Remembering Shirley Hewett

This note has been passed along by PWAC Vancouver member Guenther Krueger.

Remembering Shirley Hewett

Five years ago, PWAC Victoria lost a true pioneer. Last week, her daughter Kari wrote to me on behalf of herself and her family saying: “Please extend our appreciation and very belated gratitude to everyone who called or sent in well wishes after Mum died. It was a crazy, difficult, busy time and I don’t think anyone of us properly thanked people. PWAC meant so much to Mum, as did the fun and collegiality of your events. I felt honoured to be included in some of them, and still very identify as a “daughter of PWAC.”

Shirley was a passionate and vocal member of the Victoria chapter, but often came over to Vancouver to connect with people here. I first met her shortly after I joined…somewhere around 1989 or so, memory fails me a bit. We had a small rag-tag group of people here and she encouraged me to build up the ranks and stay connected with others nationally. When I visited Victoria, I would sometimes spend time in her ramshackle cottage on the water. We joked about how much the property was worth and commiserated about how we were working too hard for too little money as we poured another glass of wine.

Shirley died five years ago but I have stayed in touch with Kari, who lives here in Vancouver. She is every bit as eclectic and passionate about social justice issues as her mother was. I always think that organizations are made of those who believe in the cause and do something about it and others who tag along for the ride. Feisty, frank, forthright. Shirley was definitely right at the helm, always waving a flag, the noisiest of the bunch. I know that many of you will remember her fondly as I do.


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