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Daxa Popat
First Impressions

Time 0:00:46


There was no leaves on the trees and that struck us, you know. And snow flurries, you know. That struck us there was one thing. And no leaves on the trees, you know. That was a bit a—it seemed strange, you know, because we always have leaves on the trees in Uganda, you know, because it’s always green, greenery. The grass is always green. They didn’t have to worry about snow, or ploughing the snow, or you know, or worry anything about that, or ice, or anything like that. So that one thing struck, you know—that is cold and snow and no leaves on the trees, you know and—But it was very amazing and very exciting at the same time.

Daxa Popat was born in Kamuli, Uganda in 1957. Although Daxa and her siblings were born Uganda, her mother and two of her grandparents were originally from India. In 1972, Ugandan president Idi Amin ordered the removal of the country’s Asian population. Even though the Popat family were Ugandan citizens, they were forced to leave the country because of their Indian heritage. Daxa and her family immigrated to Canada from Uganda in 1972, sponsored by an uncle in Ontario. They settled in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia where Daxa’s father worked in the new Michelin tire plant.

Daxa attended the Nova Scotia Community College for book-keeping and secretarial administration. She was the first of her classmates to find a job after graduation, doing accounts payable for the municipal government for six years. Daxa then moved to Halifax to work in her father’s grocery store, which he had opened after he retired from the Michelin plant in 1982. The store closed in 1991.

Since then, Daxa has worked in various government departments. She has also done volunteer work with the Canadian Diabetes Association, the Lung Association, the Heart & Stroke Foundation, and the Keshen Goodman Library in Halifax.

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