Annabel (Anna) Hope Cathrall
May 6, 1940 – November 19, 2013
Anna, what a life you lived! You had difficult family times as one of two daughters of a First World War doctor who had been forever scarred by the trauma of the European battlegrounds. As a youth you had serious health disorders, and yet, as a 21 year old, you were able to graduate with an engineering degree. You were determined to break out of the Cathrall mold and set out for Australia. You bridled with the patriarchal Australian teaching system. You travelled the wilds of Madagascar, you taught English to students in Ethiopia and went even further east to Malaysia. Despite your family’s skepticism at your ability to achieve economic stability, you immigrated to Canada with only 40 British pounds in your pocket. Within weeks, you landed an engineering job with IBM, as one of the few female computer engineers in Canada. Your family was flabbergasted! You achieved later success working for such corporates as Atomic Energy, and then your own company. Your heroines and heroes varied from the Quaker Ursula Franklin, the Buddhist teachers Bhante Dharmawara and Ajah Chah to the mainstream David Suzuki. When you retired to the Comox Valley, you threw your energies into repairing Mother Earth. You discovered community with Streamkeepers, found delight counting birds, grew an amazing garden, and rallied against the Raven Coal Mines. Most important, at the end, you forsook the independence you had valued and fought for all your life. You opened your heart to all those people who wanted to help you in your dying. You died in peace. You were beautiful. (May 16, 1940-Nov 19, 2013)
There will be a drop in get together between 10 AM-1PM in the Tsolum Building at Lewis Park on Saturday, December 21, 2013.