How About The Charles Roach Highway, asks community
|Family and Friends of Charley Roach hold up the Charley Roach Lane sign|
Massive turnout for unveiling of Charley Roach Lane
By Stephen Weir, Caribbean Camera
The City held an early evening traffic stopping celebration in the memory of the late community activist Charley Roach on Wednesday, July 18th. Over 400 people jammed a small laneway stopping traffic on Rushton Road and briefly on St Clair Avenue West, to take part in the unveiling of the newly renamed Charley Roach Lane!
Charley Roach was born on September 18, 1933, in the community of Belmont in Trinidad and Tobago. He and his first wife Hetty, immigrated to Canada in 1955 and eventually in Ontario where he studied law at the University of Toronto.
|Councillor Joe and Sunset take cover off sign|
As a newly minted human rights lawyer, he quickly became a leader in Toronto's growing black community. He defended the rights of Caribbean nannies, challenged racial profiling, demanded police accountability and became known for providing legal representation to working class individuals and communities, regardless of their ability to pay.
He himself stayed a landed immigrant until his death. For more than 50 years Mr. Roach refused to take an oath to the Queen – a mandatory citizenship law he fought unsuccessfully to change for a quarter century. Charley Roach is one of the founders of the Black Action committee. He was also one of the founding members of Caribana.
|Caribbean Camera - first page of a 2-page feature by Stephen Weir|