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B.C.: Part of road in Abbotsford to be named Komagata Maru Way

by The Canadian Parvasi

In honour of the 376 Indian passengers aboard the steamship Komagata Maru who were turned away by Canada at the Coal Harbour in Vancouver, A portion of a road in Abbotsford, B.C., will be named Komagata Maru Way, Abbotsford City Council voted unanimously last week.

A portion of South Fraser Way from Ware Street to Fairlane Street will be renamed Komagata Maru Way after the unanimous decision, according to media reports. The descendants of those aboard the ship had previously asked the council to commemorate the event, which holds significance to Abbotsford’s South Asian community.

Renaming expenses have been chalked up to $4,000. Alongside the renaming, educational kits that detail the Komagata Maru incident will also be distributed by the city. A plaque at the Abbotsford Sikh temple at a cost of $10,000 will also be funded by the city council.

The incident is especially significant to Abbotsford as “the Sikh residents of Abbotsford rallied together to assist passengers aboard the Komagata Maru… They provided food, housing, information, and community connection”, according to a report presented before the council.

“The gesture shows a commitment to promoting and understanding inclusiveness, and belonging to all residents regardless of their cultural background. It sends a strong message to our future generations that we must look … to make sure we have a just society for everybody,” stated Councillor Dave Sidhu to media outlets.

The news comes as the Komagata Maru Memorial in Vancouver, B.C., which was also established to honour the lives of hundreds of Indians, was vandalized for the third time between 2021 and 2023.

The memorial was found defaced by a message that read: “No more Fiat build on Bitcoin.”

The memorial was also established to commemorate a 1914 incident wherein 376 Indian passengers aboard the steamship Komagata Maru were turned away by Canada at the Coal Harbour in Vancouver, leaving the passengers stuck on the steamship for two months.

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