A Struggle to Walk with Dignity

The Story of a Jamaican-Born Canadian - the Autobiography of Gerald A. Archambeau

by Gerald A. Archambeau



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 7/8/2004

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 256
ISBN : 9781412041942

About the Book

My life story will appeal to those with the most basic respect for human dignity. It is about being human first and my struggle to survive in a sometimes hostile world. Starting with my untimely birth in Kingston Jamaica, which was tainted with rejection and controversy over skin colour, within my own family. I was able to survive because of the Christian humanity within my grandmother. After her passing I was bounced around between aunts and family friends, with no father figure and not really knowing who I belonged to, leaving me with a deep distrust of people. I was eventually sent to live with my mother, who had fallen in love with a man that joined the Canadian army of World War 2, she immigrated to Canada to marry him in Montreal.

The year of my arrival from Jamaica to Montreal was 1947, and things looked very bleak for me due to a lack of loving parental guidance, after my arrival. The stage was now set for a brutal encounter with the reality of my circumstance, and a new stepfather. A very hard life was inevitable for me at this time. So my story screams out in total openness and honesty, about my deepest feelings in dealing with my struggle towards a better life for myself as a person of African, English, French and Aboriginal ancestry. Now in a new society with its many racist attitudes of the 1940's, I was forced to defend my dignity by any means available. My Jamaican heredity, and racial mix will speak volumes about me as a person who realises early in my life that I will only survive by applying myself to work hard for what I want, and by looking for the best in people, and opportunities wherever it may be. I did not choose Canada at the start as I was sent here, but over time I could see the energy of a young country ready for change and growth, that would allow me to survive as a person. I could also express my feelings as a citizen, creating a willingness in myself to give something back to a society that gave me hope for the future. By taking the challenge to change bad attitudes in my work environment within the airline industry, I was thought of as a sort of radical among some of my co-workers who loved the old racist ways of the past. Being a whistle-blower is not fun but I fought the good fight with success, and the behaviour was forced to change within the airline and the union. Having made this contribution in my area, I took the time in my retirement years to write about my experiences, to help other newcomers to Canada. My book is a multifaceted account of a life, historical facts, family problems, race, and success in the end by keeping my faith in humanity, love and understanding of people from all walks of life, as an average Canadian working stiff. Good reading.

About the Author

I Gerald A. Archambeau was born in British Colonial Jamaica in 1933. Sent to Canada in 1947, and became a Canadian citizen in 1956. This is my first book, it describes my life in Canada and reveals many of my failures and triumphs as a young immigrant adapting to a new country. Overcoming adversity, I was able to maintain my dignity as a man. Over many years I developed a deep appreciation for Canada, and the opportunities it offers to those willing to improve themselves.

Quote; ''The Human Rights Act came out long after Gerry did the pioneering work. Where he originally cut a path that is a four-lane highway now.'' P>Paul Lefebvre, president of airline central lodge 2323, IAM&AW.