Donna Green and Barb McBride, interviewed by Josh Labove, 07 January 2017

Donna Green and Barb McBride, interviewed by Josh Labove, 07 January 2017

Abstract
Donna and Barb begin the interview describing who their grandfather was, what his personality was like, and how he became involved in federal politics. They explain his political and philosophical views toward Japanese Canadians based on his archived correspondence with his colleagues. Donna and Barb then reflect on their own interpretation of their grandfather’s political decisions as well as the division it has created within their family. They talk about the time they nominated their grandfather for a building to be named after him and the resistance they faced by the Japanese Canadian community. Near the end of the interview, Donna and Barb highlight the areas of their grandfather’s legacy that is most difficult for them to handle.
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Labove Joshua (LJ)
It is January 7, 0217. I am Josh Labove with Barb McBride and Donna Green in Vancouver, B.C. for the Landscapes of Injustice Project. So, why don't we get started just by talking about your earliest memories of your grandfather?
Barb Mcbride (BM)
My grandfather was the epitome of a wonderful grandfather. He was always very affectionate. He had special names for all of us. When he visited we were always excited to see him. He cared about all of us. He kept right until the end of his life when he was eighty-nine or ninety-four, ninety-three? He would be very interested in what everyone was doing. He knew our friends. He was a wonderful grandfather. Exactly the kind of grandparent that I would like to be laughs.
Donna Green (DG)
I was the youngest of ... There's ten grandchildren, so I was the youngest. I always think I was his favorite but we had a different relationship because, of course, he was out of politics. By then I was the only grandchild born after his political career was finished. So he was in Vancouver much more whereas, I think, when you guys were little you didn't see him as much, right?
BM
No.
DG
So he lived up by UBC on Eighth Avenue. We would go pretty much every Sunday, I think, right? To see him. I mean, I did, with mom and dad. He taught me gardening. That was our, kind of, thing together. He loved to garden so he, kind of, I was his assistant, I guess, or whatever. So he kind of taught me everything he knew so we'd spend a lot of time together out at his garden planning what we were going to plant and going to the garden store and all that kind of stuff. I had a really special relationship with him and, yeah, as Barb says, he was, you know, as a parent I think he smothered my, um, there was my dad and my uncle. I think they resented his, sort of, dominance isn't the right word but he was very, sort of, in your face, I guess? As a grandfather, he was perfect because, as Barb said, he made you feel so special. He was always interested in what you were doing. He was always interested in our report cards. We would have to take the report cards and he would give us a dollar for an A or whatever.
BM
Twenty-five cents laughs. I'm quite a bit older
DG
I was much younger, yes. So, yeah, he was always ... whereas our own dad was a bit more distant. Granddad was always, like, yeah, you always felt like you were special and he cared and was always interested in whatever you were doing.
LJ
Did he talk about politics a lot? Was that something that was, like, conversation or ...
BM
I think political discussions were always part of our family.
DG
Mhm.
BM
When he wrote letters, he wrote a lot of letters, we all had letters from him, they would always mention, at my age, not Donna's, they would talk about what was going on in the city or the country. Yeah, politics was very much part of our life, I think. When I was young he was still running for ... He ran and lost in 1963, I think, and even at however old I was then, eight, that was, you know, I remember all of it. So, yeah, politics was certainly a part of our life.
DG
When he was out of politics, I think it was because it had been such a huge part of his life, we'd take him up to Tenth Avenue to shop and he would run into people. He was the consummate politician. He would always stop and talk to people and he'd ask them about their kids and what was going on in the neighborhood. So even though he was out of politics by that time I got to see what he would have been like as a politician because he was not, like, schmarmy. I think he legitimately really cared about his constituents. He wasn't, obviously, trying to get votes at that point anymore but my dad would always joke that, you know, you take him to church and getting him out of church would be longer than the actual service because he would have to talk to everybody, you know, see what was going on in the world. Yeah, politics even though we was out of politics. When I was a kid, one of my earliest memories is watching the Conservative Party leadership, I think it was Stanfield, I can't remember who would have been running, but I was only like three or four watching TV. What kind of four year old has to watch the Conservative Party convention? I remember being very excited with the result because granddad liked it. Yeah, so it was very much a part of our life.
LJ
And, um, always in the same riding, right? I think he was in Vancouver Quadra?
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DG
Yeah. It used to be Vancouver South.
LJ
Vancouver South, right. So he was really a man about this town.
DG
Yes. I think you could arguably say he was the, I mean, certainly the longest serving federal politician from here but probably one of the most powerful, really, because BC's never really produced a, I don't think we produced a prime minister, right? Other than Kim Campbell.
LJ
A couple weeks of Kim Campbell.
DG
Yeah, but, you know, there's never been, really, anybody that I can think of offhand. So, yeah, he would have been the most prominent politician for sure from BC.
LJ
Did he ever talk about how he came to politics?
DG
Yeah. It was, well, I don't know if your memory's the same but he ... Point Grey used to not be part of Vancouver. So there used to be, um, because he was the lawyer, right, and I guess he practiced privately and then there was some dispute between BC Tel not serving ... Wasn't there a rate dispute or something?
BM
Mhm.
DG
So that was sort of his first political involvement, to lobby BC Tel to have the same rates or something, right? So that was kind of his first exposure.
BM
The reason why he got into politics in the first place, though, was after the end of the First World War because Eric Burkbis has that in his book.
DG
Okay.
BM
There's a fellow writing a book, which may or may not ever be published, but that at the end of the war he, the First World War, he thought he would come back to Canada and make sure that something like that didn't happen and to ... Yeah, yeah, so that was his pledge to himself.
DG
Hm, I didn't know that. Okay.
BM
He was quite a disciplined man so that's why he wanted to make sure the country ran the way how it should.
DG
Should run. Okay, yeah. I didn't know that because I had always been told the BC Tel thing.
BM
We have lots of things in writing because he wrote copious letters and then this man has done a lot of research up until, probably, 1920. That's all that we've ever seen. So the first years of his life have been pretty heavily researched.
DG
Yeah, it might be interesting for you to talk to him.
LJ
Yeah.
DG
He was an ambassador who served under my grandfather. He took it upon himself to write. He wanted to do something but much more from the foreign policy side of things. Yeah, he'd be worthwhile. There's another prof from Western or something who was working ...
BM
Michael Stevens.
DG
Yeah, was it UofT or Western? I don't know, but, anyway, the two of them might be worth ... They did a lot of research but I don't think they've written a whole lot.
LJ
Your grandfather had a lot of different posts over his career. Was there one that he seemed really, most in his element to really enjoy the most?
DG
External affairs.
LJ
Yeah.
DG
He wasn't really into prestige but it was definitely the most, you know ...
BM
Interesting.
DG
Yeah, and he got to travel a lot. He wasn't really much of a traveler but he went to a lot of places as a part of that. He got to speak at the UN and that kind of thing. So I think he really, not that his politics had changed a lot, but he was so into disarmament and stuff at the end that ...
BM
Yeah, that was his main focus, nuclear disarmament.
DG
So I think he, obviously, felt that in that position he could have the most influence. He never really talked about the other ones much. Do you remember, like, public works or ...
BM
No, not really.
DG
Yeah, so ...
BM
A pub blew up. He pushed the thing for Ripple Rock. I did hear that.
DG
He opened the post office in downtown.
BM
Which is now being torn down.
DG
It's going to be a condo.
LJ
Well, that's a very Vancouver story.
DG
Mhm. But, yeah, external affairs he ... Maybe it's the same with you, we'd ask him to share stories, right, so they were always about external affairs type things like meeting the Queen, meeting Kennedy, and those kinds of things. Those were the ones. He had a very self-depreciating sense of humor so he'd always tell you the things he was worried about when he met the Queen, whether or not he had all this protocol down pat. He'd always ... There's one of my favorite stories that, swapping stories with the Queen about how you behave publicly or whatever. It sounded like they had quite a light-hearted conversation. I think he did like the formalities around some of it and the people that he met. I don't remember him being egotistical but maybe he did like that ego kind of stuff that, you know, just the prestige or whatever. I don't know.
LJ
Did he like Ottawa? I sometimes wonder, you know, you don't have a lot of BC prime ministers because it's such a hard city to want to make it in.
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DG
It's interesting because he had to travel by train, right?
LJ
From here to there by train.
DG
Yeah.
BM
I don't think he flew until the very, very end. It was a hard life because he left his family for, probably, five months. I'm not even sure because the family never went with them. So they stayed in Vancouver and then he would stay in an apartment in Roxboro. I don't know if that's still there. He was lonely sometimes and he would take these long walks by himself. That wasn't easy for BC politicians. I think that sometimes, well, I think he got removed maybe from what was actually happening in Vancouver because he was gone so much.
DG
That would have been when my dad and uncle were young, too. Barb said he'd be gone for long periods of time so I'm sure that, kind of, the relationship they had with him was kind of influenced by this. Obviously, they spent way more time with their mother who died young. How many years did ...
BM
1949.
DG
No, no. When she died, it was after Jan was born.
BM
Oh, yeah, maybe '53 then, I guess.
DG
Yeah, so she died of cancer when my ... How old was dad? Maybe about thirty?
BM
Mhm.
DG
So my grandfather was obviously still in politics then but my grandmother didn't like Ottawa so she would never go with him.
BM
She didn't like politicians either.
LJ
She didn't like politicians?
BM
No, not at all. Politicians weren't welcome in the house which I feel was, kind of, hard because that would be when your passion is one thing and you're not allowed to practice your passion in your own home. It would have been very difficult for him.
LJ
How did she develop that hostility toward politicians?
DG
Yeah, we don't really know because we never knew her.
BM
Yeah, I don't know that actually.
DG
She just resented the ...
BM
I think probably the time more than anything. So the politicians weren't welcome there.
DG
Didn't she take the phone off the hook during dinner, too? She wouldn't let him speak on the phone or wouldn't let the phone ring because ...
BM
I would say it probably was jealousy or whatever, right? You know, when somebody is so self-absorbed in something you want the time for yourself. I don't know. Anyhow, so any of his politicking he had to do outside of the home.
DG
Which is maybe why the church and street were his, you know, he could, yeah. I'm sure they had a very good relationship. We never heard that they didn't but dad used to tell us about the politicians thing, that she was not a fan.
LJ
Did he have any politician pals or particular chums?
BM
Well, the Greens were a family of politicians. So his uncle who really influenced him was a senator. He was an MLA in the early 1900s and then he became the senator. He was in Ottawa in the early years. Well, yeah, in the early years and he had a big influence on him but his parents and all of his relatives in their small town in Kaslo were all politicians. So maybe my grandmother didn't like the family which I think is probably ...
DG
Probably laughs. Yeah, we're discussing. We don't really know.
BM
Probably part of it because I know she didn't really like to go to Kaslo where they were from. You know, it's a small town in the interior.
DG
Hard to get into.
BM
Yeah. They're definitely a political family, all the Greens. I'd say that that was his biggest influence. Also he was friends with Leon Ladner who was not really a politician but maybe a civic, you know, was very involved in the civic parts of Vancouver.
DG
Yeah, I don't know who else.
BM
I don't know if any political people ...
DG
I mean, there must have been.
BM
And Davy Folton, he was friends with. He had some friends in Ottawa that he, you know, some of his fellow MPs he was friends with.
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DG
The MP from the Kootenays, too, remember?
BM
Oh, um, yeah, the CCF, Burt, who was very pro-Japanese.
LJ
Yeah, I was going to say the CCF.
BM
Yeah, they were good friends and he was a really good friend of Bruce Hutchinson the newspaper columnist from Victoria.
LJ
Yeah.
BM
I can't remember his name.
DG
Yeah, there was a politician.
BM
Haridge his name was; the CCF. Yeah, he was a good friend of his.
LJ
So friendships could extend across ...
DG
Yeah, for sure, definitely.
LJ
Different parts of Ottawa.
DG
He definitely didn't like communists but I think he was okay with CCFers.
LJ
Okay.
BM
I think he was friends with Angus MacInnis, MacInnis, yeah, too, from here, even though they had totally different views on it. He does speak in one of the pieces of paper that I have. “I wonder what my pro-Japanese friends would think of that.” So he did acknowledge that people had different views on it.
LJ
Speaking of views on that. We're here, obviously, because your grandfather definitely had views and was vocal around anxieties toward Japanese Canadians, particularly in BC. Maybe you could just, I mean, you've got his letters and his correspondence, maybe you can just help me make sense of what you know about what he was thinking at the time and how his opinions and philosophies developed?
BM
I just wanted to say something first that maybe gives you an idea of where it all started because that's where Donna and I tried to make sense of. This is their boat from 1907. There is an anti-Japanese article in here. He said anti-Japanese and was scolded, I think, by some professors but he called himself an anti-Japanese person. That was a common term, anti or pro-Japanese. So in this thing is the Japanese question. When he speaks in parliament he talks back to this problem. “This has been a problem since I've been a boy.” So that was where it was, sort of, started. That's from Kaslo which is ...
LJ
This is from Kaslo.
BM
Mhm.
DG
The swastika has different meanings, right? And ...
LJ
Sure.
DG
Barb and Donna laughing. It's not a swastika in the sense of ...
BM
It says 'Merry Christmas.'
LJ
Right, yeah, it does leave an impression.
DG
Yeah. At that time a swastika would have meant a different thing but, still.
LJ
Yeah, though sooner after it would clearly mean something different again.
DG
Yes.
LJ
So he had been writing ... This is in Kaslo, high school.
BM
Yeah, I don't know whether he wrote the article or not. His name is on the bulletin but it says he's doing financial but I wonder why that was kept. So I kind of think that, maybe, he did write the article. It's talking about the Japanese aggression and against the Russians. So that's started a long time before Pearl Harbor or anything like that. So he does say that, quite a few times in parliament, “the Japanese have been a problem since I've been a boy.” So whether that was ... I often wonder how that happened in a very isolated small town. If you've ever been to ... Have you been to Kaslo?
LJ
I have but I'm wondering what was ... The mast had said 1907, so, um ...
DG
It might have been right after the riots in Vancouver, right?
LJ
Yeah.
BM
So ...
DG
Yeah, so there wouldn't have been any Japanese people in Kaslo, right? So he would have never met one.
BM
Two Chinese families and I think that was all. So why they would be speaking about the Japanese in a small town in BC is, sort of, beyond my comprehension.
LJ
Yeah.
BM
But they were.
DG
But the anti-Japanese riots had just happened in Vancouver, right? So, I mean, if there was a perceived problem in BC it was Vancouver that had the problems. There was a lot of sentiment, right, of ...
BM
But why would you have written that in a newsletter?
DG
I know, and it would have been like fifteen ...
BM
A Merry Christmas newsletter.
DG
It would have been fifteen years old, right?
BM
Anyhow, that's where I think ... I think that's something that's not been brought up but I think that's important for people like my grandfather. That was their whole life. What they knew, what they accepted was that the Japanese were a problem even though, as you know, they weren't a problem at all but it was a perceived problem. So, anyhow.
LJ
And not Italians or Germans or other ...
BM
They didn't really like Germans because it was in the First World War.
DG
But we've never seen where he said anything anti-German, have we?
BM
Mhm.
DG
Oh, we have.
BM
Yeah, he didn't like Germans but my husband's family is German and he didn't reject them.
DG
No.
BM
It was a very isolated society. I mean, BC was isolated just by the fact of where BC was.
LJ
Sure.
DG
I'm sure Kaslo would have been all Anglo-Saxon at that time, right? There wouldn't have been anybody.
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LJ
Yeah, Raif Mair spoke to us last year and referred to Vancouver as an apartheid city, that it was very ...
BM
Mhm.
LJ
Very separated.
DG
Yeah.
BM
And it was accepted. I think that was systemic. Is that the right word? Systemic discrimination where that was the way it was and people accepted that. That's where ...
DG
But it was a different world then, too. Even mom would say, like, you know, like, because my mom grew up in the Kootenays, the trail, and, you know, the Italians lived in one area, right? She was not Italian so they lived in a different area. There was, you know, even white people were split on where they were from. You knew where everybody was from like whether they were of British background. Granddad was very much a monarchist and very pro-empire.
BM
Very focused on the empire.
DG
Very Commonwealth, like he'd talk about the Commonwealth but nobody else even really knows what the Commonwealth is. He was very much a monarchist and a traditionalist, I guess.
BM
Anyhow, back to the original ... I just wanted to bring that out, that that's where we've delved into where it started.
DG
Did you find that in his papers?
BM
Um, yes, I think so. My grandmother was from Cumberland, his wife, and her father was a politician. That may be another reason why she didn't like politicians, who knows. He was the mayor of Cumberland and a few other things. He ...
DG
Which, of course, there were a lot of Japanese.
BM
Yeah, so there were a lot of Japanese in Cumberland, right? That's a whole other story. We shouldn't really get into that.
DG
No, I know.
BM
We have some theories about that but it's only a theory. Anyhow, Richard McBride, who has no relationship to me, we used to visit Cumberland. He'd stay next door so they would have had lots of talks about, obviously, the problems facing BC and maybe the Japanese came up then. I don't know. Also Richard McBride has been to Kaslo so I'm blaming him for everything laughs.
DG
Did you ever ask Patricia about that? Patricia has helped us with some of this and she wrote the book about Richard McBride.
BM
No, she didn't believe in my theories. Do you know Patricia?
LJ
I know of her, yeah. I met her last year.
BM
She is a very, very, uh, anything she says you know is completely researched and completely true. We just have wild theories laughs. So she's a very respected historian and I would never doubt any information she gave me.
LJ
Oral history is more interested in the process. So sometimes wild theories can be more productive.
DG
Yes.
LJ
That pamphlet is interesting because perhaps if we were more generous we could locate your grandfather's perspectives on Japanese Canadians to wartime aggressions but ...
BM
No, it's definitely not.
DG
Before that he grew up with it.
BM
Yeah. No, he actually spoke in the House of Commons in the late thirties about the Japanese, at great length.
DG
But that would have been after Nanking and stuff, right?
00:25:03.000
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BM
Yeah, well before the Pearl Harbor and anything like that.
DG
I'm reading that biography of Iris Chang right now. She's the one who wrote about the rape of Nanking. That was horrendous so he would have ... Obviously, that would have all been in the news. That's 1937. So that's when he was starting to speak in the house about the Japanese aggression but, yeah, who knows, he probably felt that way for many years before that.
BM
But, anyhow.
LJ
Yeah, so, um, what was ... I mean, his perspective there is that it's an issue or a problem but how have you, sort of, made sense of how it developed or changed overtime or what his perspectives were on Japanese Canadians in British Columbia?
BM
His or ours?
LJ
Well, his and then I'm curious to talk about yours, too.
BM
Yeah, what I think happened with him is that this was a problem, then you went to the First World War, and half of his battalion was killed in a battle. He was sent away to school to be a training officer because he felt, always, that ... It was his commanding officer had promised to his father that, because he had potential. He was a smart man. He was going to end up in law school. He was sent away right before the battle and then his battalion was killed. He saw all sorts of horrible things in the First World War. One of his main thrusts of what he felt was because he didn't want the same thing to happen in BC and he wanted to do whatever he could which is different in a lot of the politicians, I think, who were just, maybe, more just discriminatory, didn't like the Japanese taking over things. Anyhow, that's ... He had some views that Donna and I really don't agree with right after the war which is where he wanted to ... he didn't want the Japanese in his area. So, if they were in Alberta or in ...
DG
Toronto laughs.
BM
Out in the South Pacific which is what, you know, was really awful when he said something like that, that he wanted them put on an island in the South Pacific which is horrible. He was logistically ... I think if you read some of his arguments or his debates in the house of commons, he was a logical man and he was trying to find a solution to what he perceived to be a problem which, of course, was not really a problem. These were his solutions. Afterwards when I talked to him in the '70s, he thought that he had done the right thing and I can almost understand why they thought that because there was no problem once the Japanese were dispersed across Canada. There was no problem anymore, right? That's what they referred to it as, the 'Japanese problem.' All these words I'm using are not my own.
DG
Not our words, yeah. We're paraphrasing.
BM
That's what he called it was the 'Japanese problem.'
LJ
It's even in that Kaslo pamphlet.
BM
Yeah, it's a question there I think. Yeah, after a while it was the problem. So you can see almost how they thought “Oh, that was the right thing to do then because they're all ...” And he says in an article in the Observer, he says “The Japanese are making fine citizens of themselves in other places besides BC.” Then, I think as he got older, we'd like to think he cut out all the articles of the redress when he was very, very old because that was in 1988. Barb and Donna discuss the dates simultaneously. Anyhow, he was getting older and he cut them all out and put little scrawls. He always wrote on things and he wrote, which we'll show you, he wrote speaking notes because he spoke in quite a few different places, in Simon Fraser, on the radio, and for Global TV about why they did the things that they did. He had his speaking notes so you could see the buildup of this and this and you can see exactly what he was thinking logically, right. Even when he was very, very old he scrawled. I found one today with his little tiny writing. He wrote the same arguments but I think he was beginning to realize, I think he knew he was wrong at the end. I think it took him until, probably, the last five years of his life to realize that he had made a gigantic mistake. Until then it was trying to ... Well, people justify their ... It's like Tony Blair. Now Tony Blair has come out and said that maybe he was wrong. In the beginning he justified going to Iraq as it being a logical thing. Probably in twenty ... George Bush at the end of his life will say, “Oh, jeez, big mistake.”
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DG
“The Iraqis never did anything.”
BM
Yeah, like, “What did I do that for?”
LJ
An American can .
BM
We do like to think that he did realize that at the very end of his life but then who would you tell? Like, who would you ...
DG
He was also a very proud and stubborn man so I think even if he had realized that he was wrong he would keep ... because he could have, I always say, salvaged his reputation, right? If he had said at the end of his life, like, “I apologize for what happened to the Japanese Canadians in my rule.” Even if he felt that he never said it to anybody.
LJ
Not even to you?
DG
No.
BM
My father's cousin thinks that he did.
DG
To her?
BM
Yeah, but she doesn't really remember well enough to ... He certainly speaks highly of the Japanese afterwards and he, you know, Donna's got a picture of him with ...
DG
The box.
BM
The box. Yeah, I mean, he had lots to do with people from Japan later in his external affairs things but he just ... He thought that he made the right decision at the time but then I think he'd realized that it wasn't. That's what we like to think laughs.
DG
Yeah. He certainly failed to differentiate the Japanese Canadian, Canadian born Japanese from native born Japanese. He, sort of, lumped everybody together and, you know, he never ...
BM
And I ...
DG
I always think he thought it wasn't possible for somebody of Japanese descent to be loyal to Canada or that they would be ...
BM
Loyal to Britain because it's more Britain than Canada.
LJ
Yeah.
DG
Yeah, but if there had been some sort of invasion I think he legitimately thought that, you know, there would be assistance from, you know, he talked about the fifth columnists and all that. Whether or not he actually believed that, I don't know, he must've.
BM
Well, I think it's come from a perspective of being, you know, going to a war that wasn't your war in World War One. That wasn't, you know, they're fighting in France and they were there for Britain so why wouldn't the Japanese support Japan?
DG
If there had been an invasion, you mean?
BM
Yeah, like, why wouldn't they? I think that was beyond his comprehension that they wouldn't. You would always support your empire. So it's certainly Canadians that were in, or British people that were in Germany wouldn't support the Germans, right? So that's, you know, in the First World War. So that's, I think, the reasoning of that is that your empire is who you supported.
DG
Right.
BM
Anyhow, that's, um ...
LJ
The fifth column is a particular ... That was his term? I mean I ...
DG
No. I think that's a well-used term, you know, in wartime that there's always that threat of subversives or whatever within the population. He did talk about fifth columns.
BM
He said some pretty outlandish things about ... that their boats, the Japanese boats were powerful enough to cross the pacific.
DG
Right, the fish boats laughs. I think he got caught up in the political games that ... but I think initially it was concern for BC's coast. There's letters that we've read where he talks about what the blackouts were like and, you know, right after Pearl Harbor. He was obviously very worried about the defense of the BC coast and not being properly defended. So talking about trying to get more military support and there's all that in the letters that he felt there was a legitimate threat about what could happen.
BM
Yeah, Patricia Roy agrees with that, that he was genuinely concerned about defending BC as opposed to, just, um, wanting the Japanese out. In fact, he does say a few times that he thought the government went further when he thought they would just take the men out of Vancouver, but when they took everybody he felt that was way further than he would have gone. He does say that he wanted them in Alberta. He had a little solution where he'd take all the Japanese and put them on the other side of the Rockies laughs.
DG
It's like a national park or something, right?
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BM
Which was not funny. So we shouldn't laugh.
DG
No, we shouldn't laugh.
BM
It didn't make sense.
LJ
Well, I mean, but, there's a certain tragic comedy to the idea that that would solve any safety issue.
DG
Yes.
LJ
Though, what to the question of property because I certainly do look at the difference between the U.S. and Canada at this time and it seems like one of the most pernicious and sad parts of the way things shook out in Canada is the dispossession of Japanese Canadians. Much of that was happening, I guess, more at the BC Security Commission but what is your sense of how he, sort of, rationalized, how your grandfather made sense of fishing boats, you know, moored and being sold off and farmland.
DG
To be honest, I don't think he ever ... He didn't ...
BM
He did say that if anything was taken from them he thought they should be fairly compensated. I don't think he was really involved, at all, with that. I think they didn't pay enough attention which is very sad. I think that his ideas were that they would be fairly compensated but how do you actually fairly compensate when you take away everything from somebody? There was no solution to that.
DG
He didn't like Austin Taylor, who was with the BC Security Commission, but for different reasons than that thing to do with the sale of the property because, of course, his parents were still in Kaslo at the time and there's really interesting correspondence between his mother and him about the Japanese going to Kaslo and he didn't, obviously, like that idea from a security standpoint but he never really talked about property, right? He was concerned about his parents giving ... because they owned an old building or whatever, that Japanese could live there. He didn't want that. He didn't want the building used.
BM
No, he didn't.
DG
He didn't want them in Kaslo but there's some interesting stuff about how he thought Austin Taylor, I think, was targeting him because they weren't on the same political stripe or whatever, right, that Austin Taylor had purposely chosen Kaslo because that's where he was form, to send them there laughs. It's really interesting. There's so many webs to weave through all of this because of his family connection to the Kootenays and, you know, just really unique.
BM
He did send them deliberately, I think, to Kaslo in the end.
DG
It was a logical choice, right? The Kootenays were a logical choice if you were solving a problem.
BM
By the way, if we laugh, I just want to say we don't think anything about it is funny. It's just in the past and it's ...
LJ
Emotions are mixed and complicated to say the least. I guess, it sounds like when we talk about your grandfather a little bit, he's calculating and thoughtful but at the same time he sounds incredibly anxious. You know, this Austin Taylor figure is out to get him, the Japanese Canadians are this massive problem but maybe they aren't. I'm assuming that, by the time he's gardening in retirement, he's not nearly as anxious but he sounds like there's a lot of anxiety either around him or going into some of the ideas.
DG
It was probably more like a responsibility that he felt because, yeah, I would certainly never describe him as an anxious person. Yeah, it's probably the sense of responsibility of like, fearful, yeah.
BM
Fearful, maybe.
DG
Yeah, that he had a role whether or not it was influenced by what he experienced in World War One but he had to, as a politician, you know, as a junior politician too at that point, and the opposition MP. So whether or not he felt, you know, that he had a responsibility to protect people ... I don't know.
BM
I don't know if you know much about the war and how people on the west coast felt that Ottawa didn't really care about, sort of, especially after the fall of Hong Kong where the Canadians sent the troops there. I don't know if you... Do you know much about that?
LJ
Not a ton about that part.
BM
Yeah, see, that was all sort of a political thing, um, a British ...
DG
It was right after Pearl Harbor.
BM
Yeah, I can't, I don't know who the person was in Britain but they said “Oh, Canada, you should be helping.” So they sent these two battalions or whatever to Hong Kong and within two weeks they were prisoners of war and horribly treated because Britain had no intention of defending Hong Kong. So, really, they just sent them to their slaughter. So my grandfather was very involved in that so he didn't want to see the same thing happen in Canada should the Japanese invade. Ottawa just said, “Sorry, we can't help you.” That's where he got really, kind of, anxious trying to get the troops out. He got Rawlston to bring all sorts of, you know, strengthen all the defenses around BC, which, when you really think about it, you know, did it make sense that Japan was going to invade? Not really. He probably got fearful of that.
00:41:00.000
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DG
But at that time you could see, right, yeah, like after Pearl Harbor, right?
BM
Yeah.
DG
And then the fall of Hong Kong was in the same month, and then January '42 is when they started to ... But there's defenses up in Prince Rupert and all that, right? So, I mean, they did fortify it a bit.
BM
But, in the end, bringing all those troops out was a bad move, too, which, yeah, because they should have been better off fighting somewhere else. I think that's where he was very, um, was the fall of Hong Kong, and the fact that Britain, you know, they just didn't try to defend it at all.
LJ
Yeah, and yet, you say he was a strong monarchist. Such behavior from the empire could make lesser men want to turn their backs on the queen.
DG
Yeah.
BM
No, never did.
DG
No, never. Yeah, I think there's lots of evidence in his letters and things that he was very, very concerned about BC and he felt a responsibility to advocate. So I think, in our mind, I shouldn't speak for you, but I think we can rationalize or understand why he advocated for what he did in those early years in 1941, 1942, it's, kind of, as it played out in my mind it became more of a ... There's political gains to be made. I find that the hardest part to accept is, kind of, postwar in 1947 and stuff when he ...
BM
Repugnant, I think is the right word for that.
DG
But, then, you know, he should have, you know, he kind of fell victim to, I mean, all the politicians were doing the same thing, right? I don't know if you've seen the campaign slogans in 1945, including Justin Trudeau's grandfather, it was all anti-Japanese. Ian Mackenzie's 'no Japanese from the Rockies' to the ...
BM
'From the Rockies to the seas.'
DG
Yeah, so granddad never had, we've never seen campaign slogans like that but I'm sure he spoke, you know, the same way.
BM
It's in 1945, I think, about how the Japanese weren't going to come back.
DG
Right, I guess it became ...
BM
Then, in the brochures, the campaign brochures, which is, yeah, it's really, really hard to believe but ...
DG
Yeah, especially at that point, right? I mean, Japan is decimated. Why?
BM
After midway there was no danger of Japan ever but ...
DG
Yeah, so that's the part I find the hardest to accept is the decision to keep the Japanese out for another four years. It's, like, you know, at that point you should have been able to ... You shouldn't have been making political capital out of peoples' suffering. He should have ... but, I guess, I don't know laughs.
LJ
Yeah, so I guess that a good segue to, maybe, talk about how you all have come to your perspectives and how we're sitting here today.
DG
Yeah.
LJ
It doesn't sound like, maybe, you got the resolution or the chance to really hear out with your grandfather what alternate possibilities but, um, how have you come to hold up his legacy, appreciate that he was doing the best he could at the time but, at the same time, come to some very different perspectives?
00:44:48.000
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DG
Yeah, well, I was actually the one who nominated him for the building honor. So it was ... I totally admired everything he had achieved, you know, in his political career and I always thought it was strange that he never had really been recognized for that and, you know, not knowing. I assume it's because of this anti-Japanese thing that he was never, you know, because I think he had said to us that he would have loved to have been a senator or whatever, right, but he never got any of that kind of recognition once his political career ended. That was the end. So when I saw the announcement to nominate somebody for the naming of the building I submitted his name. I think I wasn't the only one. I think there were others. I don't think I have it anymore but whatever I submitted, it was, you know, I talked all about this, his disarmament stuff and all that he had done for Canada and that kind of thing so I was quite surprised when they chose his name because, of course, I knew, you know, I had done my history degree at that point so I knew, obviously, that he had been anti-Japanese but they still chose his name anyway. So, yeah, it was obviously ...
LJ
So you had done a history degree and you had learned about ...
DG
Yeah, and I actually talked to him about it but he was, you know, he was so elderly at that point that I don't really remember much about the conversations and whether or not he could, really, you know, vocalize what he felt or whatever. Yeah, I had taken several courses with Patricia Roy so I had, actually, written some papers based on his letters and I'm sure I discussed with him what was in the letters but he was pretty old at that point so ...
BM
It was really too bad that Patricia Roy, herself, or that Peter Mook that I was professor with didn't think, “Oh, this is an excellent opportunity” but I don't think that people really were thinking that way until Patricia Roy was even ... A little bit afterward she wrote all her 'White man's' ...
DG
The series on them, on BC.
BM
It was so ingrained, I think, the anti-Asian feeling that it was, sort of, so accepted, really. Anyhow, that's too bad. Keep going, sorry.
DG
So I guess we had the building naming ceremony and, you know, it was all wonderful and people said very nice things about him and what an honor it was. So, you know, that kind of lasted for a few weeks and the whole controversy erupted and ...
BM
It was a while ago.
DG
No, it wasn't very long afterwards. I think they grieved the name right away.
BM
I don't blame them.
DG
No, of course not.
BM
I never, right from the, well, we tried to make sense of it at first. I did but then I didn't have any ... Help yourself, Josh. I don't think there was anything ... I would have done exactly the same thing.
DG
Mhm. I didn't ... I think it still came out of left field for us. We weren't expecting any kind of, you know ... As I said, I was surprised they chose his name in the first place because, what was her name, the historian, Jean Barman, was on the committee, right? I think I even said something to her at the ceremony, because she was at the building dedication ceremony, that I was surprised they chose him because, you know, he had been involved in both good and bad. She was the one who, sort of, dismissed it as, you know, it was the tenor of the times that, you know, it was understandable what had happened and we met with her a couple times afterwards. She was very good about explaining how the committee had chosen and not overlooked, by any means, that but had been able to accept what had happened and what he stood for and, you know, that he deserved the honor for everything else that he had done.
LJ
So the name goes up on the building, it's 2006?
DG
Yeah, it's August 2006.
BM
I just want to make a little insight before that. We went on a family holiday which I ended up writing a book for one of my university courses. That summer, and it was right before, we went to Kaslo and there's a wonderful museum there, Japanese Canadian museum. Well, we never even went. We didn't think it had nothing to do ...
DG
Well, we went to the internment center in New Denver.
BM
No, no. We didn't go to the museum though in Kaslo. Donna knew more than I did but I didn't really ... And then we went to the internment museum in New Denver and I'm looking at things that I'd never seen before, you know, with all the cars lined up. I don't know if you've seen that picture of the cars. I'm going, “Oh, my god. This is awful.” We didn't really connect it with our family at all. I didn't.
DG
No.
00:50:02.000
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BM
Like nothing, you know, and then we didn't even ... We talked about how awful it was for twenty-miles down the road and then that was it.
DG
I think we always, sort of, dismissed it because he was an opposition MP, right, that he didn't have any influence on what had happened.
BM
So then it was ... And then when we first found out about the objection to the building and then we started reading and I'm reading what he said in parliament, which wasn't bad. I don't know if you've read the transcripts at all?
LJ
Yeah, some of them.
BM
Yeah, so there was some really vocal MPs that said awful things whereas my grandfather was very logical about what he said. I thought, “Well, this isn't that bad” but then you, kind of, you have to really read between the lines and then put it towards what that would mean to individual people and families. Of course, once you start reading what happened to the Japanese Canadians, their stories, you think, “Oh, my god. That was just so awful.” I think that, personally, I think that if he had been, being a prominent BC MP, if he'd be on the other side this never would have happened.
DG
No, I don't agree with that.
BM
I think he was pretty ... because he was rational people tend to believe rational people.
DG
But even Angus MacInnis, at that point, was pro-internment, right? Or pro-moving-them. So I think something still would have happened right after Pearl Harbour but, yeah, whether or not, I don't know.
BM
But if at the end of the war he'd said “Okay, everybody come back” like they did in the U.S., “The war's over” this would never have happened, all this stuff.
DG
Yeah.
LJ
That's a big bright line that you all identified as his comportment or behavior toward Japanese Canadians after the war.
BM
Mhm.
DG
Yeah, that's the part that I really struggled with when he was ... because that's when people were trying to get their land back, right? Buck Suzuki, he wouldn't even entertain ... He was ...
BM
I don't know where that reference is now but he ... I don't know if you know who Buck Suzuki was. He's been honored for quite a few things and he wanted to come back for some reason between 1945 and 1949, and my grandfather got involved and said “No, nobody back” which made no sense. That made no sense. If they had come back and got their possessions, like a lot of the people even if they're ... I mean, the houses being sold and everything. That's a whole other story. Some people, the neighbors were storing their possessions and stuff but they couldn't come back at all. I mean, that's ...
DG
That made no sense and that's so wrong.
BM
That was him, you know, saying no because he was afraid of, you know, the discrimination coming back. I don't know if people ... It's hard to say because we weren't there. After the war, did people have a lot of resentment towards Japanese from Japan? I don't really know because it didn't really affect, the war in Japan, didn't affect Canadians as much as Americans.
DG
Right.
BM
Their sons were all killed and everything but there wasn't really a lot of Canadians.
DG
Even our own relatives say that, right, of, like, how mistreated the Japanese, you know, the Canadian prisoners were mistreated by the Japanese in Hong Kong and stuff or prisoner of war camps. I mean, that's how people can rationalize that in their minds of, like, the torture of ... I mean, it's horrible what happened to them but it's like 3000 soldiers. How you can equate what happened during the war to, you know, Canadian citizens losing their possessions and not being allowed back to there after the war makes no sense, right? People will fall back on that if you've interviewed other Caucasians, right? People from that time, but even, like, there's so many people who are older than us but, like, Emery who was saying that she wasn't allowed to play with Japanese kids, like, there was ... Even long after the war was over there was still a lot of divisions or whatever, suspicions about, which makes no sense, right?
LJ
Well, that's a good question I suppose then. I mean, you're ... Where was your dad in all of this? Was he ...
DG
It's interesting because he, our father, had dementia late in life but when all of this was happening he still had all his faculties. He was a very educated and, you know, scholarly man as well. So we did ask him. He says he doesn't really remember discussing it.
00:55:14.000
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BM
He said he wasn't ... He went to McGill and he wasn't there. Yeah, I found it amazing, like, the disconnect in our family was huge because my father actually went up to the Slocan Valley, like, within two years and was working up there. So all of the camps are still there and the people are still there. In Kaslo they were there. We went to Kaslo all the time but the disconnect that that had anything to do with our family was gigantic. I don't think that they ... There is a man who my father was very close to that we would like to interview ourselves and they worked since the late '40s and he's Japanese Canadian, right? His wife was in a camp and ... I don't know, my father never seemed to take any kind of responsibility or even have an opinion on it which we found very interesting.
DG
But my uncle was more ... My uncle defended my grandfather's actions, like, to his death. My uncle just passed away and he was very much a believer.
BM
That the Japanese were a threat.
DG
Yeah. No, they do, they totally defend what uncle John believed, right? The whole fifth columnist thing.
BM
I don't want that in.
DG
Oh, okay, whatever. Yeah, there's discord in our family of what, you know, who to believe. There's people who support what my grandfather did and advocated for, very, you know, whereas we're the only ones, I think, who've taken any kind of initiative to understand and explore, you know, maybe there is a different side to this. Maybe granddad was too strong in what he advocated for.
BM
I think it's just not really knowing the whole extent, that's all.
DG
Yeah, well it's people choosing to believe what they want to believe, right? And not explore. So I think we've met with ... I don't know if you know that we've met with Joy Kogawa and reached out to a lot of people in the Japanese Canadian community, trying to understand, you know, what their impressions of our grandfather are. So there's ...
LJ
How was that?
DG
Uh, it was pretty interesting.
BM
It was fine.
DG
Yeah, but I mean we did hear some pretty painful things and things that I think are totally inaccurate. But, there again, it's people's perspective of what they learned and ...
BM
Yeah, it's interesting because the resistance that we have, which has been very limited I would say, the resistance of Japanese Canadians to talk to us. The resistance we have had is exactly the same stubbornness that my grandfather had, right? “We're not going to listen to your side of it.” Then they said, “Well, I'm not listening to your side.” Well, then now you don't get anywhere. Most people have been very open to us.
DG
Yeah.
BM
The only thing that we found quite upsetting is that, two people whose names I won't mention, have likened him to Eichmann or Hitler. It's just so far from the truth that it's, we can't continue that conversation because it's just not who he was, right? He made a mistake, like a big mistake, and thought people were different than they were. So it's ... but it's not like, um, you know ...
LJ
Was he a racist?
BM
Well, we've been through that over, and over, and over again with Joy Kogawa. She wanted me ... I don't know if ... She's written a book lately. In it she includes our conversations in her book. At the end of it I say “Yes, he was a racist” because, yes, he was. He wanted ... He qualified people on the basis of their race which is the definition of a racist, really. It wasn't just something that I've had trouble coming to terms with because I work in a situation at work where, you know, people have to have legitimate ID, right, for instance. This is kind of an offside but if their driver's license expired last week, which happens to us probably, this is at Air Canada, probably once a week at least, so I have coworkers who go “That person is not going. There is no exception to that rule. That is the Transport Canada rule. There is absolutely no exceptions.” I'm like, “Come on, you can see that they're the same person.” My grandfather was definitely, “These are Japanese Canadians. They are over there. They are different.”
01:00:24.000
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DG
I don't think he would even call them Japanese Canadians, right? He would call them ...
BM
No, he called them Japanese Canadians.
DG
Did he?
BM
Yeah, those people were over there and there was absolutely no exception to that they all stay over there. You know, of course they're people and there's all sorts of different ... It's not that he didn't know Japanese people because he did. The minister at his mother's church was Japanese but he couldn't ... There's quite a few people that we know that he did know but there were no exceptions. That's something that I have trouble with. I think I might've gotten off topic. What was it?
DG
You know, was he a racist?
BM
Was he a racist, yes. So that is the definition of a racist where you divide people by their race. So, yes, I guess he was but was he ...
DG
Was he Eichmann? No laughs.
BM
No. I mean, that's what happened with the Jewish people, right? I mean, that's, you know, the ... If you had ... Which made no sense either. Yeah, so I guess it's all the same and why that? I don't know. I guess he was but not a ...
DG
But then was everyone else in BC a racist at the same time?
BM
Yeah.
DG
Probably, right? So, you know, was he any different than anybody else?
BM
It's interesting because one of the Japanese Canadian women who I spoke to, who has since died, was really anti-gay. We got into this conversation and I'm thinking, like, “What do you have against gays?” She says, “Oh, no, no, no.” So they're over there, right?
LJ
Right.
BM
So, I mean, everybody's got those ...
DG
Tendencies.
BM
Tendencies in them and it's just, you know, might be whatever of classifying people. I think that's, kind of, the human mind is to classify people. Now it's gotten a lot better because there's so much mix-raced people and, you know, it's pretty multicultural.
DG
Yeah.
LJ
What do you think you would say about, I mean, so we're not quite in ... Are we in this riding, right now, Vancouver South?
DG
No.
BM
No.
LJ
It's a little bit further south of here, a little further west.
BM
Point Grey.
LJ
Yeah.
DG
Yeah.
LJ
What do you think he would say about this Vancouver that we're seeing?
BM
Oh, that's what my mom always says. “What would granddad think about all the Chinese here?” Yeah, I don't know laughs.
DG
I don't know.
BM
He liked Chinese people though.
LJ
Yeah?
BM
Yeah.
DG
Yeah.
LJ
How did that come up in conversation?
DG
We're not totally certain. We could never really piece that together but, after, he went back into private practice as a lawyer after. He was helping Chinese families, like the whole Paper Sons thing of reuniting families. So, every Christmas he'd get these bouquets and gifts and stuff from Chinese families.
BM
It was often Chinese people in his, Chinese men, like we'd go visit him at Christmas and then often Chinese men would come to the door.
DG
Bringing him gifts, yeah.
BM
There's not anybody to ask about that anymore.
DG
Right but we ...
BM
And he mentored Douglas Young, but, you see, there's people that don't like to admit that. Douglas Young's son is not ... I have it in writing, a letter from Douglas Young thanking him for all the help that he'd given him and all this sort of stuff. So it's not that he ... but, you see, Chinese, they weren't fighting. It was who you were fighting against and the Chinese were on our side in World War Two. The Japanese were on Canada's side in World War One. That's why he thought that, he argued that. That's in writing, too, in the House of Commons. That was different because they weren't fighting against us.
LJ
And I'll just clarify so that we remember this later that Douglas Young was deemed the suitable replacement for the name of the building.
DG
But then, not to be racist or anything, but was that like a peace offering to them? You know? Like, who knows?
BM
Don't worry about that, that's an aside.
DG
I know, but I mean I think any kind of cynic would ask that question, right? Like it's a political thing, right? To name a building after somebody. So, I mean, obviously Douglas Young was an excellent choice. I'm not saying that but, you know, you're not going to choose another white person, potentially?
BM
They should have actually chosen Angus McInnis if they were going to do ...
DG
I don't know if he was nominated, maybe. Like, Joy said they should have chosen Rosemary Brown who would have been awesome.
BM
You know what, I think they should stay away from naming buildings after people laughs.
DG
I think they have, haven't they?
BM
No. They just put the thing with the women on the ...
DG
Oh, the bill, yeah.
01:05:00.000
01:05:00.000
BM
The bill. I actually studied Viola Desmond in my class, in my races class. I mean, there's nothing wrong with that choice but she wasn't nearly the presence of some of the other women but they couldn't do Nellie McClung or anything because she was racist.
DG
Yeah, she was involved in eugenics, right? So ...
LJ
Well, one choice by definition rules out many others, right? It sounds like the building begins a bit of a different phase for you all.
DG
Yeah.
BM
Oh, for me it was huge.
DG
Even for me, too, because even though I had studied I never knew the depth. I mean, I knew, obviously, and you knew, too, that the Japanese had been interned but I kind of thought it was selective or, you know, it wasn't everybody.
BM
I had no idea about the houses.
DG
It wasn't until we went into granddad's, you know, we're reading the House of Commons thing and he was ... You know, even though they would have had very minimal records at that time he knew that there were 22,703 Japanese in Canada and where they were, like Prince Edward Island had five. They had those kind of records because, I guess, people had to register which is ...
BM
Have you ever read Muriel Kitagawa's book 'This is my Own?'
LJ
Yeah, I've read pieces of it, I believe.
BM
Interestingly enough, she was very much like my grandfather in her love of Canada. Anyhow, she speaks about how awful it is to be referred to by number. That really hit home for me. When I read that I thought “Woah, yeah, this is what he does” you know, talks about them in numbers. It's an interesting read. I would definitely ...
DG
And she talks about granddad, right?
BM
Only one thing she says, she refers to him. She has a very similar personality. Had they both met they would have realized that they loved Canada in the same way but, of course, they never met. That's actually a very good book about what it was like in Vancouver for ... because she's pretty educated and she's very, very proud of her country. Yeah, anyhow. Yeah, definitely the building was where it changed because ...
DG
It became a huge learning opportunity for us, like, we never would have ...
BM
Mary Kitagawa who has no relation to Muriel, I don't think, is, I phoned her because she was the person that they had said in the newspaper was, you know, heading the protest or whatever. So I phoned her and I said, “Oh, that's not who my grandfather is” and she said, “Get yourself an education.” So I did. So I went and took all these ...
DG
If I ever write the book, that's what I'm going to call it.
BM
What?
DG
'Get yourself ...' I thought she said to you, yeah, something around education, right? Educate yourself.
BM
Educate yourself and then we never have really talked at any great length since then. So I took all these, you know, Jordan Stanger-Ross' course on racism and John Price. Do you ... You know him?
LJ
Yup.
BM
John Price, I don't necessarily agree, you know all those racism courses? And then family history, I took the family history course with Eric. He's also involved in your ...
LJ
Sager.
BM
Sager, yeah. He was an excellent professor because to all my theories he'd go “Mmm.” You prove that? laughs.
DG
He's been around a while because I had him in the '80s.
LJ
Yes, he has.
BM
I've met lots of Japanese Canadian people and talked to people at great length and, yeah, you get yourself an education and you realize that's ...
DG
Yeah, you certainly reached out and met a lot of people.
BM
Lots of different people. So it's been very interesting.
LJ
So, a new chapter it sounds like of literally getting an education, going to UVic and taking classes.
DG
And just talking to people.
BM
Have you met Henry Yu? Yeah because he said he would speak to our family which, maybe, I'll pursue that.
DG
Is he the one at UBC?
LJ
Yeah.
BM
Yeah, and he could explain. I feel a little bit better about it because he's East Asian, not white like, you know, Patricia Roy, Jordan, all those people. Maybe we'll do that one day but it has been very interesting.
01:10:05.000
01:10:05.000
DG
Mhm. I think ...
BM
Unfortunately, it doesn't really fit in that well with your project because we can't find any record. We know for a fact that my grandfather didn't profit in any way from any of the possessions or anything to do with that. He was totally against, what do you call it when ...
DG
Profiteering.
BM
Well, yeah, profiteering, no but what do you call it with politicians that profit from ...
DG
Oh, like corruption and stuff?
BM
Yeah, he was totally against anything like that. He didn't actually make any money in politics. The only money, really, he had at the end of his life was from his house. He only mentions it two or three times, about the house. I don't know whether he wasn't really aware. I mean, aware of what was happening with selling all the homes. I don't know whether he ... DONA And, I mean I would like to kind of think that he didn't think that that was his ... I mean, A, he was in the opposition so he wouldn't be privy to any of that but I think if he was focused on the defense, he's like, you know, “That's kind of taken care of.” As you said, he was looking for a solution. So they may have found a solution. “People moved, we're preventing them from coming back.” I don't think he ever, and certainly that correspondence with Buck Suzuki, you know, trying to appeal to him on a personal level of, like, “I've lost my home. I want my home back” I don't think he ... Which is really hard to accept but I don't think he listened to people's personal stories, which is hard. It's like, as you said, it's like, “Okay, this population has moved on. That problem's taken care of. I'll move on to bigger things.” I think he saw that the problem was solved from his perspective, however hard that is to admit. Yeah, there's certainly nothing that he got involved anybody's personal appeals for their properties back.
BM
That's so ...
DG
It's unfortunate. He could have done a lot to help people because there is, I mean, the one family that got their properties back, right? And ...
BM
San Zuki.
DG
Yeah, I just saw the play of the guy out in Strawberry Hills and he appealed.
BM
He appealed the MP who was also an anti-Japanese MP, Thomas Reid.
DG
But he knew the guy. He knew him personally. He was the only guy who ever got his property back because of personal political connections. So my granddad could have done that for people but he didn't.
BM
Instead he helped the Chinese emigrate from China illegally, I think.
DG
Yeah.
BM
I think that was, probably, the gist of it.
DG
That's what a paper son was, right?
BM
The gist of it was not their actual relatives that they'd bring in.
DG
Yeah.
BM
So I think he did it. That was his ...
LJ
How do you think he made sense of that? I mean, he sounds like he was such a litigious guy.
BM
I don't know. That's interesting because I think that's, kind of, all the ...
DG
Yeah, he would've done it for them because he discounted his legal fees all the time, right, to help people. He wasn't doing it for the money. I don't know if he ...
BM
Yeah, I don't know.
DG
Yeah, it's something we've never really delved into. We should to try and understand.
BM
It's all very ... Like, I don't think there's any records of that. People don't know they brought in people and changed their names and stuff when they came here and the wrong birth certificates. I don't know. We don't really know. We tried to go back to his office staff and they didn't really remember. So there's really nobody else to ask.
DG
All we have is the mystery of the gifts that would show up at Christmas laughs.
BM
From the Chinese people in the house.
DG
People were grateful to him for whatever reason.
BM
You can deduce from that that he wasn't anti-Asian. He was only anti-Japanese. He says that himself. So it's ... And probably anti-German, too.
DG
But, yeah, he never said that. He would have been anti-Italian, probably, too, right? Anybody who was against Canada or the empire ...
LJ
Against the empire, sure.
DG
Yeah, would have been ...
LJ
So you started taking classes and you've talked to people and I guess I'm just wondering, was it defeating, is it difficult, those conversation that you had? You've heard, probably in the last decade, more difficult things about your grandfather than the last many decades before.
01:15:01.000
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BM
Well, we've had ... I think there's been very few people that actually have any hard facts about how he influenced, you know ... Joy Kogawa's very hard on him but I kind of doubted her in a way but then I realized when I was looking through all of his clippings because he'd clip out all the readers or interesting things. There's a picture in them all. So she certainly knew who he was and all that. I think what's been difficult for me is the effect that somebody can have when they think that they're doing the right thing and they destroy so many lives. That's a really difficult thing to come to terms with is that, you know, it's been very difficult for me emotionally, I think, to come to terms with it. Most people we speak to are people that are my age. I'm already sixty, so my age and, you know, a little bit older and they're no more influenced than I was. Most people's families have long since moved on from that. So it's really the ... I mean, a gross generalization is that the people that were teenagers during the internment, they actually had quite a bit of fun often. You know, playing baseball and doing all these different things. There was the generation above that that was destroyed. I often say to people that don't really think that it's, um, you know, it was the war time. Lots of white people say “Oh, it's the war. That was justified” and all that. I'm thinking, how would I like it right now if someone took away my home and my money, really, because that's what they did do, and at my age, and then all of a sudden you've got nothing after you've worked your whole life. People don't really understand that. That's what happened, basically. The way the old people were treated wasn't very nice either, really. You know, have to live in these homes in New Denver. Have you been to New Denver?
LJ
I've been to Kaslo and I've been to New Denver, yeah.
BM
Yeah, you know the little ...
DG
The shacks.
BM
Yeah, the families shared and it was freezing cold. I mean, how would you like it if your eighty-one year old grandmother was living like that? That's awful.
DG
Shocking, right? Now your eighty-one year old grandmother could be deemed a threat to Canada laughs.
BM
I know. I know. Emotionally, I think that's what's been the hardest. Not actually speaking to people like the two people that have compared him to Hitler, I think. Well, you're just as ignorant as he was, really, because that's not who he was. It's the same way, you know, that your relatives weren't, you know, they didn't torture anybody or anything, right? It's the same thing. That's the hard ...
DG
That was the hardest thing, when I heard that comparison to Eichmann because, of course, having studied history, that's not the same thing, right? I mean, Eichmann's the architect of the Holocaust. I'm like, “how could you be so wrong?” I mean, obviously, he's not. I have a theory, I don't know that you buy into, that, you know, on the Japanese Canadian side they needed a person to be the epitome of evil which they have chosen my grandfather to be, perhaps because he went on to be a very high profile politician. He wasn't at that point. He was a nobody. He was a junior MP for an opposition party. So here's someone who achieves prominence and then, you know, when all the controversy erupted over the building it's like, “Okay, well, you know, here's our chance to ...” not get revenge, I don't want to say that at all but just the fact that there's somebody who we see as the epitome of evil and, justifiably, we want to take that honor away from him. That's, kind of, my ... That's the hardest part, I think, for me to try and understand is that they could have that viewpoint of him when, you know, to us he was the most wonderful grandfather, ever. I think, you know, if he had apologized, if he had been able to say, not even personally that he had done something wrong, just that what had happened to the Japanese Canadians was wrong and he was sorry for his part in it, I mean, he could have changed his legacy. The fact that he chose not to do that, that's the part I find the hardest to accept. I think he knew. As Barb said, he had all these things that he'd make the notes on. I mean, his argument became ridiculous the longer the note time went on. He's still doing interviews, we've never heard it, but there was one that he did for Global, I think in the late '70s, it sounded like he was ridiculed.
01:20:15.000
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DG
He wrote about it in his diary. “The interviewer couldn't understand my standpoint” or, you know, whatever. So he must've, he was a smart man, so he must've realized as time went on that, you know, all these arguments he was making made no sense anymore. I mean, I used to make it a fact of, I mean, I have quite a few Japanese Canadian friends and all this was happening. I would apologize to them and most of them would be like “I've never heard of your grandfather, for one.”
BM
laughs. Nobody actually ...
DG
Yeah, like Susan, a woman, she was a client of mine. Her last name was Tomihiro and she told me a little bit ... It's totally off topic but our grandfather's would have known each other because her family was in Cumberland.
BM
The other grandfather.
DG
Yeah, the woman's grandfather. Her uncle and her great uncle ended up buying the sawmill from our great grandfather.
BM
Interesting enough, that's a little bit of what I was touching on earlier, is that sawmill did exceptionally well once the Japanese took it over.
DG
Yeah.
BM
But then it was, of course, all taken away from them. So we often wonder if that was why there was anti-Japanese on that side because they ...
DG
They lost the sawmill. It basically went bankrupt. The Tomihiro family bought it. So there's all these weird connections. When I asked Susan directly, because her father is basically the same age as our father, he's in his late eighties, so he was interned as was her mother. I apologized to her for my grandfather's role. She asked her father, you know, her dad had been, obviously, impacted by internment and he's like “I've never heard of him.” So there's the people like Joy and Mary Kitagawa who, you know, my grandfather was the epitome of evil to and then there's lots of other Japanese people who have never heard of him. So, it's kind of like ... That's kind of like a seed that we're left with is like “Okay, well, was he as evil as we've been told by some people?”
BM
He wasn't evil. You know that he's not evil.
DG
No, I know he's not evil but I think that's the emotional thing that we debate all the time is like ...
LJ
Can good people do evil things.
DG
Yes, exactly.
BM
Yeah. Mhm. Yeah, and what is evil?
DG
Yeah, what is evil? They're deep psychological questions but was he evil? No. Did he think he was doing the right thing? Yes. Should he have admitted ...
BM
Did he do the right thing? No.
DG
Yes.
BM
That's why I think it's really important not to get stuck in your belief system. If you think about, if he believed that since he was a small boy, which he says many times, he believed that. During the war he would have been in his mid-fifties because the war is until '45 and he was born in '94 so he would be almost, yeah, fifties.
DG
Yeah, he was in his fifties.
BM
So you believe something your whole life and then it takes a long time for you to, for the human ... I mean, at the end of your life, maybe, we'll find out something that we believed our whole life wasn't really true. I think it just took him a long time.
DG
But why could he have not said, you know, just to somebody.
BM
In any war there's never apologies for many things. You know, like Churchill caused all those deaths in Gallipoli. That was just a stupid choice. Do you think Churchill ever said, “Oh, god, I was wrong. What about all those people?”
DG
No, I know. Apologized, no, to the Australians. There's so many examples of people making a decision that has an impact on a huge number of people and did they ever apologize for it or admit they were wrong?
LJ
But what of redress? Did your grandfather have any opinions?
BM
All that he did was, as far as I know and I think that Donna knows, he clipped out all the stories and put them on a piece of paper. So he obviously followed it.
DG
Even though he had dementia himself, by that point, but he was still ... Because he died in 1989 and redress is in 1988, right?
BM
You guys keep talking. I'll see if I can find the thing that ...
DG
So, yeah, he followed it until his death. There's no doubt about that. Oh, yeah, those are his notes.
BM
This would be a note from '87. He would be ninety-two. There he is trying to figure out ...
01:25:01.000
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DG
Yeah, so that's when redress would have been happening, right?
BM
This is, yeah, that's another one from that. That's when he could barely write but he wrote these notes over, and over, and over again.
DG
Yeah, the same arguments right?
BM
Yeah.
LJ
He writes: “Pearl Harbor, sneak attack.” Yeah.
DG
Show Josh the telegram, too.
BM
Yeah, that's relevant to his project. This is where he was writing in 1972. Of course, you can see the difference in his handwriting. You can see that this is a really old man and he was not speaking to anybody then. He just was writing it for his own interest.
LJ
Yet, still Roman numerals and dated.
BM
Yeah, very methodical, logical arguments. So, obviously, he was having an argument with himself when he wrote that because he didn't ...
DG
Or maybe he anticipated that a journalist would call him, right?
BM
No, no. I don't think, no, because he was well passed that.
DG
But, I mean, it was in the news, right? Because it was redress.
BM
Yeah, maybe.
DG
I don't think he would have been interviewed but ...
BM
No, I don't think so. I think it must have been on his own.
DG
Where's the telegram because there's stuff on that, too, right? Have you ever seen this? Victoria or Patricia Roy said she had seen them.
LJ
I haven't seen this one, no.
DG
As you can see at the bottom, he's made notes of who everybody was because it was very prominent people, right? Like the Woodward family and stuff so he's written all that. So, again, I think that would have been when he was interviewed after the war he would have been showing that telegram to people.
LJ
Right. This is ...
DG
1942.
LJ
February 24th, 1942.
DG
Yeah, so that's when they were making the decision for internment.
LJ
So he would have been sending this telegram to all the ...
DG
No, that's who it came from.
LJ
Oh, it came from these people and it was going to him.
DG
Yeah.
LJ
Okay.
DG
So all the BC politicians would have had it. That's why Patricia, when I showed her that copy, she's like “Oh, I've seen this before,” you know, somebody else's version of it.
BM
I can't find it.
DG
What are you looking for?
BM
Oh, just the ... where the redress thing. So here it is where he cut them. I guess I didn't bring the paper. That's the kind of thing that he cut out. He had all those so he knew all about the redress.
LJ
Yeah, op-eds from the province.
BM
Yeah.
DG
So he followed it.
BM
There was a piece of paper where he had them all pasted on there and then there was a comment but I guess I didn't bring it.
DG
You have a photocopy of all the articles together.
LJ
Yeah, it's clear that he was thinking about this until the end.
DG
Yeah.
BM
Yeah, which is sort of too bad, isn't it, that he didn't, uh, ...
DG
It would have made for a nice Hollywood ending, right, if he called a press conference as he's on his deathbed.
BM
I don't think I have it. No.
DG
He was definitely following it right until the end.
LJ
Yeah.
BM
Anyhow, that's ...
DG
I have the folder that he ... He had a manila folder like that. It's just called 'Japanese.' There's nothing in it anymore but it's in his handwriting so he was keeping all those articles together.
BM
Yeah, I didn't bring it I guess. You feel like they should be ... Somebody should do something with his stuff. Donna's going to write a book.
DG
Yeah.
BM
I think it's easy to demonize people that do things wrong but if you try to understand why they do it but, now, like I was saying about Trump, we're faced with something totally different. We're faced with somebody who just, I mean, doesn't even mind saying it and, maybe, isn't trying the best for his country. Who knows. Time will tell in another few years.
LJ
Two weeks.
DG
Exactly. You're American, is that right?
LJ
Yeah.
DG
It must be frightening to think what could happen but, yeah, there's not even a war going on, right? and Trump can say these sort of things and people ...
01:30:00.000
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LJ
The point that you make, though, is that at least in Kaslo and then early school days there wasn't a war going on and there wasn't ...
BM
No, no, no.
LJ
Hostility brewing under the surface.
DG
Have you read Patricia Roy's books, though? She documents the whole anti-immigrant or anti-thing.
BM
It was a long term thing.
DG
Yeah, and why BC suffered from it so badly, I don't know.
BM
It did change dramatically. Now, of course, we have a different kind of racism going on in Vancouver than there was, say, when I was young here. It did change dramatically, right? The racism feeling changed dramatically after the Second World War, like after 1950, I think.
DG
I still think, and maybe it's not just a BC thing but, like I said, my friend Mary, it was a big thing when her parents got married because they were Irish and her dad was Anglican or whatever and her mom ...
BM
Yeah.
DG
That's the kind of ... You knew everything about everybody's heritage, right? Like Daphne's mom's the same thing. It's like, “Oh, so and so, he's Ukrainian.” There was an order. To be British was the top of the order and everybody else, if you were, you know, even though you're still white you knew if somebody was Italian or they were whatever, right? So that whole thing is totally gone. I don't think ... We grew up in Vancouver. I did, anyway, seen so much change in the city. You would never ...
BM
The history of racism in Vancouver is not over. The story of racism.
DG
No, but, yeah, you're right. Now it's totally turned, right? People are resentful because there's wealthier people coming here that aren't white. That's how it's all turned.
LJ
Yeah, I contend that it's a very racist city. The racism, sometimes, can lurk just right underneath the surface. It really hasn't gone away but, maybe, sort of changed form.
BM
You probably notice the difference in Toronto, do you?
LJ
Oh, yeah. I think so.
DG
Much more diverse, right?
LJ
Yeah. I think you do notice a difference. Vancouver is British Columbia, right? That means something. I haven't quite entirely made sense of what that means having not lived here in its deeply monarchist days.
DG
Yes.
LJ
But, that did mean something.
DG
Loyalty to the Crown would have been above all, I think.
LJ
Yeah. I think that there is ways in which that continues to take shape in the region. It hasn't entirely gone away, for sure. When you say it's different, I'm wondering, I mean, was your family ... Were your mom and dad distant enough from the politics of your grandfather to support a more multicultural upbringing?
BM
Oh, for sure. There was never ...
DG
Nothing.
BM
And all of us have Japanese Canadian, or Asian friends. There was never ... My father was not discriminatory in any way. My mom's been ...
DG
She would have liked to have come today, I think, but she's quite proud of what we've done.
BM
She's very, very supportive. Racism was not taught in our home or in my grandfather's home, at all. No, not at all. I think that's something that's ... There was no ...
DG
We were raised in a very political house. We got forced to listen to CBC at dinner time, as it happens. I was like, “Oh, can we please just listen to the music station like anybody else would?” So I was very encouraged to pursue education and that kind of stuff. I don't remember any episodes of ...
BM
No, not at all.
DG
Somebody's lesser than you because of where they were from or anything. I mean, the city ... I graduated from Magee in 1985 and, you know, my class was ninety percent white. Now it's probably eighty percent Asian. So even in those thirty years it's changed entirely.
LJ
That's drastic.
01:35:00.000
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DG
Yeah. I don't know what my grandfather would think. Maybe he would want the city to be prosperous and things, right? So if that meant immigrants ... He did change a lot. I think the experiences he had as minister of external affairs ... He traveled a lot, which he hadn't done previously, so, you know, he met a lot of people and he actually became not only an advocate for disarmament but very much for education.
BM
He wanted students to come here to learn.
DG
Yeah, South African students. He himself, I think had changed a lot in his lifetime whether or not that was because of war.
BM
I think he thought through education that you would learn more about ... He liked the English side of things, right? So, of course, never acknowledged all the colonial mistakes England had made all over the world but the empire, the laws, were the right way. He used to say a lot about worshipping the emperor, the Japanese.
DG
But, yeah, he would worship his own emperor, really, being the Queen.
BM
So the commonwealth, that's why he was so big on the commonwealth because those were countries that had a foundation in the English justice system.
DG
Yeah.
LJ
Right.
BM
So, then the people from the commonwealth were fine. I went to Australia when I was very young and even though that could have been a perilous trip because I went by myself, that was fine because Australians were good people because they were, I think, part of the commonwealth.
DG
Yeah, probably if you had gone to Africa, that was a commonwealth country, that would have been okay.
LJ
Really?
DG
Yeah.
LJ
So as long as it's in the Queen's realm?
DG
Yeah.
BM
That's right.
LJ
America would have been a little questionable.
BM
laughs. Yeah, yeah.
DG
It probably would have been okay but, you know, if we had gone to Indonesia or something he would have ... because he was very concerned that we would all be travellers. He would be very concerned. Like there was this time that my brother was travelling in Australia and he had to call my grandfather once every two weeks. Rich missed the call and my grandfather, he had been in politics forever, right, but he still had a lot of connections at external affairs so he called somebody in Australia and got the Australian police looking for my poor brother. He had just missed the call by a day. There are lots of stories of him tracking down all of us all over the world. So he did use his connections every once in a while to keep tabs on us. That's the kind of stuff that my dad and uncle resented but we thought it was charming because he was our grandfather. He was stifling, I think, to them.
BM
Yeah. Yeah.
DG
He had very set standards for both of his sons who both had PhDs and stuff but they were meant to follow a certain track.
BM
That's a whole other story but he had a very strong mother who lived in Kaslo in a small town and never actually left since she moved there. She lived there her whole life. Didn't she? She was quite politically minded. She was very strong and very religious. That's the other thing that we haven't really discussed. My great grandmother, in particular, was very, very religious.
LJ
Anglican?
BM
Yeah, Methodist I guess or whatever. My grandfather never had a drink his whole life.
DG
She made him sign a temperance pledge.
BM
Yeah. He never drank one drop of liquor even in the war. Yeah.
LJ
Even in the external affairs?
DG
Yeah.
BM
Never.
DG
He used to say at that period he consumed a ton of orange juice in the service of Canada or something because he'd always have to have ...
LJ
A toast or something.
DG
Yeah, yeah. He never drank.
BM
So his mother was very rigid. You did things this way and that way.
DG
You didn't gamble, you didn't dance, you didn't, you know, there was all these things. She, then again it's family legend, whether or not it's true, I was told that, you know, she had designated him as, like, he was going to be prime minister of Canada. Even as a boy in this little frontier town in BC that was her vision for him and ...
LJ
That's a gutsy vision.
DG
Yeah, I know. So he almost got there. He was deputy prime minister. He never became prime minister.
BM
So they had a correspondence which I did one of my university papers on which I found really interesting. I took all of her ... They had a correspondence for sixty years and I kept the letters of both sides. They're in the archives and they're just so hard to read. Her handwriting is a bit hard to read. I took all the Japanese stuff out of it and you can see how she influenced him. Eventually, her husband's life was saved by the Japanese Canadian doctor in Kaslo which is quite something. She started saying, you know, “These are good people.” You could see where she ... Anyhow, it was really interesting doing it. I could send you a copy of it if you want because it's quite interesting.
01:40:20.000
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DG
The paper's really interesting.
BM
Yeah.
LJ
So was she proud of your grandfather?
BM
Oh, yeah. Whenever he spoke in ... I don't know how she would have heard that. The radio or I don't know. She would, you know, always comment on his speeches. Always positive and the other person was always negative. I don't know if you've ever read this. Do you have a copy of that with Angus MacInnis. It was published in Maclean's. He was saying “Should the Japs stay?” My grandfather was on the other side and, you know, everything he says is wrong. Well, she sends him a letter commenting on that.
DG
On the article, yeah.
LJ
Oh.
BM
But he was, my grandfather was always right. She never said anything against it even though he was totally wrong.
DG
But then there was dissenting opinion about her opinion of him phone rings. Oops, sorry.
BM
What he says is totally wrong. He actually writes somewhere that “My words stand the test of time” and, obviously, they don't if you look at that. So that's the ...
LJ
So I've read the text but I've never actually seen it and it's something else to see it.
BM
Mhm.
LJ
Mhm.
BM
So Angus MacInnis was obviously the person whose words stood the test of time.
DG
Yes. Though we have an article, right, that his wife wrote ...
BM
Oh, yeah, that's back in the ...
DG
Yeah but that was when the first ...
BM
Yeah, that was the beginning. I could understand that.
DG
But when the decision for internment was being made, they were actually pro-internment, right? They obviously changed their minds much sooner than my grandfather did.
LJ
Mm.
BM
I'll send you them if I can get a copy of my essay because then you can see what his mother said. It is kind of interesting how she supported him. Yeah, it was all involved, as far as she was concerned, it was all involved with religion. Praying they would do the right thing and say the right thing and make the right decision about ... The other thing that was interesting in reading her things was the division of how Japanese people could be good but they were different. Like, she never ... They were always different, right? Which is sort of ... but I think that was how people perceived racism, not racism but, you know, the different races at that time.
LJ
A proud mother nonetheless.
DG
Yeah.
BM
Yeah.
DG
Yeah, the letters are 'he could do no wrong.' Like, there's ...
LJ
Oh wow.
DG
Yeah.
BM
Yeah.
LJ
So I guess, I mean, certainly not from his mother and probably not from his party, would your grandfather have really heard much criticism in his day?
DG
I think Diefenbaker criticized what had happened with the Japanese because Diefenbaker believed that it was wrong. I think there was dissenting opinion between the two of them on that. It's too bad Diefenbaker didn't push him to do something about it.
BM
He brought up the Bill of Human Rights or Bill of Rights, Diefenbaker. Yeah, I don't know how much ... He got a lot of dissention more about his nuclear positions because eventually they lost the election, Diefenbaker's government, because of that, because of my grandfather's ... I don't know if there was a war hint. Yeah, that was probably where he would have got more criticism from that.
LJ
On nuclear disarmament?
BM
Right, disarmament.
DG
Even talking to, well, Eric Boardbush, the guy who when all this kind of happened he was writing the book on my grandfather and he said all this sort of stuff has erupted. He's just, sort of, dismissive of it that, you know, “there's nothing in your grandfather's career.” Well, ultimately it's everything but when you have all the other things that he did do right I think most people, sadly, could look beyond what happened with the Japanese Canadians and say “Oh, he did do all these wonderful things” but it's like ...
01:45:04.000
01:45:04.000
BM
But it's like, that's what's good about the Landscapes of Injustice. Is that going to be all publicized? Like all the properties and everything?
LJ
All the ...
BM
Where they were and ...
LJ
We're working on that. There's going to be maps, trying to pull together maps of Powell Street and Maple Ridge and a few other sites.
DG
I'm sure there's going to be some people that are outted in it, right? Like, some people who were opportunistic.
BM
Well, if you're living in a property that did go.
DG
Yeah, but I'm ...
LJ
It's tough. Certainly we have ethics forms. I'll talk about those. I think in terms of the ethics of how we talk about the property as it's moved. It's all public record. You can go to the land title office in New West and see. So I think we have to be, sort of, ethically minded about how we talk about what's happened because, obviously, people benefited. I've discovered that, you know, Jewish Canadians in Vancouver benefited whereas Jewish Canadians in Toronto may have employed Japanese Canadians who came to work. You know, people that may have well been part of my family and my lineage would have been, potentially, there to scoop up property and what does that mean? Certainly, I think whenever you talk about property, real property particularly in Vancouver it sort of elicits a lot of reactions, right?
DG
Yeah.
BM
Yeah. Mhm. Especially now with all the house prices being so high. I think property is, like, the number one topic, probably, in Vancouver.
LJ
I think so.
DG
Weather and real estate.
BM
It's interesting going to the Gulf Islands, too. I don't know if you've ever been there because almost everywhere we went on our sailboat it used to be Japanese owned.
DG
It would be a Japanese family, right?
LJ
Yeah.
BM
In beautiful bays and here and there, Galiano, and Main, and all of them.
DG
Cortes, they all had Japanese.
BM
So, yeah, I think that it's going to be interesting. That's why I was wondering if there's going to be, like in the papers will be “This is what used to be Japanese.” You see, because I don't think that people really realize the extent because it was, kind of, pushed aside. Now the school kids, we never learned that in school.
LJ
No. Yeah.
BM
And then now they learn it but it's sort of like, “Well, that's so far back. That doesn't really matter” or whatever. When you actually see a piece of land that was owned and was taken away and ...
LJ
The storefronts.
BM
Yeah, the storefronts. The cars, that's what I remember seeing and thinking “Oh, those are all brand new cars. They're well kept.” That's what really hit home for me but if you don't ever see that then you don't ever ... And we never saw that at school as kids. We never learned that.
DG
No. Oh, that's my family doctor laughs.
LJ
I think the idea is that we have a teacher education unit that's dedicated to trying to take some of the things that we all research and make and find ways to connect the stories to school aged children, particularly in BC because we could probably do more in terms of the way that the story is told and the way that the story is translated toward the future. I'm only sort of, like, passingly a historian. I'm a social scientist first. So my compulsion to do this kind of work is a sense that the story is not entirely over. In many respects our ability to be terrible to each other is, kind of, ongoing.
DG
That's the human condition, right?
BM
Yeah. Yeah. Mhm.
LJ
I think we have ...
DG
Humans are opportunistic, right?
LJ
At any given moment there seems to be seedlings of injustice or hate that make some of these conversations incredibly germane. I think that's the hope, right? The hope is that it can be taken up and translated and folks can engage with the history in, kind of, all different sorts of age appropriate ways and have an oral history collection and try to make sense of what was lost. One of the things that I hear a lot, that people reflect on, you know, we obviously went into this project a couple years ago wanting to hear about property but one of them is just the landscape of British Columbia. Many people that I talked to now are relocated. As you noted, your grandfather wanted Japanese Canadians, you know, east of the Rockies.
01:50:17.000
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BM
Somewhere else.
LJ
Somewhere else. So that has kind of imbued BC and Vancouver in particular with a real difficult, kind of, you know, spot for any number of folks that I talk to who miss this place deeply but also really, you know, and what kind of repayment can you put to that?
DG
You can't compensate someone for that.
LJ
Yeah. You know, farms, cars, fishing boats but there's something to be said for the landscape sort of emotional and real of BC.
BM
Yeah, yeah, for sure.
DG
People felt totally betrayed, right? Obviously they could have come back after 1949 but, yeah, it's like they didn't want to be there.
BM
Have you done many ... Well, you said you hadn't done very many interviews. You haven't done a lot of interviews.
LJ
Well, I've done, I personally have probably done about thirty, forty. We've done about a hundred or so in total.
DG
There's something next week, too, right?
LJ
At the library?
DG
Yeah.
LJ
Yeah, um, Mike from Victoria is organizing that. I've done, at this point I've done interviews pretty much across every province so from BC all the way out east to, basically, Aylmer, Quebec, all the way through. I mean, you hear everything. I think that's the point, you know, is that everyone has a different ...
BM
And you're interviewing mostly older people?
LJ
Yeah, I mean I think I hear a lot from folks who would have been going through internment. I interviewed a gentleman in his nineties but I've also interviewed people who were descendants of those who were interned as well as bystanders for lack of a better word, folks who were not Japanese Canadian or are not Japanese Canadian but may have had some relationship to the events. They may have lived in Kaslo, or Greenwood, or Tashme, and then ...
BM
It's too bad it wasn't all done, like, twenty years ago, right, or whatever.
DG
When there were still ...
LJ
Yeah, when there were still more people to talk to.
DG
Yeah.
BM
Yeah. I actually feel bad that I didn't do more because we did ... A couple of the people that I spoke to have died. I didn't do a very good job of recording what they said.
LJ
Yeah, I mean, it's ... I think that's one of the benefits of this project is that ... I mean, I do feel like we're sometimes racing against time to track the ...
BM
Mhm.
LJ
You know, time with everybody and to hear everyone's perspectives but at the same time that it's saved for posterity and that, you know, it can be pulled back and heard. And then with other things, kind of, next to it so when it's, you know, a record of land title transfer and, you know, maps that kind of show how an area changed. When you put all those things together maybe we're beginning to tell a richer and more wholesome accounting of what happened. You're right, stories have been said about your grandfather but perhaps not the whole story. I don't think we'll ever have a whole story. That's perhaps...
DG
No.
BM
No, because we only know from our point of view. Have you ever talked to anybody that knew him or knew of him?
LJ
Yeah, for sure.
BM
But have they said ...
LJ
Well, I know Mary quite well.
BM
Oh, Mary Kitagawa, yeah.
LJ
Yeah.
BM
I have to speak to her because she did, a year and a half ago, I guess, was it two years ago?
DG
Yeah, two years.
BM
Two years ago we did speak to her pretty briefly. I've got to contact her before she's, because she's not young either.
LJ
Yeah, and I saw Joy Kogawa a couple weeks ago.
BM
Did you?
DG
Oh, okay.
LJ
Yeah. What you say, I've heard, right? People have strong opinions. I'm always interested in these, kind of, flashpoints, these things that mobilize. So the building is one of these interesting flashpoints.
BM
Yes, it is interesting. Have you read Daniel Heights' article about the building?
LJ
I did, yeah.
BM
I was quite amazed at what he did because he did interview dad, I guess, didn't he? He took the information and what he wrote was pretty accurate.
01:55:05.000
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LJ
Yeah.
BM
He did a good job of taking written information and coming up with an accurate portrayal.
LJ
It seemed very generous to me.
DG
You influenced what he wrote, too? Right? Not influenced but you, I mean, he ran the drafts by us and we had a little bit of input into it. I mean, obviously, he wrote it how he wanted it but ...
BM
Donna and I, I think we both feel the same. We're afraid to admit that, you know, what he did was terribly wrong but we don't like to read things that aren't true, either, at the same time. So that's what's hard. You can't make him to be a demon when he wasn't. So it's not ...
DG
Yeah, I almost feel like throwing that back at Mary. “Educate yourself.” Well, it's like, okay, so we have made that ...
BM
So we educated ourselves, you educate yourself laughs. Actually, we never spoke to Mary that much.
DG
Yeah, I've met her at various things and she said she's quite impressed with the efforts that we've made to understand but, yeah, I think we changed Joy's mind a little bit about him.
BM
But the problem with people in power is, even though granddad wasn't the prime minister or anything like that, the trouble with people with power is that they have the upper hand. So even if he wasn't ... Um, what I'm trying to say here really ... So you can ... I mean, what he said influenced the course of what happened, for sure, right? It's not really very helpful to say that he was really a good person because he did do that.
LJ
Well, I mean, his mistakes are more costly than .
BM
That's right. Mhm.
DG
Yes.
LJ
Yeah.
DG
You and I advocating for a solution to the problem is different than a politician.
LJ
Right.
DG
That's always something I've ... because I work for Ipsos in public opinion research so that's something that I have always wanted to try and explore a little bit because, you know, you hear from some standpoints it's like “The politicians fabricated this or took advantage of it” whereas we've got lots of evidence from my grandfather's stuff that, you know, he was getting so much pressure from just his everyday constituents. So did the groundswell come from the constituents advocating for action or did it come from the politicians trying to make hay out of something or bring prominence to themselves. That's something that I've never been able to really reconcile. Jean Barman told us, so did Patricia Roy, that there were concerns that something was going to happen like another anti-Asian riot if, you know, something could have happened to the Japanese Canadians, if action hadn't been taken but then the Japanese ...
BM
You can see in the rhetoric that granddad used over and over and over again to keep people ...
DG
Riled up, yeah.
BM
Yeah. You have to prove that's all in that cognitive dissonance where you don't hear the things that don't fit in your theory. So whether it was him being sincere or did he want to ...
DG
Yeah, was he trying to make a political name for himself? We don't know that.
BM
You have to prove yourself right. Yeah, that's interesting.
LJ
Yeah, that's, I think, one of the things that I'm left with is that, um, particularly as you know opposition MP, junior MP, where is the damage done? Perhaps, most notably, it's in the rhetoric and that rhetoric, kind of, then going through some sort of cognitive dissonance or some sort of echo chamber.
BM
One thing that disturbed me is he ... There's a ... which has come up with Joy Kogawa because she's friends with this fellow's son. This guy wrote a column, and he was well known, and he wrote a column that, you know, says that, you know, you have to be careful and all this sort of stuff. This particular man actually changed his mind completely but my grandfather kept bringing up the same column five years later in the House of Commons even though he had no longer believed that.
DG
So Joy talks about that because Joy's friends with Elmer Philpot's son who didn't know that his father had written this article. She lobs the same thing at Stewart, you know, “Your father was racist.” “No, my father, he stood up for people.” So this column is, like, well, even he felt this way.
02:00:00.000
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BM
So that's what's, sort of, yeah, so, definitely, my grandfather is guilty of that, trying to keep something going that had changed but then, often, you know, to be fair to him there wasn't the communication that there is now. He was travelling back and forth and how could you keep on top of everything? Now it's a lot easier to keep on top of different things but if you don't have the telephone, and they didn't even use that really then, and discussions and you're not in Vancouver and how do you ... but I think he probably knew that Elmer Philpot had changed his tune.
DG
Of course he would have. Elmer Philpot would have pulled him aside and said stuff, you know, “My column, I don't feel that way.”
LJ
I'm wondering, you know, why, I mean, so, you know, Mary says go educate yourself. You have, immensely but, um, do we need to apologize or repair the, the work of past generations?
BM
No, I think that that's ...
DG
Actually, Joy held a reconciliation event at, um, because she has the house. So I went to that and I did apologize and, you know, I can't remember how I worded it. I'm sure I can find my little notes or whatever just saying, you know, what he had advocated for was wrong. We can't apologize on his behalf because that was his choice to make and he didn't but that we as a family, you know, had felt badly for what had happened. I can't remember my exact words.
BM
But you can't really do that can you?
DG
No, I mean, we can't apologize for him.
BM
Mhm.
LJ
I almost wonder if your grandfather could find a way to be proud of you for doing this even if he couldn't necessarily ...
DG
Yeah, that's an interesting question, like, if he's watching us from the great beyond going, you know, “Stop doing that.” It's very much about education and bettering yourself. I think he would be disturbed, probably, by what we've done but I think he would be proud of us. I don't know.
BM
Yeah, he wanted a better ...
DG
A better society.
BM
He wanted a country that worked. His country was really important to him. Yeah, I don't know.
DG
We're certainly ... Yeah, like, I think our mom's proud of us for what we've done and I think our dad. By, sort of, 2010 his dementia had taken over for him but when it was originally still happening I think he was proud of us for going out and doing the research and trying to understand.
LJ
Yeah. One could sort of imagine your grandfather might not necessarily agree with the politics.
DG
No, no. We could have had some great debates with him and I do regret not, as you say, in the '70s, even in the early '80s when he was still pretty involved it would have been an awesome time to have had that discussion of, like, “Tell me what happened.”
BM
But, of course, we are, I think, as a generation, me being the older part of the generation, I don't even know if you're in a different generation than me, but, you know, we've had no experience with war. We don't really ... none, like none, so it's ... I'm totally untouched by it. They have the ... Just because of his experiences with war. One lady, um, Lois Hashimoto, she has since died, she lived in Montreal, she was actually a great foe of Joy Kogawa's. They didn't get along at all. She said it's the war. She says it was all the First World War. Those people were broken from the first. You know, from seeing what the damages of war could be and that's their perspective and that's where we would have had the biggest arguments with granddad, I think, because we'd just have no understanding of it.
LJ
Yeah.
DG
I mean that was the second time the war had happened in his lifetime, right? His son, like, my dad, fought in the war right at the end so he's got his own personal, you know, things that he would be concerned about.
BM
So that's where we ... I don't understand. We're not threatened. We live in a little la la land out here, don't we? Not threatened by anything especially in Victoria laughs. No pollution, no thing.
DG
How can we judge, right? We can't.
02:05:00.000
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BM
You can imagine a Syrian, someone from Aleppo, you know, later on in their career being so influenced by having your whole city destroyed like that and then living under those conditions and knowing what can happen and we just don't have that comprehension. That way I think he may never have changed from that but I think he realized, afterwards that the ... after the war. Anyhow, it's been very interesting.
DG
Mhm.
LJ
Yeah.
BM
I don't know what else we could do. We would like to do something else. We were trying to push for reconciliation at the time with the building. There was more open discussion about, first of all, making people understand that what actually happened. So I think that the, um, you know, once the publicity comes out about your project I think that then ... But a lot of people just don't care either, right? So it's ...
DG
Yeah, they're like “It's ancient history. I had nothing to do with it. My family had nothing to do with it.”
BM
Yeah. We would kind of like to ...
DG
Yeah, see more come of it.
BM
Yeah, we pushed for reconciliation but that never went anywhere. Nobody on that ...
DG
But I think the fact that we went out and talked to people, that's a form of reconciliation right? Hopefully people see it that way.
LJ
One on one, sort of, personal reconciliation.
DG
Yeah we want to hear their stories. When we first started meeting with Joy she'd be like, “You're defending him. You're not listening. You're not open.” So I think we came ... As we did learn more we became more open and stopped defending.
LJ
That must be tough.
DG
Mhm.
LJ
I can't even imagine ...
DG
Especially when somebody's dead, right? It's pretty hard to ... You can't ask them.
LJ
Yeah. It's not a defense of his legacy.
BM
No, his legacy is what it is. Politicians do fade after. Anything they do fades. Interesting enough, quite a few of the things that he believed in, especially peace, for a while that was really going somewhere, right? He just wanted peace in the world and now that seems to be changing again. For a little while it looked like ...
DG
Yeah, there was peace laughs. For the most part, right?
BM
There's things that he was aiming for were ... but, you know, maybe that ... Anyhow. He worked hard. A big gigantic mistake, that's all.
LJ
I was struck by, you said earlier that you nominated him for the building but at the same time you both completely understood the idea for not naming the building after him and I'm just wondering how you were able to hold those two things together.
DG
Not at that time, right?
LJ
Okay.
DG
Yeah.
LJ
So first you nominated him for the building and that goes back to 2006.
BM
2006. Mhm.
DG
It's all the same year, right? So at that point, I guess, they knew what he had been involved in but I thought, you know, that was just a small part.
BM
They had a presentation to the committee and we had to do a presentation. So we, Donna and I both did a big essay kind of thing and, you know, all the good points and, you know, my, and, uh, but I think it was after that that we really came to an understanding of ... One thing they took quite a long time to decide, whether they were going to change it or not. I think after that we came to an understanding. Well, then no, it shouldn't be because if you know of somebody that's done something bad, for whatever reason, then, really, they shouldn't have a building named after them but they could have ... We fought ... You know, the government's not really ... It's way too broad for them but we thought that they could do something that, like, there's a Japanese word for peace that they could have named it or something like that because my grandfather believed in peace so much, right? That didn't go anywhere. So it ended. I think they probably made the right decision. I'd be interested in seeing all the letters. I guess they lobbied the federal government, the Japanese Canadian Community. Lois Hashimoto was the first one to tell me that, you know, there is no community as such. She'd say there's no cohesiveness with Japanese Canadians. She didn't like, you know, Joy and Joy knows that because she said they didn't represent who she was. Anyhow, I don't know if we can get a hold of those letters. That would be, sort of, interesting. That would be very painful but maybe interesting.
02:10:24.000
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DG
Yeah we could learn from that, too.
BM
I don't have any problem reading terrible things or how, you know, what his words affected. You can see how they affected people and it's all part of our education. We're kind of over that. We used to feel kind of sick about it but now it is what it is. You can't do anything about it.
LJ
It almost seems like the building and the ensuing kerfuffle was almost like a really strange bittersweet blessing.
BM
Yeah.
DG
Yeah, for us.
LJ
For you, yeah.
DG
I don't know that anybody else really learned anything out of it laughs.
LJ
Yeah, we certainly wouldn't be here today if there was a Howard Green building downtown.
DG
Yeah, you're right because otherwise his legacy would have just, you know, it would have been nothing right. So all of that kind of would have.
BM
Yeah, it's very interesting historically. That's ...
DG
Yeah.
LJ
Strangely, there might be more of a service here in that front, right? I think we have a conversation in the works that you all have done in the years since.
DG
Yeah, because, certainly, I don't think anybody else would have gone through my grandfather's papers and stuff and try to piece together his story, right? Like, Patricia Roy, I think she knew that his letters were at the archives but she never read them and, you know, she's probably the one historian that would have been interested.
BM
Daniel did this stuff.
DG
Yeah, but he never would have been interested, right?
BM
No, no.
DG
Because Daniel Height was interested in my grandfather's foreign policy stuff.
LJ
Right.
DG
So he would have never paid any attention to this.
LJ
What is your ... What are you taking ... What's your PhD in?
BM
My PhD is in geography.
BM
Oh, okay.
LJ
Law and Geography. The building is interesting to me for my own, sort of, personal perspective because I study, among other things, toponymy, or place naming.
DG
Oh, okay, yeah, yeah.
BM
Oh, okay.
LJ
So it's very interesting. Vancouver is just, kind of, rife with ... I just finished my term on the Civic Asset Naming committee in Vancouver so we would get, consistently, people telling us that they wanted to rename Trutch Street.
DG
What's wrong with Trutch?
LJ
Trutch was, and I'm not a great British Columbian so I don't know the whole, sort of, history of Trutch but I believe he was implicated in a number of racial or racist stuff, activities. I think, particularly toward indigenous and aboriginal populations.
DG
Hm, I didn't know that.
LJ
But his legacy is, sort of, uniformly just not good.
DG
Yeah. I hate to say it but I don't think any British Columbian who lived here, you'll find something either in First Nations abuses or ...
LJ
Yeah, I don't know. Well, we ...
DG
You're better off naming the streets after trees and flowers, right?
LJ
Right, yeah.
BM
Provinces laughs.
LJ
When Dal Richards died we had an emergency meeting and I think that's, probably, the first British Columbian that everyone can agree on.
DG
Yeah, was the good guy.
LJ
Was the good guy, right? We had a mandate. All the streets on the west end that are being named now are going to be named after women or minorities. If you think about it, if you look at the streets of Vancouver, generally speaking, it is kind of amazing how underrepresented ...
DG
Yeah, they're probably all named after old white guys, right?
LJ
Yeah, yeah.
DG
Or battles.
LJ
Including Vancouver itself who never actually even ...
BM
Yeah, I know, yeah.
LJ
Maple Ridge.
DG
Right.
BM
And he wasn't in Vancouver himself, wasn't really a stellar citizen either if you read into his history.
DG
But I'm sure all of us, right, like even though we think we're good people now, I mean if someone's to look at our record 100 years from now they'd be like “Oh, my god. Look what they did to that people” or, you know, whatever. There's going to be something.
LJ
Yeah, and I think ...
DG
There is the tenure of the times, thing.
BM
We agreed that the environment was going to be the thing in 100 years, all the people that ruined the environment will be ... We didn't do anything like that because we're just nice people.
DG
We're just nice people. But, yeah, anybody who is involved in ... Like our father's a geologist so it's like “Oh, does that make him an evil man later a hundred years from now?”
02:15:04.000
02:15:04.000
LJ
Yeah, so that's how the naming of the building was interesting to me. My own PhD was on the U.S-Canada border so I was always looking at, like, something very, very different than my research here. My bread and butter, my first work is on the Landscapes of the Injustice project. So, you know, conversations like this and my PhD is sort of on, kind of, a range of legal issues around geography and space in, mostly, BC.
BM
My dad wrote a book on the Alaska boundary. So he's ...
DG
Called The Boundary Hunters if you're interested at all in how that, Alaska ...
LJ
That's an intense boundary up there.
DG
Yeah. Our dad's book is kind of like a pretty go-to source, I think, for that. I don't actually have that one. He wrote two books but I don't have that one.
LJ
So the education message was well heeded by your dad it sounds like.
DG
Definitely. My grandfather was well educated, too, right, because he went to U of T.
LJ
Yeah, so I noticed that he didn't go to UBC.
DG
No.
BM
There was no UBC, I don't think.
LJ
There was no UBC, okay.
BM
Oh wait, no, there would have been because my grandmother ... but he went to law school.
DG
Yeah, there was no law school at UBC.
BM
Yeah.
LJ
Okay. It seemed like a man of his work, you know, would have gone to the local university.
DG
Yeah, I guess that was not an option.
BM
No.
LJ
Yeah.
BM
I don't know when UBC because my grandmother, his wife, was one of the first graduates of UBC.
LJ
It's 100 years old last year, I think.
BM
Yeah, so this was, we're talking 19 ... before the First World War so 1912. Yeah, there was no UBC I don't think.
LJ
Yeah.
DG
And probably there was no law school.
LJ
There definitely wasn't a law school.
BM
Yeah, and then when he came back he went to university, went to war, and came back and finished it and got his law degree after that but, yeah, there probably was no law school at UBC. Yeah, so he was very well educated for being from a frontier town. That's where his parents really pushed him to ...
DG
His mother, too. I don't think ... I mean, he talks a bit about his father but it was definitely his mother that ...
LJ
And were they well educated?
DG
No.
BM
No, no, no.
DG
His father was a merchant, owned a couple stores in Kaslo and his mother worked at the post office.
LJ
Where did the fixation come then that he was going to be the boy king?
DG
I don't know.
BM
I don't know.
DG
That's a good question. His mother was a United Empire loyalist so she would have been born in New Brunswick and come west.
BM
The uncle that was the politician, that was the one that was the senator, he was a totally different kind of personality. He was quite flamboyant and got kicked out of the ... He was friends with Richard McBride but they were involved in some sort of scandal, like it wasn't ... but I don't really know that. He was a kind of an entrepreneur kind of guy and his grandson who's done very well in land deals and all that sort of stuff. I'm not saying he's done anything illegal but just very different from our type of family which is very conservative, follow the rules.
DG
Follow the rules, yeah.
LJ
Yeah.
BM
Yeah, so I think there was that influence but I don't know. They just decided at an early age that he was ... I guess, probably because he did well at school.
DG
Yeah, he must have been very bright.
BM
That's what they did in that family which was very cruel because his sister was the next one to him and, of course, women didn't do much of anything. Anyhow, and then the youngest son, they didn't pay any attention to him. So he was very much the prodigy and then they did everything for him. I guess she just had ambitions for him.
DG
Yeah.
BM
Pushed him into it.
LJ
Was your great grandma around long enough to, kind of, see the peak of his career?
BM
Yeah, she died in '73.
LJ
Oh, okay.
BM
I knew her quite well myself. She was, oh yeah, she influenced him probably until her nineties. She was ninety-nine when she died. Probably into her nineties.
DG
I was just a little kid but I remember she was very much like a, you know, had control. She liked to think of herself as the control of the family, kind of.
02:19:48.000
02:19:48.000
BM
I had to go over and she'd get me to read to her laughs. I was too stupid to realize what she was doing. I thought she wanted to hear them but actually she wanted me to hear them laughs. Yeah, they were in a frontier town which is, you know, Kaslo is a frontier town and there were just as many bars as there was anything in all those towns, right? The Langham which is like half of a block from her house, we stayed in her house last year because it's been made into a vacation rental.
DG
Airbnb
BM
It's a lovely, lovely house and it's like the Langham is just right there where the Japanese Canadians were. Before that it was a bar so she was surrounded by bars. She seemed to have this very strict ...
DG
All of the kids, I think, all followed it, right?
BM
All of them, yeah. None of the kids drank, smoked, or ...
DG
Gambled.
BM
Yeah. My cousins all don't either.
DG
Yeah.
LJ
Still?
BM
Yeah, my mother's family was a drinking family.
DG
Yeah, so we take after them laughs.
BM
Yeah, they never did. So very, very conservative which would have, probably, surprised some people that that's the epitome of, or, that's not the right word, but that's someone who they perceive as evil is, is extremely conservative. Though, I did hear that Trump doesn't drink either.
DG
Oh, no laughs.
LJ
No, he doesn't drink. Yeah, yeah. I think he has an alcoholic brother, I think.
DG
Oh, okay.
BM
Oh, okay.
LJ
Yeah, but, um, well there's just a few other things I'm thinking about before we wrap up.
BM
Sure, yeah.
LJ
I was looking at this picture when I came in, a photo of your grandfather, and he looks like such a dapper guy, very smiley in some of the photos that you have compared to some of the photos that circulated around where he seemed quite dower. I guess, I was just wondering about his temperament as a grandfather, if he was a joke teller, if he was funny.
DG
He was very self-depreciating. He would tell stories that, you know, would make him seem like the common guy, you know. He was never authoritarian with us. He was ...
BM
We got into trouble once. We used to stay with him for months in the summer. My older sister and I, only once did we get in trouble; very affectionate. I think that a good, um, indication of his personality, but, I mean, mind you we only knew him when he was older, was is that all of my friends that, you know, my long-term friends all loved him. That's just the kind of person he was. Like Diane or ...
DG
Super generous, too, even to mom and dad's friends, right? They would stay because he lived up at UBC so he, I think, wasn't it Bill Pool who stayed with them. Like, you know, they would open their home to anybody as long as you weren't a politician. Yeah, very, very generous. Like, he'd always ...
BM
No, not dower. No, not at all. That would not be his personality.
DG
I think the photos they were circulating then would have been his official kind of government photos which were probably meant to make him look officious.
BM
His portraits were ... He didn't smile in the portraits, right? And then those little glasses didn't help which they all wore in the '40s. The little round glasses with the ... No, that definitely wasn't his personality.
LJ
Yeah.
BM
That's why I think, and I've said that many times is, if he'd actually met Muriel Kitagawa, this lady who died in 1950 or something, they have so much in common. The way she writes is the way that he felt, I think, a lot of the time. She's an excellent writer. So, you know, unfortunately, that's not going to happen. So that's all we can do is say that his personality wasn't what you'd expect, right, somebody you consider evil.
LJ
Does that make it a little harder?
BM
Yes, that makes it very hard.
DG
Yeah, of course.
BM
Yeah, because you have to be, you know, you can ... I think Joy would have liked for us to agree that he was evil but we can't, right? No. You can't if he wasn't and he wasn't.
LJ
Can Joy or Mary or other folks that you've met appreciate that he was fun, loving, or kind to you all and maybe ...
02:24:57.000
02:24:57.000
BM
Well, Mary, see, the only discussion ... I've got to call her again. The only discussion I had with Mary is is well, that's how grandfathers act which is true. My father wasn't particularly a good father but he was a good grandfather laughs. That is true with grandfathers. People, often, are very ... You know, we've heard that from many, many, many people, how kind he was to them and that.
DG
If you Google him, like, there's some article I read by Cici Cameron, she's a journalist, she went to UBC and she was doing, like, you know, some fundraising or something and she invited all the local politicians to come and nobody came except granddad. Here he is, some prominent MP, and he's the only one who came, a local politician. She was so blown away by that. He would give anything of himself, right, to help people. So we would like people to be able to know the other side of him. I think everybody ... I think we've tried to demonstrate that we're open to learning the other side of him so it would be nice if other people could, you know, be open as well.
BM
If we had come across somebody that wants to talk to us that knew more of him I'd be happy to hear it because I think that creates a better understanding of what we're actually dealing with here.
DG
That's reconciliation, right?
LJ
I don't know. Yeah, I think, possibly, yeah. Certainly, I think there might be people out there who ... I think there's certainly dialogue to be had.
BM
Someone else I was going to suggest maybe you try to contact is Norman, oh shoot, what's his last name? The civil servant, Norman Robertson. He was the actual ... He had to carry forward, not the custodian, but a lot of the policies that were put into place. His daughter has written a book, not about this at all, but I've often wanted to contact her to see what she ... maybe she's the same with us, she doesn't really know anything of what her father did. He was younger than my grandfather. So she was, I think she's older than me so they're kind of, you know, not the generation gap there between the ... Anyhow, that's kind of an aside. There's no other, nobody else is saying anything. None of the other ...
DG
Descendants of ...
BM
Yeah, they're evil people in this.
DG
Yeah, like Austin Taylor. Does he have any kids? I don't know.
BM
Austin Taylor didn't really do anything wrong as such.
DG
Well, he was the head of the security commission.
BM
No, but he was doing a job. That was the ...
DG
I know, but there were all these bureaucrats who were actually doing ...
LJ
Jobs, yeah.
DG
Wasn't their job to sell someone's property? Couldn't they have said this was wrong?
LJ
I wonder, I mean I ... I wonder, you know, a lot of these jobs were at the Royal Bank building down on Hastings Street downtown and I'm sure you've gone to the UBC Japanese Canadian collection and you can read ...
BM
Actually, I've never been there.
LJ
Yeah, in the special collections you can go and you can read letters to the custodian in the files. I, sort of, imagine who these custodian, you know, bureaucrats might have been. It's very easy to imagine, um, you know, folks getting out of university, taking their first job, going down to the Royal Bank building on Hastings Street, putting in their nine to five, and getting their slice of the job but maybe not being informed, which does, perhaps, explain why so much of the hostility sticks to someone like your granddad, right? because he's a bit higher up.
DG
Yeah, but it's a person, right? You can ... It's not Joe Schmo working in the Royal Bank building who nobody knows. He's actually processing all these things, right? You've got to nail it to somebody.
BM
Actually, her husband worked for the Royal Bank and when they moved, they had to move out east, they lost their house and everything. He lost his job. Royal Bank didn't hire him out east. Like, what's with that? He had a good job. For twenty-seven years or something he'd worked at the Royal Bank. You think you can give him a transfer, right? So there's a lot of holes in this story or whatever.
02:30:03.000
02:30:03.000
LJ
Yeah.
BM
Have you ever read, oh, never mind because I can't remember his name either.
DG
laughs.
BM
I'll send you a link to it. The companies all fired all their Japanese people, too, like CP Rail and ...
DG
You can basically say all of Canadian society turned on the Japanese Canadians, right? There was really nobody standing up for them. I mean, there was as ...
LJ
The CCF party.
DG
But not even at the beginning, right?
LJ
Yeah, right.
DG
So there was nobody. There was no protest in the streets of like 'don't send out people away.'
LJ
No, but I wonder what people really protested in the streets in Vancouver for anyway.
DG
Yeah, in the '40s. Yeah, I don't know.
LJ
There's, sort of, a politics of inaction, right? that the politics are just not to keep a stiff upper lip and to look the other way. Looking the other way has its own ...
DG
But that's what happened in the Holocaust, too, right? I mean people knew what was going on and that was wrong and they didn't go and defend their neighbors.
LJ
Right.
BM
And, you know what, the same thing happened.
DG
Yeah, I know, right? If Trump can do what he's saying it's like “Oh, you're Hispanic? I'm going to out you.” What's to stop people?
LJ
Yeah, it, sort of, I think, reinvigorates these discussions as not historic.
DG
Yeah, it can happen tomorrow, right?
LJ
If the question is simply one of being scared or fearful, you know, we've got to be able to do better than that.
DG
Yeah, and there's not even a war on right now. I mean, there was a war at this time. Reading my grandfather's letter he's talking about the blackout curtains and the air raid sirens going off. I mean, that's a legitimate fear at that particular time whereas there's, certainly we don't have anything to be fearful of right now. Right? I mean, this unknown Muslim enemy, right?
BM
I've always compared the Japanese to the Mexicans, myself, like, that's the best I can come up with. It's not the same as the ... It is a bit the same as the Muslims but the Mexicans have been in the U.S. for quite a few generations now and that's the thing with the Japanese is they weren't considered citizens. They didn't have all the rights of, you know, as you know, the white people. So that's systemic racism. The same thing has happened in the U.S. with the illegal immigrants that have been there for a couple generations now. So everybody is American as the Japanese were, but the people, like, exactly what you're saying if Trump actually does send them all back, well, what happens to the kids that were born in the U.S. and have no country and they're not really Mexican are they? Will people say anything? No. I could never have believed, when we started this, that something like that could even be a possibility but you can see it happening. You can see it happening next year. Whether anybody will ... I think that's a very valid comparison is that were the Japanese here at the time, even though they had been here for two generations, they were still Japanese to a lot of people.
DG
Yeah, they weren't equal. They couldn't work in certain professions. You're right, they were the equivalent of the Mexicans who could only hold certain jobs. They were the gardeners, they were the ... because they couldn't.
BM
Mhm.
LJ
In Lethbridge, Japanese Canadians weren't allowed to roam the streets freely at night, in Alberta.
DG
Yeah, I know. BC always gets tarred with this but it's the people that moved were treated very poorly in Alberta, in Manitoba. You probably had to go as far ... Even Toronto, right? Toronto said they didn't want them either. It wasn't like it was our problem that we hoisted it off on somebody else.
02:34:09.000
02:34:09.000
BM
When you do read about when they went out east and then they were going “Oh, these people are really nice people.” It's just what they were.
DG
Nice, yeah, they're well educated, they're smart, they're hard workers. The initial opposition, like, Toronto was like we don't want them. Montreal, we don't want them, right? They were, sort of, the pariahs.
LJ
Given some of the things that people were saying in parliament ...
BM
Yes, yes, see, that's where it all comes back to how did the people out east even know except for people like my grandfather getting up and saying these things which were, like, “We don't want them.” If you say you don't want something then people think, “I don't want them either.” That's just a natural tendency.
DG
That's very true.
02:35:00.000
02:35:00.000
BM
So that's part of his legacy, is that he also influenced people out east as well as ... I don't know how much influence he had on people here, really, to tell you the truth but it was out east that he did his damage. I think because he was logical, right? If you read his things you'll see that kind of makes sense, you know, but it doesn't really. Anyhow.
LJ
So what's next for you all? I know you mentioned, possibly, a book.
DG
Yeah, I don't know, I might because my dad gave up his career as a geologist around my age, around fifty, and started writing books. I kind of made fun of him and now it's like, “Oh, god, am I going to end up doing the same thing?” but I think we have such a unique story. When I initially started, because we have all these connections, the letters between my grandfather and his mother and stuff, and then I've taken a few writing courses at SFU. People aren't interested really in the history. They're much more interested to learn that there was a building and that the name was taken off of it and what we've done. So they're not so much interested in the history of my grandfather. They're more interested in our sort of story so I don't know if there's enough there to write something about. I mean, obviously, I would have to pull in all the history because I still think that's the fascinating part but I don't know.
LJ
I think I'm more here because your story is interesting.
DG
Is unique.
LJ
Is unique, yeah. I mean, I think we all try to contextualize our parents or our grandparents. That contextualization in your case is particularly challenging and has become challenging only, sort of, in the recent years, the last decade. I think it's certainly interesting, you know, there's ...
DG
I don't know if it would be a best seller but ... laughs.
LJ
Few history books are best sellers.
DG
Yeah, I know.
BM
Unfortunately, you don't ...
DG
That's what I told you I'm reading right now is, um, the biography of Iris Chang who wrote The Rape of Nanking. This is her mom's book because she committed suicide.
BM
Her mother wrote a book?
DG
Yeah, about Iris. So it's the memoire of Iris growing up and what happened to her when she wrote the book and that kind of thing. That's kind of an interesting take on it. I've read quite a few biographies trying to look for something similar to our story. That book become a best seller right? The Rape of Nanking. Not that I would ever do it for money. I want people to learn from our story. I don't care about the money.
LJ
So what would you want people to learn from your story?
DG
I think just to be open minded and that there always is another side. The onus was on us. I think most people would have just, you know, put up a wall and just that 'he was right, you're wrong. There was a battle over a building, you won. I don't want to hear your story. I'm sticking to my story.' I think we deserve credit for what we've done in trying to understand. So if other people can learn from that then that's what we ...
BM
What I want to do, my legacy at work, because I did all this ... I'm leaving my job in four months and I work with people and I know it sounds, um, bizarre but we have a lot of rules at Air Canada. Air Canada is full of rules and you have to be human, though, about the rules. That's my legacy to my people at work. I've learned so much from my job in regards to this.
DG
You said even just seeing Japanese Canadian passports, right, and seeing that they're born in Kaslo or they're born in Greenwood or, you know, knowing that there's a story there, right?
BM
Anybody that's older than me, I know where they're born before they even come up and that's if they speak English without an accent. That's kind of awful because ... I think it's just that you have to be human about it and treat people like humans and that's what went wrong in the Holocaust and that's what went wrong here. People were classified as a certain kind of people without hearing their stories. They didn't get a chance, the Japanese Canadians like Muriel Kitagawa, she had gone to parliament to try to get proper rights in the '30s.
02:40:04.000
02:40:04.000
BM
They went to present their case to the politicians in Ottawa to get, you know, so they would be proper citizens and be able to vote and all that and got nowhere because nobody really listened to them and they're just people. They're just, you know ... So that's what I'm trying to teach all my fellow coworkers. Some of my coworkers are just awful people, awful. They enjoy it, too. I'd like for them to see that everybody's human. Everybody has their story and they deserve to be treated with respect. That's my legacy.
DG
So, yeah I don't know what we'll do with it.
BM
I hated that my grandfather didn't, you know, because there's no exceptions, all of them. None.
DG
I think we find it hard, too, that people would have written to him personally and that he couldn't see that they wanted the same thing for their children that he wanted for his. It's like, being a human, like, you know, somebody wants their land back, you know?
LJ
Yeah. Do you think your grandfather recognized his privilege? You say be a human and I think, “Well, yeah, but he was a white guy, well educated.” Do you think he realized that ...
BM
That he had white privilege? I don't think ...
LJ
Or that he was lucky.
BM
I don't think that many people recognize white privilege even now. Do you? I've tried to explain that to people, like, the way we can go into a fancy hotel, like, we were just in New York, my girlfriend and I. We went bike riding and it was a hundred degrees and we were dripping wet and we went into the nicest hotel in New York and nobody comes over and says “Excuse me, can you leave?” We don't recognize that just because the color of our skin, I don't think. I think that he ... No, I don't think he had enough exposure to ... because he lived in a small town and then he came to Vancouver. I think that was probably part of his problem is that he didn't have enough exposure, you know, went over and fought in the war, never went back until well after the Second World War, I don't think, to Europe, never went to any African country and then he's in the House of Commons with all white guys, right? Was there anybody that wasn't white in those days? I doubt it.
DG
Yeah, I mean there was the one conservative female MP, right? I can't remember her name but she would have been with granddad but, yeah, it would have been, it was all white.
BM
Yeah, and he really didn't have the exposure to different ... that's why the 'other' or whatever, the term they used at university often they used the 'other' right? Somebody who is totally different but, actually, they wanted the same things as him. He admits that. He says that how Japanese are family oriented and he recognizes that they want to be with their families.
DG
But, still, he couldn't ...
BM
Yeah.
DG
Lack of empathy, I guess.
BM
Mhm.
LJ
That's the thing about, you know, like, rules are rules and they're meant to be followed but if the people who are making the rules all look a certain way then it seems like a pretty stacked deck.
DG
Yeah.
BM
Yeah.
DG
The Japanese didn't have a hope right?
BM
How did those people that worked at the Royal Bank, or did all those house sales, how did they rationalize that? It'd be interesting to speak to some of those people.
DG
But they're probably all dead, right?
LJ
Yeah, I think they're all, largely, deceased. Yeah.
BM
Yeah.
DG
And their descendants wouldn't know anything right?
BM
But you should, I mean, that's something you should feel guilty about, too, later on. How did they ...
DG
Yeah, does the son or a daughter of a bureaucrat feel guilty, right? Same thing in Nazi Germany, right? I mean, there's all these people that are perpetuating what's happening, right? I mean, yes, you've got these people who are putting these policies in place but it's the guy down the street who's working, you know. It's people's jobs, right? So ...
LJ
But your granddad would have been alive to see, um, Trudeau version one, Trudeau's Canada.
DG
He didn't like Trudeau because my grandfather was very, very loyal. So he would never ...
BM
He didn't like the new flag because that was a liberal thing laughs.
DG
Didn't like Pearson, didn't like ... Yeah, he didn't like Trudeau, I don't think.
02:44:39.000
02:44:39.000
LJ
Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater? Did he have any opinions on official multiculturalism?
BM
I think he was pro. Well, he certainly wanted different nationalities to mix. I don't think that was a problem at all.
DG
No, he was certainly not xenophobic or anything.
BM
I think the, like I said already that racism died with the end of this. I think by 1950 that particular brand of racism that existed in BC died, right? You know, as far as ...
DG
I don't think it died. I think it got diluted.
BM
Yeah, but I don't think that ... I mean that, you know, as far as Chinese people being professionals or being engineers or, like, I mean that they weren't allowed to do any of that, right?
DG
No, all the official discrimination was gone, right? I'm sure if a white guy at BC Hydro had a Chinese candidate and a white candidate he would have chosen the white candidate.
BM
I don't know, the time I went to school there ...
DG
We were still pretty white, right? Until the '70s and '80s.
LJ
Do you think the external affairs job, and he travelled a lot, he travelled Japan, I think?
DG
I think so, yeah. He went to Africa, didn't he? Didn't he go to Nigeria?
BM
Mhm.
LJ
Do you think that that brought him back to Vancouver with a more open mind or ...
BM
Oh, yeah.
DG
I think so, yeah.
BM
For sure.
DG
He was definitely a changed man, I think, by being exposed to so much more by that point in his career.
BM
Yeah, I think for sure. Yeah, because he really wasn't exposed to very much before then. I think that's, probably, part of the problem.
DG
Yeah, isolation right?
BM
Yeah.
LJ
But that sort of capped off his political career?
DG
Yeah, definitely. I think he would be a changed man. Probably if he was looking back at himself in 1940 he would have been like a ...
BM
He went to the UN quite a bit, right? I don't know exactly what he did at the UN.
DG
That was disarmament stuff, right? Well, as minister of external affairs he would have spoken at the UN.
BM
Yeah, I've got quite a few things of him going to the UN.
DG
Yeah, I think he said he wanted to be a senator or he wanted some sort of ... Didn't he want to be ambassador to the UN. There were things that I think he felt that he was, probably, qualified for after but, of course, the government changed.
LJ
Yeah, so ...
DG
That kind of stuff is all political.
LJ
The Tories were out of power then for ...
BM
For quite a while, yeah.
DG
Mulroney, right? By then he was too old.
LJ
Yeah.
DG
So he never got any kind of political patronage type appointment.
LJ
I'm assuming ... I noticed you have a flag flown. Was that for him?
BM
That was the government's ...
DG
Peace offering.
BM
So they said ... It was very badly handled, I thought. I don't know how we found out that they were taking the name off. We weren't surprised.
DG
I think they called us to tell us.
BM
Yeah, and then there was nothing, no formal announcement made of any kind. Was there?
DG
No. I mean, they would formally announced the new name.
BM
Yeah, and then they flew the flag four times off the peace tower.
DG
No, they just asked us to choose dates that would have been symbolic to granddad and they gave us the flag.
BM
So we reached ...
DG
And my uncle didn't want his flag laughs.
BM
So, I don't know where the fourth one got to.
DG
Because Barb's got one, I've got one.
BM
I've got two.
DG
Oh, yeah, right.
BM
They're huge flags.
DG
Yeah, it's the peace tower flag.
BM
Ironically, he didn't like the flag but that's ...
DG
That's his birthday. So I got the one from his birthday.
LJ
Okay.
BM
So it's the size of this room. Proper big.
DG
It's the peace tower flag, right, so it's pretty big.
LJ
Yeah.
BM
Yeah.
LJ
You don't realize it when you're looking at it from a distance.
DG
We got a nice letter from the minister and stuff, not apologizing but sort of apologizing for what had happened.
LJ
Wasn't your granddad minister of public works at one point?
DG
Yeah, so he pointed that out as an irony to Michael Forte who was the minister at that time.
LJ
Right.
DG
Yeah.
LJ
Yeah. So they picked four days and that was sort of ...
DG
Well, they asked us to pick four days.
LJ
Four days.
DG
So we picked ...
BM
Donna and I went out for one of them.
DG
Yeah, we went out for this one.
BM
Yeah.
DG
It was his birthday the first day he was ... Birthday, the day that he died, the day that he was elected, I can't remember what the fourth one was that we chose.
BM
I don't think they said anything or did anything. They gave us the flags.
DG
Yeah, they just tried to make us go away which is fair enough.
LJ
Yeah, fair enough.
02:49:55.000
02:49:55.000
BM
We didn't really... My uncle put up a little bit of a fight but there's no point, I think. They, you know, the Japanese Canadian Coalition put up their fight but there's no point fighting the opposite way. We couldn't see the point of that because then you get into all sorts of things that don't matter. We thought they had a valid point. So that wasn't really very popular with our family.
LJ
Yeah, I can imagine it would be more tempting to fight.
DG
Yeah, which my uncle did. I mean, he tore up his conservative party membership and that kind of stuff. He refused to take the flag and ...
BM
Threatened his MP who was his friend and ...
DG
Not threatened, but yeah.
BM
Yeah.
DG
My uncle was very much my grandfather's defender. There was nothing ...
BM
But, yeah, you couldn't go there really, I don't think, because you have to ...
DG
Yeah, you'd look like a fool right?
BM
Well, you have to realize, too, that, you know, that it was legitimate, really.
DG
Complaint or concern.
BM
Yeah, complaint. I don't know whether ...
DG
But, then again, the building naming committee was all white, right? So they probably never thought anything of it because I'm sure Jean Barman would have raised the issue when they were debating the name choice, right, of like “Okay, he's not this perfect character” but ...
BM
I think they've learned a lot from naming since then.
DG
Yes.
BM
I think you shouldn't use it laughs.
LJ
Yeah, it can be a bit of a troublesome thing. I was in Ottawa when they named a building after the old finance minister, Flaherty. That was fast. A conservative but a generally well liked figure across ...
DG
And he died young, tragically, or, you know, whatever, right? So that makes him ...
LJ
Yeah.
BM
There was a very racist, I would say racist, MP involved in it at the same time as my grandfather and they're trying to take the name off the school in Port Alberni now.
LJ
What's the name?
BM
A. W. Neil.
LJ
Oh, okay.
DG
You should Google it. It's happening right now.
LJ
Okay.
BM
He said some really ... Well, he ...
DG
He was big into eugenics. So he was ...
BM
He was more in the, like, yeah, if you mix breed a white man with a yellow man you get a mongrel and stuff like that.
DG
Yeah, like horrible.
BM
That's the kind of stuff he said in the House of Commons, if you can believe it.
LJ
I can believe it.
BM
So the high school in Port Alberni is named after him which we always thought was a bit odd because it's not really ... Somebody's got all that up.
DG
Yeah, that's happening right now if you Google it.
LJ
Is there anything named after your grandfather?
DG
No.
BM
No.
LJ
Nothing.
BM
No. No. That's fine though.
DG
No. But, yeah, it's still curious, right? that it never happened in the '70s or whatever when it should have, not should have, but it could have happened.
LJ
Yeah, Vancouver's pretty thorny that they won't name anything after anyone living.
DG
Oh, okay. He had the Freeman at the city.
BM
Oh, he got lots of awards.
DG
Yes.
LJ
Sure.
DG
Yeah, but nothing that we know of has been named after him. There's no schools or anything whereas Thomas Reid, there's a school named after him.
LJ
Yup.
DG
Probably not Ian Mackenzie. I don't think he's got anything named for him.
BM
Ian Mackenzie was ... He had no family either.
DG
No.
BM
Nobody did defend him.
DG
Yeah, but then Sinclair Center, right? It's the same ... Justin Trudeau's grandfather was involved, too. The Japanese could agree with that. That was named in the '70s for him.
BM
Well, there was that white privilege right up until, probably, now or earlier until the last twenty years. That old white man who ... Ironically, Trump has all white men at his ...
LJ
Yeah, the irony is ...
DG
Yes laughs.
LJ
Yeah.
BM
He has his Jewish son in law. That will keep ...
LJ
Yeah.
DG
I can't imagine you going to the states any time soon, right?
LJ
I have family state side so I go down a lot.
DG
Right.
LJ
But, I just went down there last week because I just needed to breathe one last gasp of air.
DG
Obama air.
LJ
Obama America, yeah. It will be interesting to see what happens for sure but, I mean, you want to imagine that people and institutions can be stronger than one person.
DG
Yes.
LJ
You have to wait and see.
DG
But there's lots of precedence where that's not true.
LJ
There's a lot of precedent where that's not true, sadly, yeah.
DG
It's scary.
LJ
Well ...
DG
Yeah we've been going for a long time.
BM
We've kept you here all day.
LJ
Thank you so much.
BM
Okay, you're welcome.
02:54:59.000

Metadata

Title

Donna Green and Barb McBride, interviewed by Josh Labove, 07 January 2017

Abstract

Donna and Barb begin the interview describing who their grandfather was, what his personality was like, and how he became involved in federal politics. They explain his political and philosophical views toward Japanese Canadians based on his archived correspondence with his colleagues. Donna and Barb then reflect on their own interpretation of their grandfather’s political decisions as well as the division it has created within their family. They talk about the time they nominated their grandfather for a building to be named after him and the resistance they faced by the Japanese Canadian community. Near the end of the interview, Donna and Barb highlight the areas of their grandfather’s legacy that is most difficult for them to handle.

Credits

Interviewer: Josh Labove
Interviewee: Donna Green
Interviewee: Barb McBride
XML Encoder: Stewart Arneil
Publication Information: See Terms of Use for publication and licensing information.
Setting: Vancouver, BC
Keywords: First World War; Politics; Vancouver South; Kaslo ; Austin Taylor ; BC Security Commission; World War One; World War Two; Anxiety; Responsibility; Protect; Building Name; Controversy; Real Estate; Racism; Diefenbaker; Ethics; Morality; Legacy; White Privilege; Open Mindedness; Learning; House of Commons; Parliament; Fault; Peace; UN; Disarmament; Joy Kogawa ; Muriel Kitagawa ; Mary Kitagawa ; 1910s – 2000s

Terminology

Readers of these historical materials will encounter derogatory references to Japanese Canadians and euphemisms used to obscure the intent and impacts of the internment and dispossession. While these are important realities of the history, the Landscapes of Injustice Research Collective urges users to carefully consider their own terminological choices in writing and speaking about this topic today as we confront past injustice. See our statement on terminology, and related sources here.