Mayne Island's Japanese Memorial Garden is a place of peace, tranquility and forgiveness

Japanese Memorial Garden on Mayne Island:
a tribute and remembrance to the Japanese-Canadian residents who were removed in 1942 because of internment during WW2

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It's a beautiful place.  We visited the Japanese Memorial Garden twice during our visit in May.  Once at dusk, and the next day in the afternoon before leaving the island.  Land had first been set aside to create this park in 1987, while negotiations were still happening for Japanese Canadian Redress, and before the parliamentary apology in 1988 by Prime Minister Mulroney.

This park was basically recreated by Don Herbert and community volunteers from 1999 to 2002, after the initial garden suffered from drainage problems, overgrowth of alder trees and neglect.

Today, it is one of the island's most important attractions, and a proud accomplishment of what a community can do.

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This plaque identifies the ancestral villages and cities where the Mayne Islanders of Japanese ancestry came from.  And lists a map of where each of the families had lived on Mayne Island before they were removed and sent to internment camps in the BC interior.

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Todd poses on the bridge to the island – photo D. Martin

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A stream trickles down to a water pump, and reeds in the pond.

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This is a little resting house, where I discovered a newspaper clipping from the Georgia Straight.  It was a Chronicles column from former Mayne Island resident Terry Glavin.  This was especially significant for me, because since 2005, I have been an organizer for the “Save Kogawa House Campaign” to save the childhood home of author Joy Kogawa, and since 2007, Terry Glavin and I have become friends.  This year in April, he received the Lt. Gov. Award for Literary Achievement, the first time it was awarded to a non-fiction writer.  See my article 2009 BC Book Prizes with Terry Glavin

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