BRITANNIA HERITAGE SHIPYARD RESTORATION

 

In the late 1990's, Ohama became personally involved in the city of Richmond's reconstruction of her grandparent`s original home and grandfather's boatworks, now called the Murakami Centre.

These buildings are part of a designated national historic site, the Britannia Heritage Shipyards, on the banks of the Fraser River in the village of Steveston located in Greater Vancouver.

Before the reconstruction began, these buildings were derelict and barely standing. Linda’s grandmother’s pre-1942 flower garden was overrun by waist high weeds and brambles.

Stirred by fond childhood memories of her grandmother's (obaachan) beautiful gardens on the prairie farm and seeing archival photographs of this garden prior to the removal of Japanese Canadians in 1942, led Linda to organize the re‐planting of her grandmother Asayo`s first flower garden in Canada on the Britannia Shipyards site.

In 1999, using old photographs and her grandmother’s recollections, the Murakami family were invited to come from across the country to participate in the replanting of this garden.

Over a period of five years, Ohama documented the restoration of the Murakami boatworks, home and her grandmother’s original flower garden, all part of thethe story told in the docu-drama, ‘Obaachan's Garden’.

In 2003, Linda was awarded the Heritage Award by the City of Richmond for participating in the restoration process.

Today, Asayo’s garden continues to grow and bloom, The house and garden have become a popular tourist attraction that reflect early Japanese Canadian life and history.

©2017 BY LINDA OHAMA.