Our Journey To Canada

June 5, 2018

 

 

Meet Constable Neil McEachrane. He is a proud Trinidad and Tobago-Canadian. Constable McEachrane is the Diversity Officer for the Windsor Police Services, a  University of Windsor graduate, and is committed to celebrating Windsor's multiculturalism. While reflecting on his immigration story, this is what he had to say:

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"At the age of 14 I emigrated from Trinidad and Tobago to Canada with my brother. We lived with my uncle and his family in Windsor, as my father passed away when I was 9yrs old and our family had some financial struggles.

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To say I was in culture shock here in Canada is an understatement. I really knew nothing about Canada but always associated it with the U.S.A. I remember hearing of racial incidents' in the U.S.A. (Civil Rights struggles). As I tried to adjust to life in Canada I was always on guard  expecting  some sort of abuse based on my race. Funny thing is, I never thought about race before immigrating to Canada. Funnier thing is that I never had that negative experience I expected. Everyone I met was quite helpful.

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My struggles however, were my adjustment. Not many people looked like me, sounded like me or thought like me. No Caribbean food or music, not much that I could relate to.  I attended high school at W.D. Lowe, where I always felt different (as I was now considered a minority). I became withdrawn and somewhat isolated.  I remember once in Social Studies class the topic of race came up. In particular, negro or black, which is the proper term. I remained silent until I was asked what I wished to be called. I looked up and answered, “Neil.” I wasn’t trying to make a statement, I was just never in the position of being referred to as anything but Neil.

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After a couple years I began to find myself. My mother was big on self-respect and respect of others, working hard, and getting an education. These characteristics helped me assimilate into Canadian culture. I came to accept my new life though I missed my old life tremendously. 

Seven years passed before I was able to financially afford to travel back to Trinidad and Tobago. I tried to make up for lost time. After getting married and having children I made sure that our family visited Trinidad and Tobago every two years. It was important to me that my family become familiar with our culture and I that could reminisce through them.

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Becoming a police officer is one of the best things I could have done for myself, my family and my community. The past 25 years have been rewarding in a multitude of ways. As the Diversity Officer for the Windsor Police Services, I don’t think I could be happier. Working with Windsor’s multicultural community and new Canadians has allowed me to relate with their struggles and have a better understanding of our diverse community.  I only wish I knew what policing was all about at an earlier age."

 

 

 

 

 

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