BASS RIVER, NS
Being presented with an award for her peace writing took Dr. Karen Ewing by surprise.
Earlier this year, the Bass River doctor was given the Shirley Farlinger Award for Peace Writings, in recognition of the speeches she wrote for Veterans’ Memorial Park.
“I wasn’t expecting this,” she said. “Someone who attends events there was collecting the speeches, but I had no idea where they were going.
“This is very fulfilling and meaningful. It shows the work and messages are reaching and touching people.”
In 1999, Ewing visited the western front and took in the Beaumont-Hamel memorial site in France, which is dedicated to soldiers from Newfoundland who were killed during World War l. She went in remembrance of her grandfather, uncle and cousin who served in that area.
“I was unprepared for what I saw; the enormity of the sacrifice was overwhelming,” she said. “When I came home I wanted to do something, and I went to work on the park.”
Ewing has written several speeches for events at the park, highlighting the value of peace.
In her opening address for last year’s Remembrance Day ceremony she said:
“Beneath the ridiculous posturing and name calling of world leaders... many thousands of young voices from VIMY, and Flanders, Juno, Gaza, Korea, Afghanistan...and from Londonderry, Bass River and Five Islands call for peace.
“Listen with your heart and you will hear it.”
Ewing would like to reach more people with the message of peace.
“At this time, perhaps more than ever, we’re on the wrong path,” she said. “I think we’re in dire straits, the way the world is turning. I hope we can regain our footing.”
The Shirley Farlinger Award is presented by the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, and was presented at their International Women’s Day Awards Banquet in Toronto, in March. Ewing attended the event, and spoke to those in attendance.
She has previously been presented with the Veterans Affairs Commendation, the outstanding service award from the Retired United Nations Veterans Association, and the YMCA Peace Medal.