Ujjal Dosanjh asks Heritage Minister Bev Oda to support saving Joy Kogawa House
Ujjal Dosanjh is the Member of Parliament for Vancouver South, the federal riding containing the historic neighborhood of Marpole, home to the childhood home of Joy Kogawa. Kogawa House at 1450 West 64th Avenue, was the first on its block in 1915. It saw many owners before Joy's family moved into it in 1936. They were forcibly removed due to the internment of Japanese Canadians in 1942, even though they were “naturalized citizens” and both Joy and her brother Tim were born in Canada.
Who knew then, that the 6 year old little girl named Joy Nozomi Nakayama, on June 6th in Vancouver, would become a future member of the Order of Canada in 1986?
Who knew then, that Joy Kogawa would write the 1981 novel Obasan, which would become the 11th most important book in Canada according to Quill & Quire (2nd live living author after Alice Munro), and be listed by the Literary Review of Canada as one of the 100 most important Canadian books ever written?
The Save Kogawa House committee initially met with Ujjal Dosanjh on December 19th, 2005, during the federal election campaign. He pledged support at that time, but was unable to commit to specifics because of the election call, and uncertainty whether the Liberals would be returned to power, or if he would again be a cabinet minister.
Below is the article by Robyn Stubbs in 24 HOURS
followed by the press release by Ujjal Dosanjh containing
Vancouver South MP Ujjal Dosanjh is breathing new life into efforts to save a heritage home in his riding.
The Kogawa House in Marpole is the childhood home of Canadian
author Joy Kogawa, who penned the award-winning novel Obasan
chronicling her experience as a Japanese-Canadian in Vancouver during
the Second World War.
In a letter to federal Heritage Minister Beverly Oda, Dosanjh
asked the ministry work with the Land Conservancy and the Save the
Kogawa House Committee to preserve the historic house.
The house is scheduled for demolition unless the TLC and SJKC
can come up with $1.25 million to purchase the house, restore it and
use it to host a permanent writers-in-residence program.
For Immediate Release
March 28, 2006
UJJAL DOSANJH CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO SAVE JOY KOGAWA HOUSE
OTTAWA – The
Honourable Ujjal Dosanjh, Member of Parliament for Vancouver South,
today called on federal Heritage Minister Beverly Oda to work with the
Land Conservancy of B.C. and the Save Joy Kogawa House Committee to
preserve Joy Kogawa House.
“Joy Kogawa House is
a historical landmark, and its existence reminds us not to forget a
past wrong,” Dosanjh said. “I urge Minister Oda to meet with both the
Land Conservancy of B.C. and the Save Joy Kogawa House Committee, and
to work toward a viable solution to preserve this reminder of a
shameful episode in Canadian history. I am advised that as of yet,
Minister Oda has not met with either organization, despite their
Joy Kogawa House,
located on West 64th Avenue in Mr. Dosanjh's riding of Vancouver South,
is the home from which renowned Canadian author Joy Kogawa and her
family were removed as part of the internment of Japanese-Canadians
during the Second World War. The house is featured in Ms. Kogawa's
award-winning novel, Obasan.
Time runs out for Joy
Kogawa House on April 30, 2006. Heritage Canada denied an emergency
funding request by the organizations involved for $350 000, a portion
of the amount required to purchase the house (thus preventing its
demolition) and maintain it in the future.
Mr. Dosanjh has
written to Minister Oda regarding this issue and today raised it with
the federal B.C. Liberal Caucus; its members fully support the call to
save Joy Kogawa House.
“My colleagues and I
feel that Kogawa House is an important part of British Columbia's
history,” said Mr. Dosanjh. “Moreover, the innovative
writers-in-residence program proposed by the Land Conservancy would
have significant cultural value.”
For more information:
Office of the Hon. Ujjal Dosanjh