November 04, 2007

My Citation For Mom's UCC Award

Here is the citation I wrote for my mother's UCC Saskatchewan Nation Builders award:

Sonia V. Morris
UCC Saskatchewan Provincial Council
Nation Builders Award 2007

In the Ukrainian song Dva Kolory, or Two Colours, a mother embroiders a shirt for her son before he goes out into the world. The black threads signify life?s trials, and the red portray love. Sonia had several threads interwoven throughout her life: the first, her humanity with which she loved and nurtured her family and friends with respect and understanding; the second, her lifelong commitment to the Ukrainian language and culture; and third, her professionalism over a 32-year career at the University of Saskatchewan as an educator and mentor, and a role model for female students.

Sonia is remembered as a teacher, community leader, and supporter of charities. Her positive outlook and conviction that all people deserved the freedom to achieve whatever they desired, was inspiring. Sonia passionately promoted the Ukrainian language and culture within a goal of fostering multiculturalism and fighting racism, and was among the pioneering educators who developed Ukrainian-language curricula in Saskatchewan, serving on many committees and councils where she was known for her listening skills and diplomacy.

Sonia?s work ethic extended into retirement, as she spent hundreds of hours working with her sister Roma translating and editing Ukrainian literature into English. She was an optimist who was always learning, always looking to the future.

Sonia loved music and art, and many will remember her fine soprano voice and emotive piano playing. She supported artistic groups including orchestras, opera and theatre companies, and the ballet. She enjoyed entertaining, hosting family and social events, and was a caring wife, mother and grandmother who always had an ear for the troubled, a shoulder for the weary.

One of Sonia?s last public appearances was at a book launch of translations of Ukraine?s greatest literary figure ?? Ivan Franko. If she were with us here today, she would urge us to think of his famous poem Kameniari that depicts the arduous toil of the never-ending fight for justice, freedom and democracy, and would ask us to keep swinging our hammers to crush ignorance and oppression wherever we encounter them.

Posted by Paul at November 4, 2007 08:50 PM