News

Plaque unveiled at Kelowna church commemorating Ukrainian internment

Father Andrzej Wasylinko, pastor at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church in Kelowna blesses a plaque installed on the outside wall of the church (above) commemorating the internment of Ukrainian-Canadians in this country from 1914 to 1920. - Alistair Waters/Capital News
Father Andrzej Wasylinko, pastor at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church in Kelowna blesses a plaque installed on the outside wall of the church (above) commemorating the internment of Ukrainian-Canadians in this country from 1914 to 1920.
— image credit: Alistair Waters/Capital News

A plaque has bee unveiled at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukranian Catholic Church in Kelowna commemorating the internment of Ukrainian-Canadians in this country from 1914 to 1920.

The plaque  was one of 100 unveiled across the country simultaneously at 11 a.m. Friday.

One of the internment camps, which were the first of their kind in Canada and preceded similar camps used to hold Japanese Canadians during the Second World War, was located in Vernon.

Father Andrzej Wasylinko, pastor at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukranian Catholic Church said for many who were interred, and their children, there was a sense of shame that stopped them from talking about their experiences in the camps. As a result, the internment is not widely known.

But he said he hopes the the plaques will help change that and there will be a sense of closure for the Ukrainian community, which he said has contributed a great deal to the building of Canada.

Ukrainian-Canadians, who came to this country as immigrants, were rounded up during the First Word War and put in the camps because they carried Austro-Hugarian passports and that nation was an enemy of Britain at the time. Some here, wrongly, considered the Ukrainian immigrants to be spies because they were from a country at war with Britain.

They were, in fact, hard-working, loyal residents of Canada, who, in some cases changed their names and fought for this country in the war.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Tseshaht First Nation plans closure of resource road to Nahmint
 
Education Minister: School boards knew of CUPE costs
 
Alberni First rolls out slate of candidates for municipal election
Getting into wild foods
 
Record number of bikes for Toy Run
 
B.C. cities demand greater oil pipeline scrutiny, safety
Camosun College seeks to become scholarly, community leader in First Nations research
 
HOMEFINDER: Creating a livable neighbourhood
 
Shutterbug obsession: 70 years of the Victoria Camera Club

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 1 edition online now. Browse the archives.