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Remembering Barbara Blake

Remembering Barbara Blake

Barbara Blake died this week at St Joseph’s Villa, Dundas in her 89th year. Born in Peterborough she graduated from high school there, and then went on to get her BA at the University of Toronto and a teaching certificate. She started teaching in 1955 and continued until the birth of daughter Mary in 1962 followed by the birth of son John in 1964. While raising two children, Barbara took an active life in her community. She was a lifelong supporter of the University Women’s Club, becoming President of the Woodstock Club and, later, the Hamilton Club. Barbara was active in the Catholic Women’s League for over 60 years, becoming President of the St. Francis Xavier, Stoney Creek, League. She was a seminal force on the Red Hill Expressway Committee which successfully lobbied for the development of this key infrastructure for the Niagara Region. This writer remembers Barbara during those Red Hill battles. She, along with the late Mary Wiebe were forces to be reckoned with from 1996 until the highway was finally green-lit after years of litigation and several near-death experiences. Between the two of them they could organize an instant rally of friends and neighbours whenever required. To me they epitomized the kind of community activism rooted in family and church that reminded me of my late mother. There’s was truly the greatest generation. I send my sincere condolences to surviving family and friends

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