Saturday, April 14, 2007

June Callwood dies at age 82

What can be said about the loss of June Callwood? Something that hasn't, justifiably, been said elsewhere. We should all be in awe of her career, her life, her accomplishments and the manner of her passing, at the age of 82. Diagnosed with cancer in 2004, she decided to let the disease take its course rather than undergo chemotherapy, enjoying what life she had left rather than ending her days in ultimately futile therapies.

Here was a woman who wrote 1,500 magazine articles, and 30 books most of them on important matters of controversy and contention. She was a serial founder: a founding member of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association; of the Writers' Union of Canada; the Writers' Development Trust; Canadian PEN; the Canadian Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws. She founded Casey House, an AIDS hospice in memory of her youngest son, who died tragically in a motorcycle accident, Nellie's hostel for abused women, Jessie's centre for teenage mothers.
Through her writing and her activism, she did everything with passion, commitment and kindness, amply demonstrated in the extensive notices, including these.

CBC story: "I don't have power — I have influence," she said. "Power and privilege? It's an ability to help to change. My prominence is a trust."
The Globe and Mail's Sandra Martin: "Never one to let a moment escape that could be turned to the advantage of others, Ms. Callwood, reminded her admirers that “If you see an injustice being committed, you aren't an observer, you are a participant.”
Toronto Star: “I believe in kindness. I believe it’s very communicable just as meanness is. Strangers hold doors for one another. Sometimes they say thank you, sometimes they don’t. Something in us says: `If I hold this door it helps this person, and that person is slightly changed. Great consideration for one another - that’s what’s going to save the world.”



Anonymous Cynthia Brouse said...

I feel enormously saddened; she was a hero. I found especially galling this
morning's announcements on CBC Radio in which she was described (in the
usual parlance) as having "battled" cancer. She clearly did no such thing,and I admired her for it.

3:15 pm  
Blogger Biby Cletus said...

Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog

3:21 pm  
Blogger Tanya said...

She was also one of the founding members of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC), some thirty-one years ago, and continued to have many friends within that organization.

1:16 am  

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