70 Years Ago Today

Beaverbrae: 1953 immigrant ship to Canada
Spending time with new immigrants to Canada through weekly English conversations has intensified appreciation of my own family’s immigrant journey.  I remember the anniversary of my parents’ arrival in Canada, 70 years ago today. Meanwhile, Ukrainian newcomers celebrate their first year in this country. And while there are similarities, there are, of course, differences. 

German refugees came with the weight of war guilt on their homeless souls. In spite of worldwide support, contemporary Ukrainians who have left their country, continue to have immense challenges. Families have been torn apart, homes have been destroyed, careers destroyed, lives lost, pets gone. While there might have once been hope of return, now there’s the realization that the nightmare is staying. 

Back in 1953, my mom and her surviving siblings had also lost their way, their homes, their families. Years of chaos had left its mark not only on the past but on their aspirations for the future. The children of immigrants carry an enormous burden—the burden of possibility, of their parents unrealized dreams. It’s a huge responsibility. 

Invoice for cost of voyage


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