Friday, August 21

100-year-old activist tells friends she's dying

"Legendary peace activist Muriel Duckworth has told friends she is “going now," accepting what appears to be the imminent end of a long life of striving for social change.

The 100-year-old, whose advocacy earned her honorary degrees and the Order of Canada, had a serious fall recently at her cottage in Magog, Que. She is receiving palliative care and does not expect to recover...

Ms. Duckworth, a practising Quaker and founding member of protest group The Raging Grannies, was born in Quebec and moved to Nova Scotia in 1947. She and her late husband, Jack, raised three children in the province while dedicating themselves to the cause of social justice.

A founding member of the provincial branch of Voice of Women, Ms. Duckworth served as national president for four years. She helped establish the anti-poverty Canadian Council for International Co-operation, and was one of the first women in Nova Scotia to run for provincial office. She was always strongly opposed to war, a stand that went back more than half a century, and did not recognize popular distinctions between “good" and “bad" conflicts.

She was able to hold onto hope of a better future even as fighting continued around the world, Ms. Franklin said, who noted that social attitudes have slowly changed for the better. Citing the less authoritarian ways people relate in the family, the workplace and at school, Ms. Franklin said the challenge is to extend these new approaches to the international sphere.

But that task will soon be left to the next generation."

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