dr marten brogues TCWC celebrating 100th anniversary of IWD
“The seven honourees are women from different backgrounds and cultures but their contributions all share a common theme of wanting to make our community a better place for women and families,” said TCWC co chair Lynn Comeau.
The banquet will be held at the Lions Club on Parade Street. there will be an opportunity to meet the honourees.
To cover expenses the cost is $30. Tickets are available at City Drug on Main Street and the Tri County Women’s Centre at 12 Cumberland St. Those requiring a vegetarian option can let the centre know.
“On this one day of the year people around the world take time to reflect and celebrate the achievements of women and international peace. We welcome the community to come out, share a meal, and celebrate the positive contribution these seven women have made,” said TCWC boardmember Wanda Doucette.
The theme this year for IWD is Strong Women, Strong World.
“This theme draws in part from one of the fundamental beliefs underlying the modern women’s movement, that ‘a woman’s place in society marks the level of civilization of that society”, said TCWC executive director Bernadette MacDonald.
“This refers not only to the empowerment of women as a means to bring about positive and fundamental social change but to the critical roles that women play as leaders, policy makers, caregivers, educators, and international peacemakers.”
“The theme also draws from the fact that empowered women can, and do,
play a fundamental role in current and future efforts to preserve and protect the world’s natural environment.
“Strong Women, Strong World, makes clear, when we empower women, we secure a brighter future for everyone.”
IWD can be traced to the early labour movement when female textile workers demanded better working conditions and to the suffrage movement when women demonstrated for the right to vote. In 1979 the United Nations adopted a resolution inviting countries to dedicate IWD to the rights of women and international peace.
For more information contact the Women’s Centre at 742 0085 or visit the web site.
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Ada Fells, born in Greenville, was the first African Nova Scotian female to be employed at the Dominion Textile factory in Yarmouth. During her employment she experienced various forms of racism, which resulted in her passion to assist her community.
Fells joined the Black United Front (BUF) shortly after its inception in 1969. One of her responsibilities with the BUF was to make public health accessible to her community.
During her 30 years with this organization she liaised with nurses, served as an outreach worker and a supervisor and, most importantly, was a strong advocate for the African Nova Scotian community.
She was selected by the minister of community services to serve on the task force assessing the needs of the African Nova Scotian community and identifying an effective strategy to address those needs. She was a board member of the Tri County District School Board, the Black Culture Centre, and the multicultural association of Nova Scotia. She was a founding member of the Black Cultural Society of Nova Scotia and an active member of numerous other organizations.
Fells was the recipient of many awards,
including Volunteer of the Year for Nova Scotia, 20 years of service with the Black Cultural Society, and the Governor General Award. She has a place on the wall of honour at the Black Cultural Centre in Dartmouth.
Her lifetime of work was about advocating on behalf of individuals who didn’t have a voice and reinforcing her message “education is the key to success”.
Fells was the mother of six biological children. She was a foster parent for 27 years, providing quality, long term care to an additional 69 children.
Marilyn Francis was born in Boston and influenced by her grandmother who stressed the importance of her culture as a First Nations woman and the need to treat others with respect. She was the youngest student chosen to attend the Tribes Inc. school in Maine where she learned the history and traditions of her First Nations ancestors.
Returning to Boston, Francis began working for the Boston Indian Council, an organization that helped all native people with education, employment, training and cultural awareness. It was there that she met Anna Mae Aquash who became a mentor and friend.
In 1986 she moved to Yarmouth, bringing with her the knowledge and experience that she had gained through her work with the Boston Indian Council and Tecumseh House, a residential facility for First Nations people dealing with substance abuse.
As an active voice in the Acadian First Nations community in Yarmouth she hosts sacred fires for the community, teaches her culture and participates in Mi’kmaki Nugumijk, a grandmother’s circle. She continues to advocate for accountability and equality within her community.
As a Mi’kmaq fisher woman she practices her inherent right every summer on St. Mary’s Bay to fish for lobster.
In 2004 Francis was invited to speak at the UN native peoples rights conference in Paris to share stories with other indigenous peoples of the Americas.
She enjoys spending time with her three children and seven grandchildren.
After graduating from Dalhousie Medical School in 1975 Dr. Shelagh Leahey moved to Yarmouth where she established her family medicine practice and home.
As the medical administrator of Ocean View Family Practice she provides mentoring for international medical graduates and has been a teacher to many in the medical field.
Her family practice has also included inpatient,
emergency room, and obstetrics. Over the last five years she has provided palliative care services as a family medicine consultant.