On April 16, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s economic, social, and cultural visit to Vancouver, Premier Christy Clark presented the 100 Year Journey book as the official gift from the Province of British Columbia. The commemorative publication includes 100 selected stories of British Columbia’s South Asian pioneers spanning the past century. A single copy of the hard cover edition was specially hand made for the occasion.
At a private meeting held shortly before Canada’s official state dinner for the visiting Prime Minister, the BC Premier discussed the experiences of South Asian Canadians as an important part of Canada’s past, present and future.
“I met with Prime Minister Modi to talk about strengthening cultural, social and of course economic ties between British Columbia and India. I presented him with the book, the 100 Year Journey which is filled with so many inspiring stories of pioneers who came here and endured some of the most difficult circumstances, stuck with it, and decided to stay. And because they did, they helped us build a much better and richer country. We were lucky to have them come. These stories matter. These stories inspire.” she said.
The Honorable Wally Oppal, Q.C., who belongs to a pioneer family and is featured in the book, along with his mother, Gurdial Kaur Oppal who recently turned 100, commented, “the 100 Year Journey is a fantastic timeless project that’s making a tremendous contribution to the community. It has brought back so many memories and opportunities to discover our heritage. It also brought out the inordinate challenges that were overcome by South Asian pioneers. This is an important and ambitious project. I can’t say enough good things about it.”
“It was truly an honor to have been chosen to provide BC’s official gift to Prime Minister Modi. One of the goals with the 100 Year Journey Project is to showcase the many contributions made by those early pioneers that came from India. To have that presented to the Indian Prime Minister is a great honor for this project,” said Rana Vig, 100 Year Journey Founder and Publisher.
About 100 Year Journey Project
Established in 2014, the 100 Year Journey Project presented by the former publisher of Mehfil Magazine (1993 – 2010) celebrates South Asian pioneers in Canada by sharing and immortalizing their stories within a commemorative publication and website. The idea first emerged in 1996 when the column ‘Reflections’ was first launched as a part of Mehfil Magazine to capture the inspirational stories of the South Asian pioneers before they were lost to history.
The vision behind the project is to create a timeless resource that would preserve South Asian heritage and provide an expanded narrative of South Asian history, which presently does not exist in Canadian history textbooks. Since its release, the publication has been enthusiastically accepted by teachers and has been approved for use in several school districts including Surrey, Abbotsford, Burnaby and Vancouver. The publishers continue to expand the reach with plans to make it available to all schools across Canada.