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Monday, June 08, 2015

Postcard #4: Looking Backwards


My grandfathers, John and Jacob, arrived in Canada after the First World War.

Although their point of immigration was Quebec City and not Halifax, their stories would have been similar to the ones we heard on today's tour of Pier 21.  

A cruise ship was berthed next to Pier 21, in the same spot immigrant ships once berthed.  We walked through the same door as did all those who came by ship to make a new life in Canada. Tears pricked as I thought of those two young men who became my grandfathers. 

What hopes and dreams did they harbor?  What fears caused them to lie awake at night?  Jacob arrived with his parents, brothers and sisters. John arrived alone, fleeing conscription into the Russian army. I can't imagine their bravery and I'm so thankful that they came to this country I love and appreciate. 

14 comments:

  1. It really is amazing to think about the journeys that were made to find a better life. How special to take this tour.

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  2. How poignant! Yes, John and Jacob chose well!

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  3. Enjoying your post cards. I don't stop to contemplate enough the sacrifice and bravery of our relatives that came to the new world. For me it was my great grandparents but they all went through things I would not want to do. Nice reminder.

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  4. I went through Pier 21 last October as well -- and my Dad did arrive in Halifax (my Mum, brother and I arrived later through Quebec City). It was very poignant for me to go through the exhibits, both as I came the same route, but my husband's grandparents also came through the same ports, just several decades earlier than I did. Lyn (now in Vancouver)

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  5. It's really a very special tour xx

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  6. Love! How wonderful to get to see a locale that is so much part of your family's history!
    Blessings, Aimee

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  7. Amazing and emotional day you had. :-)

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  8. Having stood on the ancient peer in Sligo, Ireland where so many Irish immigrants boareded those rickety old wooden ships, I wondered, too, how those brave folks made the trip. What prompted them to leave? I can see your grandfathers, young, scared, excited all at once. I can imagine your own feelings.

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  9. I can only imagine what some of our ancestors went through...how awesome it would be to be able to take a step back in time...if only for a moment!

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  10. I think the immigrants of the past and also the present are very brave to leave all they know and come to a new country. I've never been to Pier 21. I guess my father departed for England from there during WW1 along with thousands of other brave soldiers. Enjoy your visit.

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  11. I wonder if my grandparents came through that entry...haven't been able to find that bit of family history yet. Your trip looks so interesting...I am travelling along with you in spirit!

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  12. I always marvel at the immigrants story--what made them decide to go to a new country, how they traveled, how they adjusted and struggled to make it a new home. My husband and his family are immigrants from Italy, so their story is not so long ago.

    I have had house guests for over a week--3 adults and a baby, and our weather was very bad for a week--tornado warnings and torrential rain and hail--so please excuse my absence from visiting! The good news is my new grandgirl was born yesterday!!! We are very blessed!

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  13. I am glad that they were both so brave as otherwise there might not be lovely you in the world! xx

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  14. Lots to be thankful for when we think of the choices our grandparents/parents made for us to have a better life. Being there must have felt rather surreal.

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