News

Plaque unveiled at Kelowna church commemorating Ukrainian internment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You might like ...

Clark pushes family time in Ladysmith
 
Rossland map fetches $203
 
Langley’s Country Club looks to pull off Comedy Coup
Surrey enforcer killed on the weekend
 
VIDEO: Witnesses describe scene at Parliament Hill; Raw footage of Ottawa shootings
 
Security stepped up in B.C. after attacks in Ottawa
UPDATE: B.C. legislature to get security scanner
 
Soldier killed in Parliament Hill siege
 
Community cleanup crews sought for plastics program