Surrey votes to rename street in memory of Komagata Maru passengers
Surrey city council will rename a stretch of 75A Street Komagata Maru Way
Update, July 9, 2019: On July 8, 2019 ,Surrey city councillors approved the renaming of 75A Avenue between 120 Street and 121A Street to Komagata Maru Way. They also approved the installation of a storyboard at R.A Nicholson Park, explaining the history of the Komagata Maru.
After months of lobbying, it looks like Raj Toor has convinced the City of Surrey to name a street after the hundreds of passengers, including Toor's grandfather, who were on board the Komagata Maru more than a century ago.
On July 8, council is expected to approve the installation of commemorative signs that say Komagata Maru Way on 75A Avenue between 120 Street and 121A Street.
"I had a lot of meetings with city staff and with the mayor," Toor said. "Finally, we got some good news."
The Komagata Maru arrived on Canada's West Coast on May 23, 1914, with 376 passengers. It was ultimately forced to return to India, where it was met by British soldiers.
Twenty passengers were killed and others, including Toor's grandfather, Puran Singh Janetpur, were jailed following an ensuing riot.
Toor says his uncle offered to sponsor Janetpur to bring him to Canada in 1968, but Janetpur refused.
"He said I have a painful memory in Canada," Toor said. "He said I'm not coming there."
McCallum says the street signs will serve as a reminder to people that intolerance has no place in Surrey.
"We celebrate and welcome people from all over the world to come and live in our city," he said. "We need to recognize that this shouldn't happen again."
Council is also expected to sign off on installing a storyboard at R.A. Nicholson Park that will explain the history of the Komagata Maru.
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