8.22.2009

muriel duckworth, woman of peace

A great Canadian has died. Muriel Duckworth lived to be 100 years old, and she used her time on earth well.
Muriel Duckworth, a Nova Scotian peace activist best known as one of the founding members of the national peace group Voice of Women, died early Saturday at the age of 100.

Duckworth fell and broke her hip while at her Quebec cottage. She passed away at a hospital in Magog, Que.

Duckworth co-founded a variety of social action groups and played crucial roles in several humanitarian organizations, including Oxfam Canada, where she served on the board of directors in the 1970s.

She holds numerous honourary degrees from universities across Canada, including Mount Saint Vincent University and Dalhousie University. In 1983, Duckworth was made a companion of the Order of Canada and won the Pearson Peace Medal less than a decade later.

In her final days, Duckworth connected with many friends, including Marian Douglas Kerans, who wrote a biography about the activist that was published in 1996. Kerans said Duckworth was busy living "right up 'till the very end." The two last spoke over the phone on Aug. 17.

'She was fearless'

"Her way of speaking so simply, so plainly and right to the point was really quite phenomenal," Kernas said. "She was fearless."

Of Duckworth's tireless involvement in different organizations, Kerans said the centenarian saw needs everywhere and moved to fill them. "She always knew who the disadvantaged were," Kerans said. "Whose corner you needed to be in. Who you should advocate for."

Duckworth was one of five children born in Austin, Que., to Anna Westover and Ezra Ball. In 1947, she and her late husband, Jack, moved to Halifax. They were pacifists and their vocal opposition to the Second World War drew much ridicule at the time.

During the Vietnam War, Muriel and other Voice of Women members were instrumental in arranging a tour to Canada for Vietnamese women directly affected by the war.

Became a Quaker

She quit the United Church of Canada when it refused to condemn the conflict, and joined the Quakers, a religious faith deeply committed to non-violence.

Kerans said she believes Duckworth was saddened by Canada's role in the Afghanistan war.

"Her regret was that wars are not lessening, and wars have not disappeared. The greatest hope of her life was to see movement towards the creation of peace on earth," Kerans said. Duckworth is survived by her three children, 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

10 comments:

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I see you won't put up my comment. Well, that doesn't surprise me. In fact, it's something that I'd expect from a provincial New Yorker. You like to criticize everyone else but you won't tolerate any criticism of you or your words on your blog. I'll leave up your inane prattle on my blog so others can see what a hypocrite you are.

L-girl said...

Dr Monkey, I didn't put up your last comment because it was off topic, insulting, and you had already said the same thing on your own blog. I thought you had gotten your point across there, and the extra comment on this blog was gratuitous (link here).

I meant no offense with my comment. I'm sorry that it offended you, and even sorry that you have chosen to lash out at me in this way.

Whatever your problem is, please take it elsewhere.

L-girl said...

^even sorrier^

typo

redsock said...

You like to criticize everyone else but you won't tolerate any criticism of you or your words on your blog.

MVM angrily accuses Laura of not tolerating criticism -- which if you have read this blog for more than a week you know is bullshit -- yet when he believes he has been criticized, he lashes out with numerous insults.

This may be the strongest example of projection I have seen in months.

deang said...

What a strange person Dr. M is. The comments you left on his blog are reasonable and respectful and he responds like that. Very strange.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I was off topic, riiiiight. Oh wait, I was as off topic as you were in putting your screed against my opinions in a post that had nothing to do with New York city. Your sanctimony is overwhelming. And please do me a favor, tell your pals I don't give a crap what they say or think about me. And lastly, if reading my blog makes you sad, then don't do it.

L-girl said...

My first comment was on the post about Bloomberg, asking you not to judge all NYers by him.

Then when I scrolled through, I saw a lot of anti-NYC stuff, so left a general comment.

You are absolutely correct. My comment was off-topic, too.

As I said, I didn't put your 1st comment through for 3 reasons. OT was only one of them.

You really are quite the head case. Maybe an anger management course is in order. Or a Xanax.

Til then, be a good chap and fuck off.

L-girl said...

your screed against my opinions

Anybody see a screed in that thread (linked above)?

Perhaps the meaning of the word screed has changed.

impudent strumpet said...

Screed is my new favourite word.

L-girl said...

FTR:

MM post re Bloomberg, where I first commented, asking MM not to judge all NYers by the stupid mayor,

another MM post with anti-NYC stuff, and

a third.

After seeing the 3rd post, I left a general comment on his most recent post.

Dean is correct. Strange dude.