Profiles: Ted and Hazel Roberts

      Hazel Ayers Roberts grew up in West Corvina and lived across the street from Japanese farmers. Her parents were friends with their neighbors and worked collectively farming. The Ayers family developed a close and friendly relationship with their neighbors, sharing holiday meals, and teaching English lessons to the young Japanese workers. Mrs. Ayers even fostered one Japanese child for several years when the mother became ill. Hazel and her sisters never thought of the little boy as anything other than their little brother, as they grew up with him.

         Hazel Ayers married Ted Roberts in 1917. In 1925 they started a dairy farm on Mrs. Ayer’s property. The couple was involved in many volunteer activities and especially those involving their Japanese neighbors. Hazel taught Sunday School Classes and became a Camp Fire Girl leader. Because of desegregation, in 1925 she created the Cherry Blossom Girls group for the Japanese girls. This group helped the girls, many of whom were children of immigrant agricultural workers to learn English, American cooking and etiquette, dancing, and handicrafts. Hazel continued her activities through 1942, earning the label “Jap Lover” from her community.

        After the evacuation of the Japanese community occurred, Hazel and Ted Roberts and her mother Mrs. Ayers continued to aid their friends and neighbors, visiting the temporary internment camps, bringing clothing and fresh fruits and vegetables. They continued corresponding with their friends for the remainder of the war.

          In 1946 they moved to Carlsbad after retiring from the dairy business in Corvina. Ted became active with the Carlsbad City police reserve unit, boy scouts, church activities and gardening. Hazel was a Union Church Sunday school teacher. Prior to World War II the Roberts lived in Baldwin Park, Ca. In 1967 her former Cherry Blossoms, presented the Roberts with an all expense paid trip to Japan to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. The Roberts were honored as Carlsbad Citizens of the Year in 1973.