B bábi, Tibor

British Columbia (Canada), Hungarians in

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British Columbia (Canada), Hungarians in – In this most western province of Canada the first Hungarians arrived mostly from the USA in the 1880s; they emigrated to the New World searching for jobs. A second wave of migrants arrived after the Versailles-Trianon Dictated Peace Treaty (1920), which ceded two thirds of Hungary’s territory to the newly created neighboring states in the Carpathian Basin. The new rulers accorded such harsh treatment to Hungarians, now in minority, that many of them rather emigrated to foreign countries. They found employment as industrial workers in Vancouver, in the orchards of the Okanagan Valley, and as dairy farmers at Abbotsford-Huntingdon, some 50 locations mostly at Brittania Beach, Creston, Enderby, Fort St John, Kelowna, Fort Ladner, Lumby, Oliver, Osoyoos, Pentington, Powell River, Revelstoke, Trail, Willow River, Vancouver and Victoria. They started organizing themselves in the 1930s. The next group came to Canada after World War II in 1945. This wave was different, for it consisted mostly of intellectuals. After the crushed Hungarian Revolution of 1956, another wave arrived. Canadians were sympathetic towards Hungarian refugees and the government even hired charter flights to transport them from Europe to Canada. With this wave some 7,000 Hungarians arrived in British Columbia. Among them was a significant part of the Sopron Forestry Academy, teachers and students, who left Hungary en bloc and settled in Vancouver, where they successfully integrated into the University of British Columbia’s Forestry Faculty. There was a smaller influx of immigrants after the communist system collapsed in Hungary in 1989. According to 1981 statistics some 8,100 Hungarian-Canadians lived in Vancouver. Altogether 27,850 Hungarian-Canadians live in Bristish Columbia, mostly in the Vancouver area. According to the 2001 Census Canada, their number was 43,515. – B:1211, 1104, T:7103.

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