The Park Lawn Cemetery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada has two mass unmarked graves in which rests approximately 75 Dr. Barnardo Home Children. Canada's leading organization for the British Home Children, the British Home Children Advocacy & Research Association in collaboration with the Barnardo offices in the UK and the Park Lawn Cemetery, is raising funds to have a monument place in the cemetery for these 75 children.
Why is this important?
One of Canada's best kept historical secrets, the mass immigration of tens of thousands of children to be used as a source of cheap labor. Between 1863 and 1949, over 110,000 children were removed from the UK and brought to Canada. Known as the British Home Children, their descendants alone are estimated to make up over 10% of Canada's population and yet, even their very own descendants are unaware, not only that their ancestors may have been BHC, but also what this truly means. Many of these children did well in Canada, but many more did not. Some suffered abuses, neglect - some took their own lives in dispair. Some died of ill health. 75 of these children, who died for a variety of reasons were buried, over the years, in two plots in Park Lawn Cemetery. It wasn't until the BHCARA Research Team led by Lori Oschefski discovered these plots, in 2013, that the names of those buried there were revealed. Since that time, the BHCARA members have been researching the names to discover the deatils of their deaths, dates and just who these people were.
It is our goal to have a monument placed in the cemetery with these 75 names and on the back - the story of the Barnardo Home Children written.
The goal is to have this monument place by the spring of 2017, if not sooner. Those who donate towards this project will be donating towards not only remembering and honouring those lost lives, but also helping towards preserving this critical part of our Canadian History.
Each week we will publish information on a child buried in Park Lawn.
Information on those buried in Park Lawn can be found at: http://canadianbritishhomechildren.weebly.com/park-lawn-cemetery---barnardo-plot.html
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- Alannah Ryane
- Rotary Club Etobicoke
- Marilyn O'Halloran
- Barbara Langille
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