Overseas Refugees, In British Columbia, Five Years Later, Now 2021
All this happened in the little southern town of Roshmere, B.C. It all started five years ago, in 2016, when all these refugees started arriving from overseas. A whole bunch of Syrian Refugees were sent here from eastern Canada by the Immigration Department. At first, the people of Roshmere were excited that so many were coming, and everybody talked about where in the world they might find work, and more than that, where the people might live.
But you know the kind of people we have in these small towns. Some people in every little town are "Organizers!". A few folks got together, and made lists on pieces of blue-lined school paper. They first wrote down the addresses of some suitable small houses where the people might live. Then, on another piece of paper, they wrote down where they might find work to support the wives and children. You know how people are! When folks started hearing about wives and children, solutions began to appear. After all, families are families, no matter where they live. It seemed that the Immigration Department had some soft-hearted, right-thinking people there too. They contacted the people on the committee in Roshmere and asked if they could receive six families. The committee members were shocked but replied that yes, they likely could manage to take six families, but certainly no more! It would be better, the committee said, if they were smaller families, as the school system would be limited in the number of new students they could enroll. Final discussions revealed that a total of eight adult men and ten adult women, with a total of twenty four children of public school age would be the size of the group. The committee in Roshmere called a hasty meeting to put the matter before the residents.
The meeting was highly entertaining, as most small town meetings are. Fortunately, the resident chosen as Chairman was reasonable and well liked in the little town. Oh, there were some objectors, who said there would not be any jobs and no places for the families to live. Others were worried about health issues.
But these objections just improved the 'make it work' attitude of the townsfolk. Three or four owners of fruit orchards said they could surely find work for at least some of the refugees. It appeared that two or three of the men were professional people, who would be useful in small businesses, local schools, and the banks. It appeared that employment for the 'new people' would be manageable.
"How in the world can we find enough housing for these families?", they asked each other. It was really strange how the housing situation straightened itself out. Fortunately, a newly-completed Seniors' Residence was soon becoming available. Many of Roshmere's residents were looking forward to moving into these new seniors' apartments. So the houses which would become available were not modern, and some of them were not 'nice'. But they could be usable, and the needs of the new residents were not too onerous.