Supporting Syrian families — well worth our effort

Charlotte Communiques by Evelyn von Almassy: Refugees. Immigration. War. Haida Gwaii.

  • Feb. 5, 2016 2:00 p.m.

Refugees. Immigration. War. Haida Gwaii. We don’t usually see these words in connection with each other, but a group of people on Haida Gwaii is working towards sponsoring two Syrian refugee families to come here and become citizens of Canada. The crisis in Syria has been going on for five years, and as a result of no resolution to the problem of the bombings by supporters of the Syrian regime, and the bombings by the western coalition, people are fleeing the country. Civilians have paid a heavy price, with families affected by death and displacement.

Some Syrians have been living in refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan, and are now looking to come to Canada. I came to Canada with my parents when I was six months old. Though we were immigrants, and not refugees, they came to this country after WWII, as there was economic opportunity for a better life in Canada. Europe was trying to rebuild and Canada was a peaceful country to come and live in. I have empathy for people who are fleeing war; having your home bombed and losing your family is horrific.

To help some of those people who are looking for peace and a new home, there is an incredible fundraiser dinner tomorrow, Saturday, January 30th at 6 p.m., at 3217 2nd Avenue.  To reserve your seat, call 604.916.1993, or email This is called “Operation Refugees Haida Gwaii”. Take a look on FaceBook under this name and see the menu that is offered. Unfortunately I have another place to be that evening, or I would be there for sure. Tickets are $50.00; you get a fantastic meal, and the knowledge that you are helping someone in need. If you have any other ideas, or wish to donate your time and energy to this group, Bruce Ives is the person to contact. He is in the phone book, and the group would love to expand.

And tonight, Friday, January 29th there is another fund raiser for the Syrian refugees. The Haida Gwaii Coffee House will see the “Dub Jackson Band” at the Q.C. Legion. Donations will be taken at the door, and this swing punk band will get the house rocking. They are all local young men in this group, and will deliver some high-energy sounds. Again, some local people trying to help others. We are lucky to live on these islands with big-hearted people.

There is a new beginner class of Taoist Tai Chi, moving meditation happening in Queen Charlotte on Wednesday February 10th and Saturday, February 13th at the community hall. Call 250-559-8252 or check out for more information.

The exhibition opening of the “Artists in Gwaii Haanas” happened last Friday, January 22nd; the good news is that the show is open until April 30th, 2016. This show reflects the inspirations that Kathy Pick from Q.C., Matthew Miles from Victoria, and Rosa Lillo from Agassiz, received from their time in Gwaii Haanas last year. Their individual art work, as well as a collaborative piece is up at the Haida Gwaii Museum.  If you buy a pass for the museum, you can see the collections and any shows as many times as you wish. It is also a good place to write, read, or sketch; check out this beautiful venue in Skidegate.

To reuse, reduce, recycle and refuse items, is another form of art. Remember the Q.C. recycling centre is open on Tuesdays from 10 – 4; Fridays from 11 – 6, and Sundays 10 – 4 p.m. You can recycle plastic bags, foam, glass, printed paper and packaging, plastic, aluminum and steel. It is located outside of Charlotte, in Hooterville, in a large white building, on the right side of the road.

Please send your news to by 2 p.m. Enjoy your first week of February 2016!


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