Frank Segal: Ethnic Diversity in Strathcona

Posted by jyuhasz

Strathcona: The old Jewish neighbourhood, Vancouver, B.C., 1974
Rights - Copyright JMABC
Segal, Frank
Vancouver, BC
Segal, Binki
Monday, November 26, 2007
Digital audio recording #: 20.07-08
BS:         In Vancouver…
FS:          In Vancouver, yes in Vancouver we, I grew...My parents moved, they rented a house at the corner of Georgia and Hawkes Street. The house and all the other houses that were in that area were, that was kind of the centre of the Jewish, at least Georgia Street was...although mixed neighbourhood. So those houses are no longer there in fact there, there is a park, but I do recall quite clearly a lot of the neighbourhood and the different ethnic backgrounds of many of the neighbours.
BS:         What were some of the ethnic groups?
FS:          Well, most, well it was, there were many, there were a lot of Ukrainians, in fact there was the Ukrainian, cultural centre, not a church. This was, these were the Ukrainians who were non, who were non-religious or anti-religious, in fact, but very, strong Ukrainian nationalists and they preserved their, the culture, which was very close by. So there were a lot of Ukrainians, there certainly were a lot of Chinese. In fact the majority, I think the majority of the people that we went, that I went to school with were Chinese. And there was also, a large Jewish community there because the, well you know, the first Schara Tzedeck was two blocks away from our house and that was, that was served as not just the synagogue, but of course, the community centre and since most of the community activities centered around religious activities so the Jewish holidays were a very large part and of the community activity.
BS:         Did the different communities intermingle in any way?
FS:          Yes quite, well certainly at school. Most of our classmates were Chinese and of course there was, and there was great competition between the Chinese and the, and the, and the Jewish kids...for marks. At that point there was great, there was competition and people were graded in their position in the class and so it was quite the challenge in order to achieve something within the first five or six ranks. So, I managed to get a couple of times to get within, got close to first but never quite made it.

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