Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - July 6, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba
Copps declared Africville a national historic site, three decades after the city determined the area had to make way for “urban renewal.”
The program razed houses, the local school and the cherished community church.
Officials argued residents were living in substandard conditions and would be better off elsewhere, despite the fact that the city didn’t provide water or sewer services even though residents paid property taxes.
In the 1950s, more than IOO years after it was settled by blacks who worked as labourers and domestic servants, Africville had deteriorated into a slum neighbourhood.
The edges of the community became the dumping ground for industrial plants and government facilities no one else wanted, including a garbage dump just 300 metres from the nearest home, a fertilizer plant and an infectious diseases hospital.
By 1964, city officials decided the area should be cleared to make way for further expansion and began a process that saw all 80 families moved out by 1970.
Geraldine Parker was in her late teens when garbage trucks rolled in to move people out of the community, now a grassy finger of land that juts out into the Halifax harbour.
The residents were told they had to make way for the construction of a new bridge linking Halifax to Dartmouth.
“This was a very tight community,” says Parker, whose ancestors were some of the community’s first settlers in 1848.
“My fondest memory of Africville is the love and the friendship that we had.”
Parker, who like many former Africville residents lives in the city’s north end, recalls standing on a hill above the community and marvelling at the beauty of a stand of apple trees, rows of brightly coloured houses and the church’s small steeple.
All of that is gone now, but many former residents are fighting to have the old church rebuilt as was promised six years ago.
Copps said she is negotiating with the province and the city to set up a committee to
develop an interpretive church on the site.
Such a gesture might help heal the wounds of the past, she said.
“I would like to see this day as a day of reconciliation ... where all the people who made mistakes make the spirit of Africville rise up,” she told hundreds of people.
Others have waged very public and, at times, nasty battles over compensation.
Carvery and his brother Victor camped on the grounds for much of the winter years ago until the city forced them off. They were protesting the lack of compensation and the low payments residents were given for their homes, some as little as $200.
“It’s not over yet — we haven’t received no compensation,” said Carvery, clutching historic deed titles he says make him the land’s legal owner.
“The way they’re treating us today is despicable because we still haven’t got no recognition. What benefits did we receive? All we want is fair compensation.”Facts about
5 VEAR RATES
er'wortf to-IiKinge/M/ioin conditio^
3 Pole geodesic design
2 person 5’x8’ 2 door, fly sheet with 2 vestibules, 10.4 lbs.
4 person 7.5’x9’ 2 doors, fly sheet with 2 vestibules, 14.3 lbs.
636 Rosser Avenue 204 728-9222
Open daily; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Active Clothing For Your Active Lifestyle
• Mosquitoes need water to breed - reduce
standing water around your home.
• While West Nile virus has not been detected in Manitoba, you may want to take steps to avoid mosquito bites.
For more information on the West Nile virus, please visit our Web site, www.gov.mb.ca/health/wnv
or call FHealth Links at 788-8200 in Winnipeg or at 1 -888-315-9257.
naX Saturday & Sunday "Dawn To Dusk"
HIGH QUALITY IS TRUE ECONOMY
rwti mm- Vi J ■ niiifAiiVii iii I ha 11 mr—r
BOWES BUILT FOR A LIFETIME \ Manufactured HomesNew Brandon Location 1880 - 1ST STREET NORTH
Now in Brandon, Portage & Winnipeg
mer riNANciAi group inc
INVEST WITH CONFIDENCE
‘This was a very tight community’
Residents forced off land in Africville return for dedication ceremony
527 Princess Ave Brandon 726-8033
Former Africville resident Ruth Johnson is assisted by Heritage Minister Sheila Copps at a ceremony to declare the former north-end Halifax community a national historic site yesterday. The neighbourhood was razed 30 years ago and many former residents are lobbying to have the old church rebuilt as a lasting connection to their beloved community.
By Alison Auld
HALIFAX — Eddie Carvery stands in the shadow of a looming Halifax bridge, just steps from where he and his brothers grew up in one of the country’s most disputed neighbourhoods.
It was here that he and his siblings scavenged the city shoreline for cork and coal to heat their home, broke ice on wells for water and watched, more than 30 years ago, as bulldozers levelled their houses and uprooted dozens of families.
“They stole our heritage. They stole our community,” Carvery said on the bank of this shoreline neighbourhood that was developed into a sprawling park several years ago.
“They made us displaced peoples and we were never accepted into the larger community.”
Carvery returned to his old community yesterday to see the land he once called home recognized for its historical significance as one of Canada’s oldest black settlements and a symbol of the ongoing struggle by African Canadians to defend their culture and rights.
Heritage Minister Sheila
CALL TODAY 613-10th St. 729-3400
At SAITs Centre for Rail Training and Technology in Calgary, the future's never been brighter.
AU of last year's graduates had jobs waiting for them after they had completed their studies.
Apply today for these exciting programs:
RAIL TRAFFIC CONTROL
It's Air Traffic Control for trains. Rail traffic Controllers work in operations control centres to manage the safe and timely movement of traffic across the rail system.
Conductors are involved with switching cars, making or splitting up trains in yards, or moving cars between yards, sidings or tracks.
Courses start late August Call today for more information!
• rn * Ll
Chretien now slated to greet Pope John Paul II
OTTAWA — Jean Chretien is scheduled to greet Pope John Paul II when the pontiff arrives in Canada later this month, the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed yesterday.
The issue became contentious this week when organizers of the Pope’s visit said they had been told the prime minister would not be part of the official welcome to Canada.
The Pope is visiting July 23 to 29 as part of World Youth Day celebrations in Toronto.
“There had never been a decision taken that he would not greet the Pope,” Francoise Ducros, a Chretien spokeswoman, said yesterday.
Earlier, World Youth Day organizers said they were told Deputy Prime Minister John Manley would fill in for Chretien, but Ducros said that was plan B.
“There always would have been a backup plan,” she said.
Father Thomas Rosica, national director of World Youth Day, had said the Roman Catholic community was disappointed that the prime minister would not greet the pontiff.
But Rosica said yesterday he’s received confirmation from the prime minister’s staff that Chretien will be there.
Toronto-area Liberal MP Dan McTeague said Thursday he had received dozens of calls from constituents concerned the prime minister might be snubbing the aging and ailing Pope — intentionally or not.
Gov. Gen. Adnenne Clarkson will be out of the country when the Pope arrives, but does plan to meet privately with him later during his visit.
— Canadian Press
4 Season Tent
West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes that have bitten infected birds. The risk of Manitobans becoming seriously ill from the West Nile virus is expected to be very low.
The virus has NOT yet been found in Manitoba.
What can you do?
• Dead birds are an early warning of the presence of West Nile virus. You can help detect West Nile virus in your area by reporting any dead crows, magpies, gray jays, blue jays or ravens to Health Links.
Quilting Supplies Upholstery Fabrics •Solar and Shaggy Fleece •Notions
The BEST RATES 365 days a year
Compare rates. Who clearly offers you the highest? Rice Financial. Pretty Simple.
We also provide unbiased advice on investment solutions to help you achieve peace of mind.