Hungarian Refugees Received on Prince Edward Island, 1957
10 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2009 Last revised: 18 Nov 2011
Date Written: January 23, 2009
Paper presented at the Third Annual Atlantic University Undergraduate History and Classics Conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia, January 23-25, 2009
In 1956 and 1957 a series of articles were published in Prince Edward Island’s The Guardian newspaper to assure Islanders that recently arrived Hungarian refugees would make fine citizens. The Hungarians’ ability to settle in Canada without disrupting the economy and their healthy, respectable appearances were noted as being admirable traits. Special mention was also made of the immigrants’ youthfulness.
An examination of these newspaper articles provides insight into how the Island, as a host community, reacted to the arrival of these migrants. They demonstrate the “type” of immigrant that was sought by members of the rural, agriculture-based province of PEI. The articles also show that governmental and nongovernmental organizations collaborated to provide shelter, food, clothing, and employment for the Hungarian refugees. Collaboration among local humanitarian organizations to assist refugees in settling on the Island was common during this period. It was not until 1992 that the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada, an autonomous immigrant support agency, was created.
In this paper, the response to Hungarian refugees arriving in PEI in the 1950s, as illustrated in The Guardian, will be placed within the larger history of the reception of refugees in post-World War Two Canada, and within the larger history of Canadian immigration.
Keywords: refugee, hungary, cold war, Prince Edward Island, The Guradian, migration, settlement
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation