NOTE: Premier Stephen McNeil, Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Suzanne Lohnes-Croft, Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Zach Churchill, Minister of Immigration, Acadian Affairs and Francophonie, and Labour and Advanced Education Lena Metlege Diab, and Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services Minister Patricia Arab will participate in the Heritage Day 2021 virtual ceremony. The pre-taped virtual ceremony will be available to watch on Monday, Feb. 15 after 9 a.m. at https://www.facebook.com/events/478752059817643
Immigrants have played a critical role in building Nova Scotia, including newcomers from Lebanon, who have made exceptional cultural, religious, economic, and political contributions to our province for more than 130 years. That is why this Heritage Day, Monday, Feb. 15, will honour a Nova Scotian soldier and lawyer of Lebanese descent, Lt. Edward Francis Arab.
“Nova Scotia is full of the unique, diverse and inspiring stories of more than 100 cultural groups that call our province home,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “This year, we celebrate Lt. Edward Arab who was a soldier, lawyer and grandson of some of the earliest Lebanese immigrants to Nova Scotia. He fought for equality, for human rights and for our country where he made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.”
Edward Arab was born on Sept. 6, 1915 in Halifax. At the age of 16, he joined the Canadian Officer’s Training Corps, based at Dalhousie University, and earned a Bachelor of Arts before graduating from Dalhousie Law School in 1937. Edward opened his own law firm which had a reputation for accepting cases that addressed issues of prejudice and racism.
In the summer of 1942, Edward joined the Canadian Infantry Corps and was deployed in September 1944 to fight for Canada during the Second World War. He was killed along with members of his regiment in the Dutch town of Bergen op Zoom on Oct. 25, 1944.
“Heritage Day is another opportunity to tell the important stories of unsung Nova Scotia heroes like Lt. Edward Arab,” said Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Suzanne Lohnes-Croft. “His duty and commitment to our country are true examples of courage, bravery and pride. I would like to thank the Canadian Lebanon Society of Halifax for sharing this history and making this day possible.”
Lt. Arab was proud of his Lebanese heritage and helped establish the Canadian Lebanon Society, serving as its first president in 1938. Today, the society continues to share and celebrate Lebanese heritage and culture.
We at the Canadian Lebanon Society were very honoured and pleased when we found out that Lt. Edward Arab was selected as the honouree for this year’s Heritage Day. Being that he was one of the founders of the society and its first president, we have a strong connection to him. Now, we hope all Nova Scotians will feel that same sense of pride and connection to Lt. Arab when they learn more about his contributions to Nova Scotia and Canada.
Mary Ann Laba, vice president, Canadian Lebanon Society
- Heritage Day is an annual statutory holiday launched in 2015
- Heritage Day is an opportunity to honour the remarkable people, places and events that have contributed to the province’s unique heritage
- more than 7,000 Nova Scotians identify as being of Lebanese descent
- one of the goals in Nova Scotia’s Culture Action Plan is to support the various cultural communities, in cooperation with frontline organizations, to build awareness and understanding among all cultures
More information about Heritage Day can be found at: https://heritageday.novascotia.ca
Canadian Lebanon Society of Halifax: https://www.canadianlebanonsociety.ca
Nova Scotia Launches First Lebanese Heritage Month: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20181105002
Census Profile, 2016 Census:
Nova Scotia Culture Action Plan: https://novascotia.ca/culture/Culture-Action-Plan--English.pdf