Densho Digital Archive
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre Collection
Title: Mitsu Ito Interview
Narrator: Mitsu Ito
Interviewer: Mary Ito
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date: March 23, 2005
Densho ID: denshovh-imitsu-01-0018

<Begin Segment 18>

Mary I: How did you feel about the whole redress movement, the fact that your family lost that property in Mission?

Mitsu I: Well, I didn't think too much about it. I didn't worry about it because if we'd stayed on the farm, I guess we'd be, still been strawberry farmers. So I've been pretty lucky, that's right.

Mary I: What did you think about the compensation that you received for that?

Mitsu I: It wasn't very much, for the property we had. But if that's all they want to give us, well, you can't do anything about it.

Mary I: How much did you get?

Mitsu I: Twenty-thousand dollars. Twenty-thousand dollars.

Mary I: And what about today? What kind of activities are you doing today?

Mitsu I: Today I'm still working, I still work for the Nelson Arthur Hyland Foundation, and I go to work every day. We go to movies and go to the Cultural Centre, the Buddhist Church.

Mary I: Now you're, now, you're on the board of directors, right, of the Nelson Hyland Foundation?

Mitsu I: Yes, I'm the secretary of the Nelson Arthur Hyland Foundation.

Mary I: And what do they do?

Mitsu I: They give, well, when Mr. Hyland died, because he was a bachelor, he never had no children, so he was advised to form a foundation because he made a lot of money on the stock market, so if he died, the government would have taken everything, having no children. So he formed a foundation he called the Nelson Arthur Hyland Foundation and with that, we give money to charity.

Mary I: How do you feel about the work that you do there?

Mitsu I: It's very nice, 'cause I'm the only one in the office right now, because Mr. Hayden, the president, is not feeling very good, and I look after the office and I'm on the board of the Salden Foundation, director of the Salden Foundation, and also with the T. Donald Miller Foundation. The Salden Foundation is Mr. Hayden's father. When he passed away he had a foundation to give to charity, and T. Donald Miller Foundation is a man that was in the paving business and he paved all the 401 Highway, did all the paving and made his money paving roads, and he left a foundation. So I'm on the board of those two with Mr. Hayden, two of us. And we give to charity. We give to the Buddhist Church, Japanese Cultural Centre, Japanese Family Service, Momiji, and various other organizations.

Mary I: What do you think -- looking back -- what would you say has been your most important accomplishment? What would you say you're most proud of?

Mitsu I: Hmm... I guess working on the foundation and giving charitable donation to different organization. I mean, looking after handicapped people, sick people, we give donation to various organizations.

Mary I: You're eighty now, right?

Mitsu I: I'll be eighty-one come August, and I still go to work.

Mary I: What would you still like to do?

Mitsu I: What's that?

Mary I: What would you still like to do?

Mitsu I: Well, I think I'd still like to carry on what I'm doing, help other people. We go to various charitable function that's on in Toronto. Carry on as long as I can. I'm partially blind, but I still can get around.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.