Friday, September 20, 2013

Sepia Saturday - Sep 21

Sepia Saturday

I'm posting at Sepia Saturday today.

195. Today will be International Day of Peace. Sepians can do their bit by highlighting it in their blogs. Activities around the world will include; ceremonies, prayers, choirs, tree planting, art exhibitions, lighting candles, peace walks. Your response could be one of these from the past, historical or personal.

It amazes me what I learn from doing these challenges at Sepia Saturday. 

This photo of Kay MacPherson was taken by  photographer Pamela Harris.

Kay MacPherson: Peace Activist, Voice of Women
Pamela Harris
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 235, Series 829, Item 8

August 20, 1999 Source

Peace activist MacPherson dead at 86

TORONTO (CP) -- In the mid-1960s when many Canadian women were at home making tuna casseroles and waxing the kitchen floor, Kay MacPherson was languishing in a French jail.   She, along with a dozen other peace demonstrators, had tried to present a statement to the secretary general of NATO during a 1964 conference in Paris.   They were protesting a proposal for a multilateral force that would allow any NATO naval commander to press the nuclear button whenever he deemed necessary. For their trouble, they were locked up.     When the slim, indomitable white-haired activist received her Order of Canada from Gov. Gen Ed Schreyer in 1982, he asked her, "and what have you been up to lately?"  "Revolution," she replied. And she wasn't joking.

MacPherson served humanitarian causes and social concerns, particularly women's rights, most of her life.  She also helped establish Women for Political Action, and in 1977 was elected president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women.

Born in England in 1913, she trained as a physiotherapist before immigrating to Canada in 1935.  After working in Montreal and then Fredericton, N.B., she married political philosopher Brough MacPherson in 1944.   She ran for federal office under the Feminist Party banner, and in 1973 she joined the NDP and tried three times -- all unsuccessfully -- to get a seat in the House of Commons.

It reads:
In my work for peace during the last twenty-five years, I’ve been called a peacenik, a dupe, a dangerous radical, an impractical idealist, a subversive and lots of other things. In 1964 I was one of a group of women arrested in Paris while peacefully trying to deliver a letter to the Secretary of NATO opposing their plans for a multilateral nuclear force. In 1982, en route to New York to attend a women’s conference and the International Peace Rally, I was dumped off the bus by U.S. border officials as an undesirable visitor. Eventually all the press and protests forced the authorities to relent, and I was allowed in. That gave me a chance to be part of the June twelfth rally, where I had the experience of a lifetime speaking for Canada to a million people in Central Park.

I am convinced that co-operation, non-violence and equal rights must form the base for future society. We have to move away from threats, “deterrence,” violence and war if we are to survive. I believe that a key element will be the participation of women in the decisions that affect us all. For example, the methods women use to prevent children from fighting with each other or to divide up the toys and food could be transferable to a wider arena. Using our own experience, women must work to find new ways of stopping the world’s drive to self-destruction and of creating a peaceful and constructive international community.


  1. My heart breaks for all those who campaign so diligently for peace. Would that it were as simple as they want it to be. But in truth it is so complex I often wonder if we will ever be able to achieve it? And yet, my heart will not allow my spirit to doubt it.

  2. I agree with you, it is not just the sharing of old photographs that makes Sepia Saturday such fun, but the sharing of information, knowledge and ideas. Thank you, once again, for sharing.

  3. I also learn a lot from Sepia Saturday.

    This week I have learnt about many inspirational women.

  4. Co-operation, non-violence, equal rights? Goodness, she sounds like a Quaker in disguise! We're fans of simplicity, integrity, community, equality and peace -- sound familiar?
    Wonderful woman...

  5. Another great peace worker. Perhaps she and my Aunty Pat even knew each other!

  6. There is a phenomena called "Persistence of Vision" that describes the way images stay on the retina of the eye. I think the phrase also describes the way the internet sustains and uncovers ideas and voices that need preserving. Ms. MacPherson is one of several worthy people celebrated this weekend on Sepia Saturday.

  7. What a great photo. And what a great woman. Thank you for the story Jackie.

  8. Thank you for giving such thoughtful background information to this week's prompt. I agree so much with Alan's comment.

  9. Another amazing woman; so much to learn from Sepia Saturfay this week.

  10. Look at her -- does she look dangerous? Thanks for this story!


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