Sunday, July 22, 2007

Last Ukrainian survivor of WWI Canadian Internment operation dies

I was very sad to see this announcement:

The last known survivor of Canada’s first national internment operations of 1914-1920, Mary Manko Haskett, died on July 14 at a senior’s residence in Mississauga, Ontario. She was 98.

Born Mary Manko, in Montreal, she was only 6 years old when she was transported to the Abitibi region of north-central Quebec, to the Spirit Lake concentration camp. So-called “enemy aliens,” mostly Ukrainians who emigrated to the Dominion from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, were held there ...

Mary’s younger sister, Nellie, died at the Spirit Lake camp. ... Despite being a victim, Mary never sought an apology for the wrongs done to her, nor personal compensation for herself or any of the descendents of the internees. Instead she asked ... that money to be placed in a community-managed endowment fund to be used for educational and commemorative initiatives to help ensure that no other Canadian ethnic, religious or racial minority would ever again suffer what Ukrainians once did. ...

[T]he Government of Canada has not yet met its legal obligation to negotiate a unique Ukrainian Canadian Redress and Reconciliation Settlement. ...

Vichnaya pam'yat - memory eternal!

2 comments:

Taras said...

This is truly sad, since she was the last living proof.

Pawlina said...

Yes, and no doubt Canadian politicians and bureaucrats would like to bury the whole matter with her.

While it's true there was economic opportunity (albeit rather grudgingly offered) for Ukrainian immigrants and their descendants in Canada, the same certainly can't be said for respect.