BC Legislature honours Punjab’s defenders of the Crown with an installation of an historic permanent exhibit
In May 2016 in a ceremony lead by the Honourable Linda Reid, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, guest Speakers the Honourable Minister Amrik Virk, Steven Purewal, IMFC Curator & Managing Director, and Assistant Deputy Speaker Raj Chouhan, defined the nature and extent of the Punjabi community’s contribution’s to the Allied war effort. The Punjabi heritage exhibit is a unique collaboration between the Indus Media Foundation and the Government of British Columbia to reinstate a missing World War One narrative of duty and sacrifice that Punjabis share with Canada. The display features Victorian and WW1 campaign medals donated by the Indus Media Foundation along with an officer’s sabre belonging to the grandfather of Mr. Amrik Singh Virk – a veteran of WW1.
The exhibit was curated by Steven Purewal (IMFC) at the invitation of the MLA of Richmond East, the Honourable Linda Reid (Speaker of the House) and installed with the assistance of the Royal BC Museum who provided their expert services in fabricating the showpiece display unit.
The exhibit will now be a permanent feature in the British Columbia Legislature rotunda outside the Main Legislative Assembly Hall for any visitor to view at the British Columbia Parliament Buildings, 501 Belleville Street, Victoria, BC V8V 2L8
Presenting a piece of shared history – A Common Flag
The groundbreaking collaboration between the Indus Media Foundation and the Government of British Columbia to reinstate the lost military heritage of the Punjabi community began at the onset of the Centennial of the Great War 1914-18. Over the course of 2014 and 2015 a number of WW1 anniversary events featuring the portable exhibit Duty, Honour & Izzat were featured at the legislature and were well received by the public. It was clear that despite the fact that South Asian immigrants from the Punjab had arrived in BC over one hundred years ago the culture and proud heritage of Indo-Canadians had yet to be fully articulated and appreciated within Canada. In recognition of the support of the Government of BC to build awareness of this history, Indus Media Foundation were proud to present a symbol of the shared heritage to the Premier; an 1874 Red Imperial ensign was presented to draw attention to the deep roots the Punjabis have in Canada. The Premier, Christy Clark, then advocated a permanent exhibit be developed to showcase the artefact for all to see at the Legislature building.
Presenting the Ensign – Video
Presenting the Ensign – Photos