Video series sheds light on Vernon and Shuswap internment camps - InfoNews

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Video series sheds light on Vernon and Shuswap internment camps

A still shot from the second episode in a video series called The Camps.
Image Credit: YouTube/ Armistice Films
September 16, 2016 - 9:00 PM

VERNON - A former internment camp at what is now W.L. Seaton Secondary School in Vernon is one of the first locations spotlighted in a new video series called The Camps.

The series of short videos by Canadian Ukrainian filmmaker Ryan Boyko explores the experience of thousands of Ukranians and other Europeans held as ‘enemy aliens’ in Canada’s internment operations between 1914 and 1920.

The first episode highlights an internment camp at Swansea Point in the Shuswap. The video includes an interview with Andrea Malysh, whose grandparents were internees.

“It’s hard to believe that this was an internment camp,” Malysh says in the video. “Men were sent out on work forays carving the mountainsides creating roads.”

She points out that’s how Highway 97A along Mara Lake was built.

“It was forced labour,” she says.

Credit: YouTube/ Armistice Films

In the second episode of the series, Glenda Kohse talks about an internment camp in Vernon where her grandparents and uncle were held. The site is located at what is now the grounds of W.L. Seaton Secondary.

“My uncle came here as a three month old baby and spent the first six years of his life looking through barbed wire,” Kohse says.

She describes how her family’s belongings were taken, including her grandfather's boats.

“They took away all their livelihood,” she says.

Vernon artist Michelle Loughery, whose grandfather was interned in Vernon, is also featured on the video talking about a mural she painted to recognize the thousands of men, women and children interned during the First World War.

The video series explores 24 internment camp locations across the country.

Future episodes can be found here.

Credit: YouTube/ Armistice Films

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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