Council of Canadians Northumberland County chapter activist Elma Parker passed away today.
Elma, who was 91 years of age, had been in palliative care at Northumberland Hills Hospital for the past several weeks.
When we first heard that she was in palliative care, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow wrote her to say: “I want you to know how much I love and value you. You have been so central to the work of the Northumberland County chapter of the Council of Canadians and have carried the banner for social justice in your community for decades. You are an incredible role model to me and to all of us here in Ottawa and across the country. I send love and thanks to you dearest Elma for a lifetime of dedication and commitment. Know that I am with you in spirit right now holding your hand and having a laugh at the world as we have done so often.”
Maude also spoke with her by telephone and Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter activists Roy Brady and Kathryn Langley visited her a number of times, including most recently this past Sunday.
In a recent article recognizing her life, chapter activist Patricia Daly wrote, “Elma has been a longstanding advocate, activist and past-president of the Council of Canadians in Northumberland County for many years. Being the iron-lady that she is, she guided the chapter through many tricky straits and narrow passes over the years and was instrumental in establishing this chapter of the Council of Canadians back in 1989. We have much to thank Elma for. She has left us a legacy of steely determination and dedication that has helped shape how we all think and see ourselves.”
Patricia also noted, “As president of the Council of Canadians here for many years she has been a voice for hardworking family farmers. She has been a voice for fair-trade, and electoral reform, an advocate for the right to water, water security and protection. Elma knows how important it is to stand up for decency and the harmony we all hope to achieve and how dire it is that everything simply must make sense in this country and in this world as we all move forward. She never gave up the fight and never shall we.”
Chapter activist Minnie de Jong, who broke the news to us today, said, “We will miss this courageous, strong advocate. The visiting and memorial service will take place at the MacCoubrey Funeral Home, 30 King Street East, on Tuesday, November 15, 2016. Visiting is from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. followed by a Memorial Service. This will be followed by a Reception.”
To read an interview with Elma published in the Autumn 2014 issue of Canadian Perspectives, please click here.
The Council of Canadians extends our condolences to Elma’s extended family and friends.
She will be missed.