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Book release coincides with first ever British Home Child Day in Ontario

Jason Setnyk
OurHometown.ca

Book release coincides with first ever British Home Child Day in Ontario
The book launch of The Street Arab - The Story of a British Home Child by Sandra Joyce is at Upper Canada Village on Wednesday September 28th to mark the first annual British Home Child Day in Ontario. Toronto-born writer, Sandra Joyce, graduated with a B. A. A. in Journalism at Ryerson University, in Toronto.
PHOTO CREDIT - SandraJoyce.com

Cornwall - Sep. 27, 2011 - The book launch of The Street Arab - The Story of a British Home Child by Sandra Joyce is at Upper Canada Village on Wednesday September 28th to mark the first annual British Home Child Day in Ontario.

Toronto-born writer, Sandra Joyce, graduated with a B. A. A. in Journalism at Ryerson University, in Toronto. After graduating, she became the National Publicity Coordinator and Staff Photographer for CBS Records. During her tenure at CBS, she won Top Publicist at the Canadian Black Music Awards. She has had an eclectic career of jobs, and now she is an English teacher.

Sandra is the daughter of a British Home Child.

"After dad died, my sister decided to look up the ship that he came over from Scotland on. She was sent the passenger's list by Pier 21 and passed it on to me. I was intrigued. His name was on it as well as his brother's but they were only 15 and 12 at the time. We had no idea, he had been so young. And not only that, there were dozens of other children's names on it, all from the same organization: The Orphan Homes of Scotland.

"We were able to contact the organization, which now goes under the name of Quarrier's. They had the intake records with the 'Canada clause' as well as information about my father's family."

Writing this book was a learning experience for Sandra.

"After seeing all the names and the ages of the children sent, I did more research. I found out that my dad was just one of 100,000 children that were sent over from Great Britain to Canada to work as indentured servants between the 1860s and late 1930s. And I, as a Canadian and a Home Child descendant, had no idea of any of it. I thought it was a story that needed to be told."

"It is estimated that ten percent of all Canadians are descendants of these children and so the story that I have written is part of their family history, as well as it is mine. It is a sad story, yet a story of perseverance and determination. And this story is not just relevant to their descendants, it is important to all Canadians. These children helped shape the very beginnings of our country."

It is only fitting that launch of this book takes place in the riding of SDSG, because it was MPP Jim Brownell who had his private members bill passed to honour and commemorate the British Home Children.

"SDSG MPP Jim Brownell's grandmother arrived on September 28, which is now the official annual British Home Child Day in Ontario. He fought tremendously to get it through legislature and it received Royal Assent on June 1, 2011. As it was read in Queen's Park, all parties were unanimous in their approval of it."

"Ontario received more Home Children than any other province as so it is appropriate that we are the first province to adopt such an annual British Home Child Day."

Be sure to pick up a copy of The Street Arab - The Story of a British Home Child at Upper Canada Village on September 28th. This book will become a part of history.


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