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Ruby McBeth: Thanking our people of peace

Ruby McBeth’s Advent wreath: “The first candle is hope, the second candle is peace, the third candle is joy, and the fourth candle is love.”

At this time of year, there is talk of “peace on earth.” One way that people have tried to encourage peace is to reward peaceful people. On the world stage, the Nobel Peace Prize recognizes those who help people to get along together. The World Food Program, the International Campaign to Abolish nuclear weapons, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are all groups that have been Nobel Peace Prize winners. This year the award went to two journalists for speaking the truth to power.

I have some North Peace people I would like to recognize as people of peace. They helped others and spread good cheer. Some dug in and worked to improve people’s lives while others set an example of a peaceful life. 

Dorothy Folk represents both of these. She welcomed the stranger and was well-known for saying that each life matters. Looking further back, Monica Storrs had bales of clothing sent to her during the Depression to help out needy families. She also shared her home with students so that they could attend high school in town. 

Dorse Prosser was a man who lived a peaceful life and worked to bring different church groups into conversation. Marion Birley can represent the women who made their home a welcoming and warm place for children and grandchildren. One of the groups that over the years has constantly helped others is the Salvation Army. I choose them to represent other groups who help those who are down on their luck. 

I choose Dr. Wright to represent the doctors who treat patients in a truly caring manner. Margaret Little can represent those who work hard to improve the lives of seniors. And then there are the Filipino nurses and caregivers for their peaceful care of the handicapped in our community. 

I would recognize Sally Emory and the Northern Environmental Action Team for getting an early start on environmental protection. Noelle Jellison can represent the different dance teachers who gave young people a positive and energetic purpose in life. Ross H. McLean is remembered as one who promoted youth sports. The person who started Alcoholics Anonymous in our area helped to bring peace to many families. And finally, Margaret Ma Murray for her fearless and good-humoured approach to journalism.

I know that many of you will have your own special people of peace. Let us remember them at this time and then let us pass that peace forward into the new year.

Ruby McBeth lives and writes in Fort St. John.