Rappelez-vous toujours - Always Remember
It may be fitting that my first post to this blog is about the December 6th program at St. George's Hall in Owen Sound for the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and the subsequent concert performed by Shawna Caspi. This allows the post to stand on its own, not coloured by the flavour of an established web log or column.
On December the 6th, 1989, at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal, fourteen women were killed and ten more were injured in a violent and gender based attack. The anniversary of this massacre is now the date of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
On December the 6th, 2013, at St. George's Hall in Owen Sound, the annual vigil was again held. The people who took part in this service of remembrance were moved to do so by their feelings of respect and their sense of duty to the idea that the memory of such a vile and loathsome offence should not be allowed to dim because it is uncomfortable. These people would rather bear the discomfort in the hopes that such a discomfort will make gender based violence an embarrassment of the past rather than the shame and burden of the present and future.
The M.C., Laura VanDyk, led the attendees through a remembrance that was at once respectful and personal. Other participants in this vigil included the seemingly tireless Joachim Ostertag and his son Sebastian Ostertag who provided instrumental music on flute and cello. Professional musician, Shawna Caspi volunteered to perform two of her songs for the vigil, “Not So Silent” and "Where the Time Goes."
During the service, the name of each woman who was killed that day, 24 years ago, was read. After each name, silence accompanied the placing of a single white rose on one of fourteen chairs reserved for those for whom the vigil was held. Lastly a single red rose was placed in the centre of this area to represent all of the victims.
During the performance of “Not So Silent” by Shawna Caspi, fourteen candles were extinguished, one at a time. When the last of the fourteen candles was put out, one single flame was left burning to signify the hope that a crime of this nature would never happen again.
Below are the names of the fourteen victims. Read them carefully and with respect:
Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student
Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk
Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student
Following the vigil, an intermission took place with the attendees sharing their thoughts, after which, Shawna Caspi again took the stage and performed a concert for all in attendance.
More on that, here, in a few days.
Promotional considerations for this event were provided by
Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario
Men's Program - Owen Sound
Metis Nation of Ontario
The Women's Centre Grey and Bruce
United Way Bruce Grey
Women's House - serving Bruce and Grey
©2013 Kelly Babcock
0:01 - Intro reflective music, Joachim Ostertag on Flute and Sebastian Ostertag on Cello
3:35 - MC, Laura VanDyk - Opening Remarks
6:00 - Shawna Caspi performs a song in reflection of this event
9:00 - The names of the 14 women who were killed in the tragic act of gender-based violence in Montreal are said
10:00 - Shawna performs "Not So Silent"
14:50 - Quiet Moment of Reflection
15:45 - Mossy's Remarks
853 4th St. East,
Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada
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