Joan Mayo fonds

Fonds/Collection, 2020_06

Born Joan Taylor in 1931 to James H. Taylor and Mrs. Taylor. Joan grew up in Wellington on Vancouver Island where her mother operated Taylor's Red & White Store. She met Rajindi Singh Mayo, son of prominent businessman Mayo Singh, in 1948 through a mutual family friend. Joan and Rajindi were sixteen and fifteen, respectively, at the time of their meeting and their relationship was not approved of by either the Taylor's nor the Mayo's. Joan became pregnant with their first child in 1950, shortly after the death of her mother. Joan was subsequently sent to a foster home in Courtenay until her child was born and Rajindi was sent to India. Their child was forcibly taken by social services at the instruction of Joan's father. After Rajindi returned from India the two married secretly in Port Angeles, Washington, on April 27, 1953. The couple initially lived in Victoria and Rajindi commuted back and forth to Paldi to work for his father's company, Mayo Lumber Co. Joan and Rajindi relocated to a company house at Summit shortly after the birth of their son Darshan in the early 50s and by 1955 Rajindi took over as president of the Mayo Lumber Co. following the death of his father. Joan, Rajindi and their children relocated to Paldi in 1957 and continued living there even as the forestry industry declined in the 1980s and the majority of the community moved to other areas. Rajindi passed away on September 7, 2008 and was survived by his and Joan's six children: Davinder, Robin, Zale, Darshan (Darcy), Sherri, and Dale, as well as their grandchildren: Dustin, Davis, Josh, Trina, Elizabeth, Brittany, Reagan, Jackson, Jess, and Sasha. Joan was active in the Paldi community and continued to advocate for Paldi's history and significance throughout her later life. She wrote the Indo Canadian column for the now-defunct Cowichan Leader newspaper in the 1980s. The column covered topics local topics in Paldi as well as international news coming out of South Asia. The column was not always well received and Joan was criticized for her lack of cultural competence. In 1997 Joan published her book Paldi Remembered: 50 Years in the Life of a Vancouver Island Logging Town, which chronicled the history of Paldi and its residents during the twentieth century. Joan was also a member of the Cowichan Historical Society and received the Queen's Jubilee Medal in 2002. Joan currently lives in Duncan and continues to be a strong advocate for the preservation of Paldiā€™s history and legacy in the hopes of one day seeing the establishment of a Paldi heritage museum at the site at the original town. In 2023, Historica Canada released a Heritage Minute depicting the story of Paldi through the eyes of Bishan Kaur as she joins her husband Mayo Singh, in Canada. The Paldi Heritage Minute can be viewed here:

Related collection
Joan Mayo fonds (is related to)
Related people
Mayo, Rajindi Singh (); Singh, Mayo, 1891-1955 ()