New Westminster, B.C. – The City of New Westminster unveiled a new interpretive plaque in the Queensborough neighbourhood this month, fulfilling a commitment made to the South Asian community last fall and concluding three years of research into the 1914 Komagata Maru tragedy. The plaque tells the history of the incident and describes the work being done by the City to make amends for past actions, including the naming of the Queensborough esplanade and the Q to Q Ferry docks in memory of the Komagata Maru.
“The commemorative naming of these spaces, in a neighbourhood that is home to many from the South Asian community, symbolically represents the landing that was denied to the Komagata Maru passengers,” said Mayor Jonathan X Coté. “The plaque ensures we will never forget this tragic event, and reminds us to continue our efforts to create a city that is welcoming, inclusive, and accepting of all.”
The interpretive plaque for the Komagata Maru Perimeter Trail and Dock was formally unveiled on Tuesday, October 4, 2022. Among the attendees at the event were Mayor Coté, several members of City Council, Raj and Jas Singh Toor of the Descendants of the Komagata Maru Society, and Rahul Negi, First Secretary Rank Officer at the Consulate General of India.
“The naming and interpretive plaque is a great tribute to those passengers who suffered during the tragedy. We can't undo the past, but we can move forward and create a legacy of acceptance for future generations,” said Raj Singh Toor.
New Westminster City Council formally apologized to the South Asian community and descendants of the Komagata Maru for the decisions of its predecessors on September 27, 2021, when it also committed to the naming of the river walk and ferry docks with an accompanying interpretive plaque.
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Manager, Museums and Heritage Services
City of New Westminster
Raj Singh Toor
Vice President and Spokesperson
Descendants of the Komagata Maru Society
Image – Komagata Maru Plaque unveiling
(left to right) Harbhajan Singh Athwal, President Khalsa Diwan Society, New Westminster; Rahul Negi , First Secretary rank officer at the Consulate General of India; Jas Singh Toor, President, Descendants of the Komagata Maru Society; Raj Singh Toor, Vice President, Descendants of the Komagata Maru Society; Mayor Jonathan X Coté; Councilor Jaimie McEvoy; Councilor Chinu Das; Chief Rhonda Larrabee; Councilor Patrick Johnstone; Councilor Nadine Nakagawa.