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View Full Version : Descendants Honour British Home Children



Nachtengel
Tuesday, October 13th, 2009, 02:01 PM
PICTOU ó Bellamy, Devonport, Tuggey and Payne are just a few of the names called to memory Saturday during a tree-planting ceremony in Pictou.

Descendants of the youthful immigrants known as British home children gathered at the Hector Exhibit Centre to remember the thousands of youngsters shipped to Canada between 1869 and the 1930s.

They planted a Golden Eclipse silk lilac on the centreís grounds and shared stories of their ancestors, who were collected from British poorhouses and streets and sent to colonies around the Empire.

About 100,000 of them, ranging from infants to young adults, came to Canada, prompting descendants to ask the federal government to designate 2010 as Year of the British Home Child.

Today, one in eight Canadians is a descendant of British home children, but many donít know their own history.

"I never, ever heard a word of this, him coming as a little boy," said Norma Grice Wood of Pictou County, whose father Hubert was sent to live at a River John farm in 1896 when he was 14.

Hubertís foster family encouraged him to attend college in Halifax. There he met his younger brother, Frank, who had arrived in 1905.

Not everyone was treated as well as Hubert. An inspectorís report provided as part of a display on Saturday discloses the information that one farmer whipped his 15-year-old charge for "carelessness and stubbornness."

The boy was away when the inspector visited, but the report said the boy was healthy and attended church and school.

Some of the children were beaten or starved. Others were permanently separated from their parents and siblings.

"Iím one of the lucky ones," said Carolyn MacIsaac, who organized Saturdayís event.

Ms. MacIsaac corresponds with her father Joseph Payneís family in England and visited his surrogate family in Cape Breton all her life.

Mr. Payneís mother was sick and his father missing in action in the First World War when he was sent to a Cape Breton farm, bound to work for his foster family until he was 18. His foster mother was a widow who had requested a strapping teenager to help with the farm, but got a skinny nine-year-old instead.

Despite the fact her father made a success of his life, Ms. MacIsaac said, "I canít imagine his loneliness. He was taken from his home, his country."

It would help descendants if the British government would open their re-cords, said June MacLeod-Donald of Dartmouth.

"Itís the only way to find out if there are any relatives left in England, or for health history, if nothing else, " she said.

Officials in Birmingham, England, where many of the children originated, are working on that, said Catherine West, chairwoman of the British Home Children and Descendents Association.

But some information is just not available. Her grandfather was removed from a workhouse to an orphanage, with no records.

"They just needed a full ship, so (orphanage officials said) you, you, you and you," she said.

The associationís seventh annual reunion, marking the 140th anniversary of the first childrenís immigration, will take place on Oct. 17 in Sydney.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/NovaScotia/1147091.html

rainman
Tuesday, October 13th, 2009, 07:50 PM
I'm glad they are proud and all but the fact that Europe sent its degenerates and failures to the new world could help explain why even among whites the average level of culture and intelligence here is lacking for the most part. Yet it further degenerates under liberal culture and mass third world immigration...

Resist
Tuesday, October 13th, 2009, 09:10 PM
I'm glad they are proud and all but the fact that Europe sent its degenerates and failures to the new world could help explain why even among whites the average level of culture and intelligence here is lacking for the most part. Yet it further degenerates under liberal culture and mass third world immigration...
The New World was much more than a place for sending rejected degenerates and failures from Europe. Many people of good stock and intellect arrived here. Culturally, both the New World and Europe are declining. The latter is no exception. As for intelligence, North Americans have become pioneers in many scientific areas. I think you have a too poor opinion on your own brethren.