July 12, 2020 03:03 (IST)
Follow us:
facebook-white sharing button
twitter-white sharing button
instagram-white sharing button
youtube-white sharing button
Abhishek Bachchan also tests positive for Covid-19 along with father Amitabh Bachchan | Amitabh Bachchan tests positive for Covid-19, hospitalised | Congress appoints Hardik Patel as working president of Gujarat unit | Kerala gold-smuggling case: NIA detains key accused Swapna Suresh, Sandeep Nair | Covid-19: West Bengal reports biggest single-day spike with new 1,344 cases, toll crosses 900
Toronto: Peace activist Audrey Tobias remembered
Toronto, Dec 18 (IBNS): Audrey Tobias, a long-time peace activist who died on Dec 1 at the age of 92, was remembered on Saturday for her drive and determination at a funeral service held at a church in Toronto.

Tobias had become famous when she was criminally charged with violating the Statistics Act by refusing to fill out the 2011 census over its link to Lockheed Martin, a company she despised.

It was during the trial of 2013 that Tobias got the support of many friends who filled the courtroom in downtown Toronto to show their unanimity.

The American aerospace and weapons giant provided optic recognition software to Statistics Canada that helped analyze and process the census forms.

Althoughs she was declared not guilty, the stress of numerous trials had a heavy toll on her health when she was 89 years of age.

Kathi Davies, one of her supporters in court had seen her carrying a large bag on the first day of trial. When Davies asked what was in the bag she replied that she was carrying with her all her vitamins and medicines stating, "Just in case they put me in jail." 

"That trial knocked the socks off her," Davies said. "It was a punch to her -- the stress levels she went through. We could see her decline after that."

After that she fell several times trying to get in and out of her wheelchair and finally died in her sleep at a long-term care facility, said her nephew, Derek Tobias from his home in Hong Kong.

"I'm really proud of her for standing up for things she believed in," said Derek.

Born in Toronto in 1924 she enrolled in 1943 at the University of Toronto's Trinity College.

Alan Rimmer, who recorded Tobias's life story through a series of interviews stated that at her mother’s influence she registered with the Royal Canadian Navy and joined the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service.

Till the end of Second World Was she was posted in Halifax where she trained the crew members to fight at sea.

There was a sudden change in her outlook after the United States’ nuclear bombings on Japan in 1945, her friends said.

She started working at various factories and connected with working class and finally joined the communist party, Rimmer said.

Tobias became a high school teacher in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Ottawa and Toronto and later returned to school to become a librarian.

She was instrumental in organizing the first union for library workers at the Toronto Public Library, he said.

Being deeply affected by the slaughters of war she began to promote peace and joined the Veterans Against Nuclear Arms and started a campaign against nuclear weapons.

Phyllis Creighton, another group member and friend of Tobias said regretfully that she was not able to win the battle against nuclear weapons.

"She was one of the people for whom it was not theoretical. She really had a depth of feeling about the agony of nuclear bombing and the moral outrage we all should feel about it."

"She was a wonderful role model for any human being, I think, to be that dedicated to peace and equality and to be so principled about it and at the same time to be so affable and pleasant, it was really quite remarkable," said Peter Rosenthal, the lawyer who represented her at the census trial.

"We should all aspire to be like that."

(Reporting by Asha Bajaj, Image Main Statistics Canada Building: Wikimedia Commons)

Related Images
General Election in Singapore 10 Jul 2020, 02:19 pm
World in Photo : July 8, 2020 10 Jul 2020, 12:27 pm
Related Videos
View this post on Instagram

Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

A post shared by India Blooms News Service (@indiablooms) on

Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm