Dinner raises funds, awareness for refugees

A fundraiser on Saturday night brought in $6,655 towards the efforts of relocating a refugee family to Port Alberni.

Leslie Wright

A fundraiser on Saturday night brought in $6,655 towards the efforts of relocating a refugee family to Port Alberni.

Volunteers with the Port Alberni Refugee Sponsorship Committee and the Guru Nanak Sikh Society hosted a dinner of traditional East Indian cuisine. The sold out event was a success financially and was also a chance for the community to learn more about the state of refugees in Canada and immigrants living in Port Alberni.

“It went over really well and people enjoyed the meal,” said Leslie Wright, PARSC member.

The event began with a First Nations welcome by Tseshaht member Luke George and a speech by Mayor Mike Ruttan.

Palo Sall, a member of the Guru Nanak Sikh Society since 1992, spoke of the history of the East Indian community.

Sall has been a resident of Port Alberni since 1963 and during her time here, became friends with George McKnight.

“He mentioned that Sikh men were spotted around 1894 or 1895 in the Sproat Lake area,” she said. “They were working at Great Central.”

Sall’s husband, Sam, had a paternal grandfather living in Ladysmith since 1905 and his maternal grandfather arrived in Port Alberni in 1940.

“So we have quite a bit of history here,” she said.

Sall also said it is important to help those in need.

“On a humanitarian basis, we want to help anyone who needs help,” she said. “To us it doesn’t matter who they are, whether they are Christian or Muslim, it doesn’t make a difference.”

Dr. Mo Umran, of Syrian descent, said he believes refugees would be grateful to be given a chance to build a life in Port Alberni.

Although a small town, Port Alberni is a melting pot of people practicing many different faiths and traditions.

The fundraiser was completed with a slide show of the challenges people are facing in Syria.

The society has raised more than $15,000 to date towards its goal of $30,000 to $35,000. Members were informed that they could receive word of a family’s arrival with as little as three days notice and are prepared with a furnished, temporary rental home.

With the help of the Canadian government providing 50 per cent of the monthly expenses for the first six months, the society is preparing to support a large family of up to eight.

Funds are still needed and tax receipts will be issued for donations.

Once the society finds out details on family members, a list of items required will be posted on the website at www.parsc.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BCHL: Bulldogs set to face Clippers in Round One of BCHL playoffs

Alberni Valley Bulldogs have won two out of eight games against Nanaimo this season

Maple Leafs alumni take over Alberni Valley Multiplex

Inclusion Cup raises funds for Port Alberni Association for Community Living

Coldest Night event raises $33K in Port Alberni

Elementary school students raise $445 with daytime walk

Juno-nominated teen singer from Port Alberni to appear on ‘American Idol’

Lauren Spencer-Smith up for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year for ‘Unplugged, Vol. 1’

Vancouver poet to read at Alberni Valley Words on Fire

Cynthia Sharp was the City of Richmond’s 2019 Writer in Residence

VIDEO: Feds warned agricultural sector near ‘tipping point’ due to blockades

Canadian Federation of Agriculture points to lack of propane and feed due to Coastal GasLink dispute

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Two B.C. men plead guilty to bus-terminal assault of man with autism in Ontario

Parmvir Chahil and Jaspaul Uppal due to be sentenced in June for aggravated assault

B.C. Liberals call for assistance on soaring strata insurance rates

NDP’s Carole James says problem is across the country

‘Intemperate, insulting’: B.C. teacher reprimanded for online comments about religion

John William Yetman made the comments in response to a Facebook invitation to Open Mosque Day B.C.

Most Read