MacMillan Bloedel always hired the top graduate from Fairview Commerce. In 1940, the top student graduated from Grade 12 with a 98.2% average. That student was Midori Yoshida, and being Japanese Canadian wasn’t offered the job.

While he was working in Carmi during internment, Yosh wrote to a parts place in Vancouver looking for a part. They wrote back saying that judging from his surname, he must be Japanese, in which case they had no interest whatsoever in helping him. However, they added that if they were mistaken, they requested that he please contact them again and they would be most happy to help him. Yosh kept this letter in his archives.

Yosh mentioned that Japanese Canadian couldn’t buy property in Shaughnessy or West Vancouver. He said that Japanese Canadians doing housework in West Vancouver had to take a ferry across the water. They couldn’t stay overnight in West Vancouver and had to make sure that they returned to the Vancouver side.

They couldn’t stay late. They couldn’t live there. And they only got about $1.25 a day.


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