Rikizo Yoneyama to The Right Honourable The Minister of Justice, 31 July 1944

Rikizo Yoneyama to The Right Honourable The Minister of Justice, 31 July 1944

Sub. P. O. 9, Edmonton, Alta. July 31, 1944
The Right Honourable The Minister of Justice, Justice Building, Ottawa. Dear Sir:
During May of this year I received notification that my property at Haney B. C. had been sold for the sum of $1406.98 to the Director, Veterans' Land Act. My property there consisted of seventeen and a half acres of land and other household goods of which I am enclosing a list, which I valued at the total sum of $4500. The Custodian has not at any time requested my sanction of dispose of my property and had he done so, I would have been most reluctant to sell it, as it has been my livlihood for the past seven years and through hard work I had been successful in making an income to approximately $3500. per year which I expended to put two of my children through university as doctor and dentist respectively. In order that my two remaining children, who are dependent upon me, receive the same privilege as their two older sisters, it was my desire to return to my home at Haney and endeavour, as in the past, to obtain sufficient independence to enable them to complete their education, one as an optometrist and my only son as electrical engineer.
I came to Canada in 1907 and was allowed the privilege of Canadian Citizenship on December 22, 1914. This, to me, was the most gracious opportunity given by the country of my adoption. Through it, I realized an ambition I had desired since landing on this continent, that of being able to raise a family of Canadian sons and daughters. The opportunities given me by Canada, sir, have never been abused by me or any member of my family.
I am now fifty eight years and feel that I cannot start again from the bottom. My health is failing, and as previously pointed out, my desire after hostilities have terminated, was to return to my home at Haney and continue where I left off upon evacuation during October 1942.
As you will see, sir, the disposal of my property for the sum stated has caused me a loss of over $3000. in actual cash value and also the loss of a home I had spent years to build up to a point of security for my wife and my children. My wife and I have been Canadian subjects for thirty years. It does not seem just that as Canadians my family should be deprived of a home which to us meant more than just a home. It was to us, the foundation of security and freedom as Canadian citizens.
I am attaching hereto copies of letters received and sent by those concerned in this transaction and, sir, I would request your sympathetic tolerance, consideration and assistance in obtaining the return of my property. I feel no ill-will towards the country of my adoption through what to me seems an injustice. I realize that we are the victims of a war emergency and as such are quite willing to undergo the hardship of breaking family ties to help safeguard the shores of our homeland. However, I do urgently desire to return to my home at Haney when the present emergency ends. May I plead your assistance in the sincere request for the return of that home?
The integrity and loyalty of myself and the family is known to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Edmonton and should you desire a substantiation of same, I am quite sure you would be able to obtain a report covering my family from there. I am, sir,
Yours faithfully,
(Signed) Rikizo Yoneyama.



Rikizo Yoneyama to The Right Honourable The Minister of Justice, 31 July 1944


Encoder: Ariel Merriam
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