “Bill Alley Memorial Dragon Boat Regatta” (Burnaby)
July 15th   
Dragon Boat Races
(Lake Meridien, Kent WA),
July 22/23 GreaterVernon Dragon Boat Festival (Kalamalka Lake, Vernon BC)
July 22       Fraser Valley Dragon Boat Festival (Harrison Lake, BC)
Sept 2/3    Vancouver
International Taiwanese Dragon Boat Race

other races may be considered, depending on interest

1)  Paddling at Alcan Dragon Boat Festival
2)  Winning medals at the Vancouver International Taiwanese Dragon Boat Race
3)  Group shoulder massage at Sea Vancouver regatta
4)  Naoko is our flag grabber  on top a Taiwanese dragon boat

Will we have 1 or 2 teams?
team is now confirmed for the Alcan Dragon Boat Festival – but if
enough new people come on board, we can expand to two teams –
Recreation and Beginner.

have a lot of people returning.  There are some former paddlers
who have also expressed interest in re-joining, and we have lots of
interest from wanna-be paddlers.

invite friends to come out to try dragon boating over the next two
weeks.  We may run our practices in coordination with the Dragon Zone
public paddling, as we have done so far in April.

contact me by e-mail:    gunghaggis at yahoo dot ca
phone:                  778-846-7090

Cheers, Todd

Pictures from 2005
1) Drummer Todd with Flag Grabber Ed on The Eh? Team at Taiwanese Dragon Boat Race
2) Todd with Dave Samis, at Sea Vancouver Festival for dragon head carving tent
3) Todd with then Vancouver City Councillor Ellen Woodsworth and friend

Joy Kogawa story in Lethbridge Herald as Naomi's Road opera premieres in Alberta

Joy Kogawa story in Lethbridge Herald as Naomi's Road opera premieres in Alberta

Joy Kogawa is in Lethbridge Alberta, for the opening of Naomi's Road
opera.  She attended a reception afterwards, and also spoke to the

The following is a story published in the Lethbridge Herald

Dark days of internment come to life
By Al Beeber
Mar 28, 2006, 22:45

In Naomi’s Road, resilience offers hope for a better future in the
lives of two young children displaced to internment camps during the
Second World War.

That spirit, so vividly detailed in that work and the award-winning
Obasan by novelist and poet Joy Kogawa, survived and thrived despite
the efforts of Canada’s wartime government to disperse
Japanese-Canadian citizens, considered a threat to security after Japan
entered the war.

“The government policy was designed to make sure Japanese-Canadians
never amalgamated and made a community again,” said Kogawa, in the city
Monday to watch the Vancouver Opera presentation of Naomi’s Road at the
University of Lethbridge.

The opera is based on the 1986 children’s book by Kogawa, a
second-generation Japanese-Canadian who was evacuated to Slocan, B.C.
and Coaldale from Vancouver with the rest of her family during the war.
Born Joy Nozomi Nakayama, the author, poet and member of the Order of
Canada attended school in Coaldale from grade 5 to high school and
later taught elementary school there for a year.

The divorced mother of two was actively involved in the efforts to seek
redress from the Canadian government in the 1980s. The internment of
her people is one of the darkest stories in Canadian history and the
production of Naomi’s Road, which has been been staged numerous times
in B.C. schools, is one way to educate Canadians about the injustice,
including younger generations of Japanese Canadians whose family may
not have talked about the internments.

“There was an intense need on the part of parents to protect their
children. It’s a very Buddhist way of thinking, to move forward. The
morality was to endure suffering in silence.”

“Naomi’s Road is a fantastic tool, not just for education but for
healing people,” says the soft-spoken Kogawa who donated much of her
family’s possessions from their Vancouver home to the Galt Museum. Many
of those household items have been mentioned in Kogawa’s works.

“It’s a story that just won’t help Japanese Canadians but people in general. It teaches people about the follies of racism.”

“One can use art to bring about healing,” says Kogawa whose family home
is the centre of an effort by various groups to be converted into a
writer’s residence. It is currently slated for demolition.

The loss of the family home and their internship inspired her novel
Obasan which was named Canadian authors book of the year in 1981.

Canada’s efforts to compensate Japanese Canadians for the internship
were satisfactory to Kogawa who felt the process and dialogue between
Japanese Canadians and government was an act of healing.

“As far as I’m concerned, the appropriate process had been followed,” said Kogawa.
For healing to happen, the voice of the interned people needed to be heard and some of those voices were angry.

“When the kids were told, some got angry,” recalled Kogawa. The issei —
or first generation Canadian immigrants — chose often not to talk about
the internment while the nissei — the second generation — were caught
up in the dispersal and didn’t know what it was all about.

“The burden needs to be lifted by all of society. It’s not an easy process,” said Kogawa.

Anne-Marie Metten of the Vancouver committee of Save Kogawa House is
with the author in Lethbridge. She was planning to meet officials of
the Galt Museum Monday to look at the Kogawa collection so house
restorers can authentically reproduce the family’s furnishings if
efforts to save the house from the wrecking ball are successful.
“We want to create a sense of the house as it was in 1942.”

© Copyright by Lethbridge Herald.com
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Joy Kogawa and Naomi's Road opera go to Lethbridge Alberta: report from Ann-Marie Metten


Joy Kogawa and Naomi's Road opera go to Lethbridge Alberta:
Report from Ann-Marie Metten

Metten is the Vancouver coordinator for the Save Kogawa House
committee.  She and Joy Kogawa have  travelled to Lethbridge
Alberta to attend the Alberta premiere of the Naomi's Road opera, by
the Vancouver Opera Touring Ensemble.

Ann-Marie is a wonderful person with many literary connections and dedicated to
the cause.  She first contacted me in early 2005, after I posted a
message suggesting Obasan could be nominated for Vancouver Public
Library's One Book One Vancouver program.  She then contacted me in
September, when the City of Vancouver recieved an inquiry about a
demolition permit for Kogawa House.

The following message is from Ann-Marie:

Just want to report several small
donations received at the reception following the performance of Naomi’s
Road in
Lethbridge yesterday.

The Vancouver Opera troupe ended their
evening show to a standing ovation, with many Japanese Canadians in the
audience – those interned and their families. Joy spoke strongly about
the need for forgiveness within the community and within
Canada as a nation, and I got
to say a few words at the reception about Kogawa House and invited questions
and discussion. Lisa Doolittle of the University of Lethbridge Theatre
Department was generous in her publicity of the campaign to rescue Kogawa
House, including a summary of the project in the programme for the evening,
posting notices of the project around the reception area, speaking about it in
her introduction, and displaying pledge forms at the buffet and book sales
tables. Lisa also arranged press coverage with the Lethbridge Herald, which ran our story on the cover of today’s
edition, along with a photograph of the troupe and a photo of Joy inside on
page 2. Global TV was expected to run the story not only at
noon today but also on their
evening news report.

Many friends and relatives came to support
Joy, with 25 Japanese Canadian seniors traveling from Calgary to attend the noon performance and many,
many others attending the evening performance. Joy and I also drove out to the
communities of Coaldale, the model of Granton in Obasan — and Vauxhall, where I spent some childhood years –
and connected with people there. We visited the
Galt Museum, which houses the Kogawa
Collection of furnishings and pieces from the Marpole house. What topped
everything, though, was our walk through the coulee and the thrill of the prairie
after snowmelt, just before spring.

It was a trip well worth the effort.
Photos to come this evening . . .

Ann-Marie Metten

Save Kogawa House Committee




SFU Scottish Studies Centre: Enlightenment & Emigration lecture series April 5/6

SFU Scottish Studies Centre: Enlightenment & Emigration lecture series April 5/6

A message from Harry McGrath, coordinator of SFU Scottish Studies, and Ron MacLeod, Scots Chair

The SFU Scottish Studies Centre is delighted to announce the last two
events in the Enlightenment & Emigration lecture series, arranged as
part of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the
University. The Centre is very gratified with the enthusiastic response
to the series so far and we hope to see a good turnout again for the
final events:

1: "18th and early 19th Century Songs and Pipe Music Celebrating
Women." This presentation will have the informal atmosphere of a
ceilidh and will take place at 2.30 pm: Wednesday 5 April: SFU Burnaby:
Forum Chambers (Student Society room below the Highland Pub).
The program will be introduced by Kirsteen McCue (highly regarded
singer/noted lecturer in Scottish Literature at Glasgow
University/popular BBC3 Presenter) & David Hamilton (expert accompanist
& choral director: Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama). It also
features skilled piper Brianne Young from the SFU Pipe Band who will
perform songs & pipe music reflecting the lives of women of 18th &
early 19th century Scotland.

2: Lecture/Recital entitled "Ae Fond Kiss: Songs by and about Women in
Enlightened Scotland" Thursday 6 April 8pm, SFU Harbour Centre,
Downtown Vancouver.
In this presentation, Dr McCue and Mr Hamilton will call on a range of
song editions to tell the stories of women in Scottish songs of the
Enlightenment Era. The stories cover the position of women on hot
political and social issues of the time, and looks at the kinds of
women that male editors wanted to shape.
Above all, however, the presentation celebrates the vision Scottish
women had of love and life during a complex time in their history.

1. To find the Forum Chambers, go to the main university concourse. The
Forum Chambers is on the opposite side of the concourse from the library. Go
through the coffee bar and downstairs. The room is just below the Highland Pub
and we hope that there will be a general movement upstairs after the ceilidh.
There is no need to sign up for the ceilidh - just show up.

Please note starting time of 2.30pm - not noon as stated in the
newsletter and on the posters.

2. For the Harbour Centre lecture/recital, the usual procedures apply.
Please phone 604-291-5100 to register. There will be a reception following the