Carol is a mother, but to many she is a mentor, a role model, and a friend. To me, she is an inspiration. Carol is a strong and vocal supporter of the rights of women and children in our community but also across the world. She has been the co-chair of our local LEAF committee, the co-chair of the Celebrate Women committee and has given numerous hours to mentoring younger women through those organizations. Carol has been a steadfast support in my life and I will forever appreciate her kindness, support and mentorship throughout my involvement in LEAF. I cannot think of anyone more important to celebrate this Mother’s Day. From Tannys

Charlotte Ethel « Lottie »


My heroine was born in 1894, the eldest of seven cockney children, Charlotte Ethel « Lottie » grew up in London, the daughter of a coster. She came to Canada with a successful publisher uncle just before the First World War and helped her new family flourish. Later for twenty-five years, she served as a saleslady for the T. Eaton Company in Toronto while enjoying small roles with a theatrical company. Along the way, she met and married a promising artist and soon produced one son. Within twelve years she was a widow, joined Canadian Pacific as a writer for another 25 years and in World War Two she rode the theatre bus to portray roles at Army Camp plays. Three days a week she was up at seven, made breakfast for two, lunch for two, streetcar downtown, work until five, home and dinner, bus at six-thirty, army play until midnight or later, and back at one am. As well she became President of the Toronto Women’s Press Club and took part in CBC radio productions to augment her salary. She died at 94 in 1988, great grandmother of five – and my Mum. From Fergus


My mother, Florence, continues to be a role model for her three girls. She never ran a company, governed a nation, or led a trade union. But she was a volunteer extraordinaire who taught us the value of hard work and the benefits of a positive outlook. She will be 100 years old in July and we are looking forward to celebrating with our families on her birthday. From Jane


My mother, Joyce, in many ways did traditionally women’s work – she kept a nice house, cooked and was the primary caregiver. But she was also an elected official and sat on civic committees, because civic responsibility was part of her life. She went back to school when I was seven to get her degree.Before I was born, my mother applied for a credit card. As the only working person in the household, she applied for it alone. But they would only give her the card if her husband co-signed. This was the type of mindless sexism that she fought.I recently purchased a house on nothing but my own credit and earning potential. I did so because I stand on the shoulders of the women that have gone before me. Thanks Mom for all the hard work. I am still a small child, walking in my mother’s shoes. From Michelle

Lila Ruth

My inspiration is my mother, Lila Ruth. By gathering information about her and my dad’s ancestral families, and by sharing those stories, she has passed down to succeeding generations the important values that made those families strong. Her first book, Growing Up in Howard Township, Kent County, published at age 87, showcased the strong feminists in her family — her mother Artimitia, her grandmother Hannah, and Ruth herself. The second book (in progress) shows her resourcefulness and resilience in adapting, with her husband Ken, to the agricultural revolution that started after World War Two and continues to this day. Collaborating on these books with my mom has brought me and our whole family in touch with relatives we barely knew before. Turns out they are fabulous people! We are all richer for it. From Kae


My mother taught me: stand up straight; blow your nose; close your mouth when you chew; clean your room; buckle your seat belt; ignore him (and he’ll stop); say thank you; be grammatically correct. Learn to swim, to play an instrument, to appreciate art. Be honest; do your best. Go play outside. Ignore what ‘they’ say; use constructive criticism to improve. Listen before expecting to be heard. Exercise your mind and your body. Keep moving, learning, growing. Take care of yourself. Work hard, play hard. Break rules, live by principles. Seek adventure; ride a roller coaster; travel the world. Go home. Be bold; conquer a mountain; reroute around a blocked road. Avoid shortcuts (they take longer). Patience is not a virtue. Life’s not fair; even so, give it your all and appreciate the joy it offers. Laugh; write a book; enjoy a glass of wine. Love fiercely. Celebrate. From Maura

Louise Adrain

My mother, Louise Adrain, dedicated her working life to an accomplished and appreciated career in early childhood education. However, my inspiration was her infectious enthusiasm and incredibly ability and desire to connect with all those who crossed her path. She simply didn’t recognize the differences and barriers that so many struggle to take down within themselves. That brought a rich tapestry of individuals into our lives and a greater understanding of humanity to all of us. From Jennifer

Maria (1923-2014)

Maria will always be remembered by those who love her as a fine lady with a strong character who was selfless and had a love of people and life.  She was born in Wilno, Poland, to a family of physicians. Although her father died when she was three months old and her mother never remarried, Maria led a happy life until the outbreak of World War II when all turned upside down and she courageously survived being imprisoned in a Gastapo prison. After the end of the war, she would never again return to Wilno and instead started a new life with her mother in Warsaw. Maria explored her love of languages and later became an English teacher. She is cherished and greatly missed by her children and grandchildren who now live in various corners of the world. From Maura



My heroine’s name is Michelle. She is one of the hardest working, most determined women you could ever meet. Not only does she work full time, running her own law firm, she is also a wife and mother. As well, she volunteers time to other organizations.  Her determination was demonstrated at the age of five when she announced she was going to learn to ride a two-wheeler one day. Dad was away and younger brother was just a baby so Mom couldn’t leave the house.  Michelle found an incline to ride down.  She would start at the top and pedal as hard as she could.  She fell many times and came crying into the house.  She was so battered and bruised. I tried to convince her she didn’t have to learn right away.  « Oh yes, I do, » she replied.  By the end of the day, she could ride. Determination in spades! From Joyce

The Last Party

Life was not always good to my mother. She was an orphan at three and a widow in mid-life with a handicapped child and three of her seven children still in school. She worked at low-paying jobs, had constant money worries, yet she was always buoyant at special occasions with family and friends. She loved company, outings and parties. I remember her at parties… dancing, chatting, smiling, intent on a good time. She managed on her own until her late nineties when her memory gave out. Her family had a party for her hundredth birthday. Too far away to attend, I phoned her. She didn’t know who I was, but her voice was bright and clear. “I am one hundred years old,” she proclaimed.  “I was born January 20, 1914. They are giving me a party.”  Her last party.  Her last words to me.  She died a few weeks later. From Maura


In memory of Ruth, for all the love, care, and inspiration.

Her daughters Trish and Susan.

To all mothers in my life

In honour of the loving, hardworking, special mothers in my life, Nana, Mama Diane, and my two amazing sisters Dawne and Astra on Mother’s Day. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, knowledge, strength and tenacity. Wishing each of you a very Happy Mother’s Day!

En l’honneur des mères, qui travaillent dur, spéciaux d’amour dans ma vie, Nana, maman Diane, et mes deux sœurs étonnantes Dawne et Astra sur la Fête des Mères. Merci de partager votre sagesse, la connaissance, la force et la ténacité. Souhaitant à chacun de vous un jour très heureux de mère! From Diane

 In honour of Dorothy. From Pamela
In honour of my mother Edna – in honour of her life of contributions. From Mary
In honour of Jane. From Barbara
To a marvellous, generous sister-in-law, Ursula.
In celebration of special women in our lives
Mary Ann