s stark 1  s charles3  Sir James Douglas

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April 2017 Events and more ...      

Sunday, April 9, 2017: To mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the Battle of Vimy Ridge.  Commemorative events are being held at the Victoria Armoury on Bay Street.  BCBHAS will have a display about Iron Cross recipient.  Robert Burt Gilbert.  Robert Burt Gilbert was born in Winnipeg in 1888.  He captured a German officer and 25 German soldiers.  After Vimy, Gilbert was in Victoria BC stationed at Willows Camp.


Friday, April 14, 2017: "A Queer Trial" 2 performances at 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm OUTSIDE.  Meet in Bastion Square near the entrance of the former B.C. Maritime Museum.  Admission is free but space is limited. The play tells the story of Victoria's unwitting pioneer for gay rights, John Butt.  One of the jurors was Peter Lester, one of BC's early Black pioneers.  UVIC Fine Arts          


April TBA:  Installation of Commemmorative Plaque to honor Mifflin Wistar Gibbs at Irving Park in James Bay.  Gibbs, a Victoria pioneer and the first black person to hold elected office in B.C. was honored with a bronze plaque unveiled as part of BCBHAS Heritage Day on February 19, 2017.  The plaque commemorates Mifflin Gibbs as a person of national historic significance.    


May 20th to 28th 5th Annual African and Cultural Week & AfriCaFest     



Grafton Tyler Brown was a cartographer, lithographer, and painter and is considered the first professional Black artist in the Pacific North West.  He lived and worked in B.C. from 1882 to 1885 and owned a studio in Victoria. 

Doug Hudlin is an Alexander Family descendant, founding member of our Society, love of baseball and a well-remembered and respected umpire.  Doug was inducted into the B.C. Baseball Umpires Association Hall of Fame in 2011 and will be inducted posthumously into the Canadiam Baseball Hall of Fame this summer. 

John Craven Jones is the younger brother of William Alan Jones, the Barkerville Dentist.  John Craven Jones was the 1st and only school teacher on Salt Spring Island for 10 years.  He taught 25 students in 2 separate schools.

Emma Stark is the oldest daughter of Syliva Stark.  She was just a child when the Starks arrived on Salt Spring Island.  She attended 1 of John Craven's schools.  She attended high school in Nanaimo and went on to obtain a teaching certificate and taught at Cedar School near Nanaimo.  She was the 1st female black teacher in the Province.


Welcome to the B.C. Black History Awareness Society  The society was formed in February 1994 to celebrate achievements of black pioneers in British Columbia.  Our goals now include promoting diversity and inclusion and providing opportunities to bring together diverse groups of people.

Rosie Jones and Joan Cook Memorial Bursary to provide financial assistance for students at Camosun College who have a heritage background.

Black Pioneers 1859 - 1870 invited by Sir James Douglas; they were not runaway slaves arriving by an underground railway but free men and women seeking a place where they could raise their families without fear, educate their children, practice their professions, enjoy the results of their hard work.

Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.  For over 400 years, more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims of a tragic transatlantic slave trade, one of the darkest chapters in human history.

Black History Canada An annotated guide to online resources on the history of Canada's black communities