IONA CAMPAGNOLO TAKES a moment with her great-grandchildren Carmen (left) and Logan Kvisle as her Comox Valley Walk of Achievement plaque is unveiled outside Hot Chocolates on Friday. Campagnolo had a long career as a Canadian politician

‘Woman of Firsts’ admitted to Comox Valley Walk of Achievement

Iona Campagnolo was recognized as A Woman of Firsts as she was inducted onto the Comox Valley Walk of Achievement on Friday.

The Honourable Iona Campagnolo was recognized as A Woman of Firsts as she was inducted onto the Comox Valley Walk of Achievement on Friday.

“Your contribution and work has been at a much higher level, yet the results of your efforts have significantly touched the hearts, the souls, the lives of all Canadians,” said Walk of Achievement Committee member Dave Durrant during the ceremony celebrating her induction at the Sid Williams Theatre.

“Your work was inclusive. You inspire others. You are a beacon of strength for many. You are A Woman of Firsts.”

Campagnolo’s plaque — which states those last four words Durrant said — will be laid into the sidewalk in front of Hot Chocolates on Fifth Street once the weather is a bit drier.

Campagnolo was B.C.’s first female Lieutenant-Governor, a position she held for six years from 2001. She had a long career as a Canadian politician, as well as a career as a broadcaster and activist.

She spent time in municipal politics in Prince Rupert in the 1960s, then moved into federal politics with the Liberals when she was elected MP for the riding of Skeena in 1974. She was appointed Minister of State for Fitness and Amateur Sport by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and was the first female president of the Liberal Party of Canada.

During her speech at the celebration, Campagnolo recalled a meeting she was at years ago when a man asked her who she was. When she replied, he was “shocked” and said he thought she was a “big Italian mama.”

While this story brought laughs from the audience and Campagnolo herself, (she is slender and was born Iona Victoria Hardy on Galiano Island), she noted there is a serious message underneath the story.

“Stereotypes, stereotypes, how much damage do we do to people by not seeing the real person?” she said. “Our children, and our grandchildren, and our great-grandchildren, well they are our gifts to the future, and all we can do as educators and thoughtful human beings is open the door for them to walk through.”

Campagnolo’s daughter Jan Logan spoke about Campagnolo as a mother, noting the care and attention to detail her mother took in raising her children, and with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Her best friend Dove Hendren spoke about her sense of humour. Another friend, Marie MacGregor, spoke about her work around education, the environment and women’s rights.

“When I met, and heard Iona speak, I realized she had the ability to empower women, to make them believe in their own abilities and their own strengths and to change what needs to be changed, to encourage women of the future to stand up and be heard,” said MacGregor.

Campagnolo was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1973 and promoted to Officer in 2008. She received the Order of B.C. in 1998, as well as many other honours and designations over the years.

Campagnolo’s great-grandchildren attended her induction and she pointed them out as she spoke about the importance of community.

“No matter how small a town is that you are part of as a child, it has a great impact on your life,” she said, adding communities help form a person’s “entire basis of living from thereon, and so every day is important in terms of community and this one’s blessed with so many good community based organizations of people who give their time as volunteers.”

Runner Cam Levins from Black Creek was inducted onto the Walk of Achievement Olympians’ section earlier last week.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

Deadline looming for North Island College scholarship applications

Students have until April 24 to apply for a record number of… Continue reading

AspieComic Micheal McCreary coming to the Comox Valley

Comox Valley Child Development Association hosting the fundraising event

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

VIDEO: Snowbirds arrive in Comox for annual spring training

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds have arrived in Comox for their annual spring… Continue reading

Locals Restaurant among Canada’s most sustainable eateries

The Courtenay restaurant is the only B.C. establishment to make the top six list

It was no Kentucky Derby: B.C. girls host foot-long snail race

Two Grade 3 students in White Rock put four snails to the test in a hotly-contested street race

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Sentencing delayed for man who attacked Vancouver Island police dog

Uno later recovered from his injury and returned to work in Victoria

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Inquest into Port Hardy police shooting moved to Campbell River

Family disappointed James Hayward coroner’s inquest rescheduled hours away

KFN asking Comox council for consultation on Mack Laing design

The K’omoks First Nation is asking the Town of Comox for consultation… Continue reading

Undercover cops don’t need warrant to email, text suspected child lurers: court

High court decision came Thursday in the case of Sean Patrick Mills of Newfoundland

Most Read