“On May 21, 1941 my parents were married at Canadian Memorial. My mother had graduated in Psychiatric Nursing and my father was studying to be an Electrical Engineer. During my father’s summers away from school he worked up at the Britannia Beach copper mines where my Mom’s brother Howard also worked. Uncle Howie set my Mom and Dad up on a blind-date and that’s where their life story together began.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” – Matthew 5:9 What is the significance of this verse for you?
“My mother was very much a part of the peace movement and she loved the work of Rachel Carson. It was one of the first environmental books that was written about pesticides and what they are doing to the earth. She belonged to a group of women called the Peace Group within the United Church in Strabane, Ontario. I remember my father also treasured the Beatitudes – something he talked about and especially liked the one verse about blessed are the children, they are the peace makers. So it always kind of stuck with me – a connection that they both had.”
Tell me a little about your spirituality.
“I grew up in the United Church but I don’t go much anymore. I find my spirituality more with the natural world: walking in the forest, on the beach and music. I started singing in the Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir. I was so moved when I heard them that I told myself that I had to sing in that choir. Later I joined the City Soul Choir and the Marcus Mosely Chorale and still sing with them. I have a friend who’s in the last days of her life, she just turned 92 and suffers from dementia. When I visit her I know she doesn’t remember me but I believe she remembers the essence of me. However, when we sing the hymns together, she remembers them and sometimes sings perfect harmony. It blows me away. Even for us, you can hear a song and it can take you to another place, another time – maybe somewhere only you know. You can’t share it but it’s such a strong feeling inside. For me, that’s my spirituality.”