Monday, March 25, 2013
Saturday, March 23, 2013
My husband, Cliff Carter, and I had the honour of visiting the esteemed Mrs.Anne Packwood in her home in Westmount with her daughter, Mairuth Sarsfield, in 1982 or 1983. I cannot provide more details here because all my files, albums and journals are out of reach in my small apartment these days.
Mairuth Hodge Sarsfield
Mairuth Hodge Sarsfield is the daughter of renowned elder Anne Packwood and sister of Lucille Vaughan Cuevas and Susan (Emily Mault). Anne Packwood taught her children to remember those who built the bridges for this succeeding generations.
Last year when the United Nations celebrated its 50th anniversary, 50 Canadians were honoured with medals for their contributions to Canada, United Nations environment work. Mairuth was one of the fifty Canadians chosen. The award was for her environmental work, with the highly successful and renowned project, For Every Child a Tree. Again she used the arts to advantage and had artists creating posters for this campaign, material that is still being used over a dozen years later.
In Nebraska she had already received an award for her environmental work. In 1984, the year she left the United Nations, she was in Nebraska, her host hadn't realized she was black, they expected a "Canadian". They kept looking for her at the plane and
could not find her. They had a child there to meet her with a bouquet of roses.
Later they asked her to speak to the Nebraska House of Representatives. Nebraska had conquered the desertification. They should send their sons, the sons of farmers to Africa to teach them how they too can succeed and overcome desertification. The House gave her a standing ovation.
It was in 1984 as well that Mairuth Sarsfield became the first black woman to serve on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She was involved as researcher, interviewer, on-camera hostess or producer of over 30 film, television and public affairs items. She wrote and directed The Aware Game for Alatalia Airlines about the slave castles on the coast of Ghana to earn money for her M.A. in Communications.
In 1989 she retired to work on a book and film bequeathed to her by her daughter, Jennifer, called No Crystal Stair.
Lucille's sister, Mairuth had and has an interesting face for portraiture, and she was asked to model for a number of Montreal artists. They knew many of the Montreal artists of that time including Arthur Lismer, who was involved in his celebrated art classes at the Art Gallery.