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Eulogy for Madeleine Parent

David Fennario

March 13, 2012

I met Madeleine Parent three times

First time during the Oka Crisis

It was the night the troops moved in on the barricades at Kanewake with armed intent

When the news flashed hundreds of us sat down on the street in front of the Hydro-Quebec building,expecting the riot squad to arrest us at any minute

Madeleine was sitting quite close by me,a woman then in her seventies

People were scared, I was scared

Madeleine’s face didn’t even change

Second time in 2005 at a lancement of Anna Kruzynski’s book on community organizing in the Pointe

As an invited speaker I later met with Madeleine and we spoke for the first time

Told her I was a maudit bloke de souche like Kent Rowley and she laughed

She was far from being some kind of uptight doctrinaire, humourless and puritanical

It was her love of life that made her such a good fighter

Third time in late winter of 2011 when Martin Duckworth took me to see her in her nursing home

Single room simple with bed table, computer and photos of comrades and union mates on the walls along with souvenir posters of past struggles

She had just about lost all long term memory but still clear in her mind in the moment

One good look into her eyes and you knew that this woman with her serene smile was still that woman that backed down Maurice Duplessis himself

Just a few years before at the age of 87 she had organized the patients in the home against an All Lights Out At 10:00 O’clock restriction

She won

She went out fighting

Salut Madeleine salut comarade


David Fennario

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