SURREY Mayor Doug McCallum proclaimed May 23,2020, as Komagata Maru Remembrance Day at the regular Council public hearing meeting of May 4.
Raj Singh Toor, Vice President and spokesperson for the Descendants of the Komagata Maru Society, the organization that had requested the proclamation, said that it’s a great tribute to those passengers who suffered a lot during the 1914 tragedy.
Komagata Maru Remembrance Day
May 23, 2020
WHEREAS on May 23, 1914, three hundred and seventy-six British Subjects from India of Sikh, Muslim and Hindu origin arrived in Vancouver Harbour aboard the Komagata Maru, seeking to enter Canada; and
WHEREAS on July 23, 1914, the Komagata Maru was forced to leave as a result of a discriminatory act by the Government of Canada, without allowing the passengers to disembark; and
WHEREAS on May 23, 2008, at the request of the Descendants of the Komagata Maru Society, the BC government apologized for the events of May 23, 1914, stating that “The House deeply regrets that the passengers, who sought refuge in our Country and our Province, were turned away without benefit of the fair and impartial treatment befitting a society where people of all cultures are welcomed and accepted”; and
WHEREAS on May 18, 2016, at the request of the Descendants of the Komagata Maru Society, the Canadian Government apologized for the events of May 23, 1914, stating that it was sorry for its indifference and discriminatory laws, that it was committed “to positive action -to learning from the mistakes of the past, and to making sure that we never repeat them”; and
WHEREAS the City of Surrey is committed to protecting People from hate, racism, and discrimination through legislation, education, and example; and
WHEREAS the City of Surrey is home to many diverse cultures where individuals can practice their beliefs and customs while respecting and learning from other traditions; and
WHEREAS City of Surrey promotes multiculturalism and the full and free participation of all individuals in society;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that I, Doug McCallum, do hereby declare May 23, 2020 as “Komagata Maru Remembrance Day” in the City of Surrey.
Mayor Doug McCallum
City of Surrey