CHARESVILLE: community was the news hot spot of 1987 in Atlantic Canada, says the Canadian Press and some local residents would like to perpetuate the memories.
One of the first people to see the Asian migrants who landed here last summer looking for a new life says he and some other still plan to erect 4 roadside monument to tell the tale, despite government indifferences.
Vernon Malone a lobster fisherman who captured the Sikhs’ first hours in Canada with his video camera, said in an interview that talks between Charlesvilleresients and Department of Tourism officials did not produce desired results.
Local residents wanted government to help erect a monument, but the department response was that people interested in marketing the historic occasion are not a properly organized group recognizable by government. Mr. Malone said it’s unlikely the province would involve itself with commemorating such an unauthorized landing.
“We’re going to put it (a monument) up somehow, even if we have to do it our own,” said Mr. Malone.
Things are pretty hectic now with lobster season in full swing but once summer rolls around, there should be no trouble finding 10, 15 or even 20 men willing to help with the project, he said.
Mr. Malone and his son own property adjacent to Highway 3 and would be willing to have the cairn placed on a parcel of it
A stone memorial would likely cost $2,500 or more but Mr, Mal‘one said he’s sure the community would help establish one.
Throughout the summer of 1987, scores of visitors to Charlesville stopped to ask residents about the migrant landing. Former National Hockey League star Ken Dryden even stopped last August to see for him where the Sikhs had landed.
Mr. Malone said he would not only like to have a monument in place for tourists but also for future generations in the local area. The 1987 landing of the Asians should be kept alive for posterity’s sake, contend locals,
If Charlesville residents have their way, the day their community’s population doubled will’ be forever immortalized in stone before another winter comes around.
Article extracted from this publication >> February 19, 1988