Canada
Culture

Canada

BUSINESSMEN & ENTREPRENUERS

BARNSWELL, James, carpenter – In the 1870s carpenter James Barnswell, who had been attracted to Victoria during the gold rush, built some of Victoria’s most elegant homes. [Source: Encyclopedia of Canada’s Peoples]

SETON, Victor, In the mid-1980s Victor Seton emerged as the largest real-estate developer in Burnaby, British Columbia, and Seattle, Washington, and became a leader in the Jewish community, both in Canada and internationally. [Source: Encyclopedia of Canada’s Peoples]

LAI, Vincent, owns the Nicey’s Food Mart, a chain of Jamaican grocery stores in the Toronto area. [Source: Encyclopedia of Canada’s Peoples]

Adventurers, Explorers and Gold Miners
GISCOME, John Robert, Jamaican, John Robert Giscome, was an adventurer, explorer and gold miner who had trekked to the goldfields of California via Panama. Lured to British Columbia four years after gold had been found along the Fraser River, he settled near Quesnelmouth, where he became neighbour and partner of Bahamian-born Henry McDame. In 1862 the two prospected in northerly British Columbia and reconnoitred by canoe much of the water system between the Fraser and the Peace River. In a year-long exploration, Giscome noted the strange geological formations in the Rocky Mountains and collected sulphur specimens. His account of the expedition appeared in the British Columbian. His portage route to Lake Summit became Giscome Portage in his honour. In the 1870s he began prospecting along the Peace. In 1874 he and others, including McDame, formed the Discovery Company, and he mined successfully for several years. Giscome Rapid, Giscome Canyon, McDame Creek, and Mount McDame, and McDame Lake recognize the two men’s exploits. [Source: Encyclopedia of Canada’s Peoples]

LINK: <http://www.oldcem.bc.ca/tour/m_jgisco.html> (Giscome’s grave)

Members of the Profession
SUTHERLAND, Robert, In Ontario, Jamaican-born Robert Sutherland graduated from Queen’s University in 1852 with honours in classics and mathematics and graduated from Osgoode Hall in Toronto in 1855, to become Canada’s first black lawyer. Sutherland ran a prosperous practice in Walkerton, Ontario, until his death in 1878. A bachelor, he left his entire fortune of $12,000.00 to Queen’s – the largest bequest ever received by the university to that date. A plaque in Sutherland’s memory was placed at Queen’s University in 1973. [Source: Encyclopedia of Canada’s Peoples]

POLITICS
BROWN, Rosemary, O.C., B.A., M.S.W.; b. Jamaica, B.W.I; educated Wolmer’s School for Girls, Jamaica; Mcgill Univ., B.A. 1955; Univ. of B.C., M.S.W. 1964; St. Vincent Univ., Halifax, D.H.L. 1981; former Chief Commissionner., Ontario Human Rights Commission. 1996; Security Intelligence Review Ctte. (SIRC), Privy Council; Founding mem.-trainer, Volunteers for Vancouver Crises Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre; Social Worker, Children’s Aid Society of British Columbia; Montreal Children’s Hosp.; Vancouver Neurol. Soc.; Counsellor, Simon Fraser Univ. since 1969; Ombudswoman, Status of Women Council B.C. 1970-72; elected to British Columbia Legislature 1972 (becoming first ever Black woman to hold elected office in any Canadian Parliament); re-elected 1975, 1979, 1983; Adv. Council, School of Social Work, University of British Columbia 1974; U.N. Human Rights Fellowship 1973; Black Award, National Black Coalition of Canada 1974; Order of B.C. 1995; Officer, Order of Canada 1996; author Being Brown: a very public life 1989; Board member, Queen’s University; Status of Women Council of British Columbia; Council of Continuing Education, University of British Columbia; N.D.P.; [Source: Who’s Who Canada]

RELIGION
STEWART, Cecil, In the early 1920s Reverend Cecil Stewart established the Afro-Community Church, the largest black church in Toronto. [Source: Encyclopedia of Canada’s Peoples]

SPORTS
BAILEY, Donovan; athlete; born Manchester, Jamaica; MEMBER, CANADIAN OLYMPIC TRACK TEAM; winner, 150m One to One Challenge 1997; Olympic Games: 2 gold medals Atlanta 1996; Canadians: 2, 200m, 3, 100m 1993, 1, 100m 1995; Francophone Games: 1, 4 x 100m, 2, 100m 1994; Commonwealth Games: 1, 4 x 100m 1994; Grand Prix: 1, 60m Montreal, 1, 100m Sao Paulo, Brazil, 3, 100m Atlanta, Ga. 1966; 1, 60m Fairfax, Va., 2, 100m Lausanne, Switz., 1, 100m Berlin, Germany, 1, 100m Monte Carlo, Monaco, 1, 100m London, Eng., 1, 100m Cologne, Germany 1995; International Meets: 1, 100m Victoria, B.C. 1996; 1, 100m ISTAF ’95, 1, 100m Los Angeles, Ca., 2, 100m Zurich, 1, 100m Duisburg, Germany 1995; Worlds: 1, 4 x 100m, 1, 100m 1995; Canadian Record Holder 100m; World Record Holder 100m (9.84 seconds), `Fastest Man in the World’; winner, 150 m. One-to-One Challenge 1 June 1997; Cdn. Athlete of the Month 1996; Jesse Owens Award 1995; Jack W. Davis, Athlete of the Year, Athletics Canada 1995; Dr. Phil Edward’s Memorial Award, Outstanding Track Athlete 1995; Runner up, Lou Marsh Trophy 1995; club: S. Reg. Phoenix Track Club; [Source: Who’s Who Canada]

About the author

Ann Lori