VPL Multicultural Day Fair – Vancouver. Canada
I am very pleased to report that today, for us, was a very successful day at the
fair – VPL – Vancouver Public Library Multicultural Day Fair
Sylvia Jemmott and I managed the table and the questions from the public.
We had one Jamaican lady who works at Canada Post stop by to chat with us.
She has been in B.C. 5-years and she previously lived in Ottawa.
She told us she knew a Guyanese woman in Ottawa living in the same building as her.
I almost told her if she didn’t know a Guyanese in Ontario, she must be intentionally avoiding them.
I blew up copies of Trev Sue-A-Quan’s book, Cane Reapers and another on Sir James Douglas for our display.
One woman wanted to know if the book was in the library, I told her I doubted it, but we do have them for sale.
She went into the library and came back outside with a copy of the book: Cane Reapers.
We had a few religious people who had a stint or two in Guyana, at least one who did some research for a thesis.
One actually spent 10-years in Guyana. Blond hair and blue eyes, at that. And that is for the benefit of people who still believe there are no white people in Guyana – in my day they were born there.
He went to Guyana at 8-years old and I forgot the school he attended, but he did attend Queen’s College prior to University in Canada.
His dad was a pilot for Guyana Airways, so he visited most of the places on the map we had on display, courtesy of Meharam Sugrim.
I was very pleased with the reactions and feed-back: -
“I didn’t know that – I can’t get over it!’
Of course, we had the usual ‘Is Guyana in Africa?’ No!
But in general, people were genuinely interested in our food, etc.. Brazilians,Saudi Arabian, Armenian, Bulgarian, for example … I wish I had taken notes.
I wish we had some more help so that I could wander around and check out the other displays.
It was exciting to talk about the B.C. / B.G. connection all day.
I hope you all join us next time.
1858 – British Columbia was proclaimed a colony of the U.K.
The Governor and First Lady were a multicultural couple. A first …!
1871 – British Columbia joined Canada.
1971 – 40 years ago, Canada was the first country in the world to adopt a multicultural policy.
Sir James Douglas, who was born in British Guiana, and Lady Amelia kick started it and Pierre Trudeau made sure it stuck in British Columbia and the World.
A Japanese-Canadian man asked us at the fair, ‘why does the British Prime Minister
say that multiculturalism has failed??
I say Multiculturalism just IS !’
I am proud to be living in British Columbia, Canada and call myself Guyanese-Canadian.
Read about the Sir James Douglas monument unveiling at Mahaica, ECD. Guyana.