Toronto restaurant will host 1st Annual Henry “Bob” Braithwaite Remembrance Lunch

Toronto restaurant will host 1st Annual Henry "Bob" Braithwaite Remembrance Lunch

FUSE  Restaurant~Entertainment~Emporium is proud to host its 1st Annual Remembrance Day lunch and dedicated Remembrance Day Ceremony in honour of African Canadian Veterans.

The 1st Annual, Henry “Bob” Braithwaite Remembrance Day Lunch will take place on November 11, 2016 at FUSE Restaurant from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm located at 366 Queen St. East, Corktown District, Toronto.

Toronto restaurant will host 1st Annual Henry "Bob" Braithwaite Remembrance Lunch

This event will honour African Canadian Veterans, recognize their families and include a moment of silence, as we remember the valiant, the bold, and the brave who so selflessly devoted their lives to all Canadians and their country.

We will also be awarding the 1st Annual Henry “Bob” Braithwaite Scholarship to a high school student of African descent who, like Henry Braithwaite, has overcome barriers to success and is heading for a bright and rewarding future.

Donations toward the scholarship can be submitted by email transfer to info@helping-hands.ca (preferred option), by cheque payable to Helping- Hands International Charitable BN# 835255423 RR0001 or by cash on site at the event. Please mail cheques to FUSE Restaurant Entertainment Emporium 366 Queen St. East Toronto ON M5A 1T1.

Any support provided will be appreciated and acknowledged. Taxable receipts will be provided upon request.

The organizers at FUSE thanks all supporters and contributors kindly for their time and support of African Canadian Veterans and the youth in our community.

This ceremony is endorsed and supported by Black Veterans Affairs, Victorious Legacy, and the Poppy Project.

About Henry “Bob” Braithwaite

by Diana Braithwaite (daughter)  with excerpts from book  SOME BLACK MEN

by authors- Rella Braithwaite (Henry Braithwaite’s wife)  & Eleanor Joseph


bob-braithwaite-and-his-wifeHenry (Bob) Braithwaite was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1922, a few years after his parents came to Canada from Barbados.  Braithwaite’s father, who had worked with other Black men on the Panama Canal, later worked as a porter on the Railroad.  One of ten children, Braithwaite remembers the Depression years when his Mother did day work in Montreal for a dollar a day.

In 1942 the War beckoned Braithwaite and many of his generation.  It was during that time that he met Rella Aylestock while training at Camp Borden, Ontario.  In 1943, Bob and Rella were married and at war’s end on his return from overseas, they bought land and a home in Scarborough where they raised six children.

Braithwaite clearly remembered the V2 bombs zooming overhead while serving in Europe.  He also recalled the confrontations as well as the challenges he experienced during his service in England, France, Belgium, and Holland.  Like many other Black veterans, he not only endured the evils of war but was repeatedly confronted with discrimination in his own regiment.  Bob vividly recalled being the recipient of racial slurs on various occasions during his time in the Canadian Army.

After the war the men returned to Canada and many were encouraged to retrain in preparation for employment.  Eager to learn a trade, Braithwaite spent time attending Ryerson Technical Institute, which was at that time a trade school.  What followed was disheartening when he was told by the director, that he could learn at Ryerson, but “Don’t be disappointed when you don’t get hired”. After successfully completing his training, and despite his service in the army, sure enough, Braithwaite was directed to go to a coal shoveling position.

As time moved on and with a wife and young family to support, Braithwaite considered himself fortunate to find employment at the new Johns Manville plant opening in Scarborough, which was close to his residence, but after unloading a thousand bags of asbestos in two and a half hours every day for three years, without any promotions he’d had enough and left the company to work for himself.

For over fifty years, Bob Braithwaite, with the assistance of his family successfully ran and operated his own company. A trucking and scrap metal business.  Bob started the company on a bicycle and built the business into one that at its peak showed profits in the six figures. After his death in 2005, the company was operated by his son Cecil Braithwaite who successfully managed the company for another ten years.

Never looking back, Bob Braithwaite was an avid believer that despite severe discrimination that exists, which he himself experienced in those early years in Canada, felt it is extremely important for Black youth to not be stopped or deterred by it. Instead they should continue to strive to take advantage of today’s many opportunities. He advised his children, grandchildren and other youth to “set goals, be positive and don’t let anyone discourage you.”

Source: Kat Comminications

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