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A History in Hooking

Canadian Connection: A tribute to a friend shines a light on women's history in Newfoundland.

By: Frances Ennis

Mom Duff, designed and hooked by Mary Anne Murphy, St. John's, Newfoundland,Canada, 2009.

In July 2008, Sister Marie Ryan, a good friend and colleague, died at age 82. A group of us wanted to celebrate Marie's life and pay tribute to this ordinary woman who had touched our lives with her many extraordinary acts as a teacher, counselor, mentor, feminist and justice advocate. The result was "Women's Lives, Women's Stories," a collection of original hooked rugs that was exhibited at the Five Island Art Gallery in St. John's, Newfoundland, in March 2009.
That same month, I presented a key note address at the annual Bread and Roses luncheon in celebration of International Women's Day. As I prepared my speech on the theme, "A Century of Struggle and Triumph: Equality, Once and for All," I began to think that Marie must have been guiding our work. The collection of rugs provided a compelling snapshot of our struggles and triumphs, as women in this province and country moved forward over the past century.

This article is from the March/April/May 2010 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.


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