Volume 93, Issue 55

Tuesday, December 7, 1999


McMaster TAs hit the picket lines

HIV virus linked to smallpox

Remembering the Montreal Massacre

Staff prepares for Y2K problems on campus

Nipissing helps keep faculty and staff standing tall

Streaker still strutting his stuff

Remembering the Montreal Massacre

By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

A commemorative ceremony at Brescia College yesterday paid tribute to the 14 women who were murdered at L'Ecole Polytechnique on Dec. 6, 10 years ago.

The Ritual of Re-Membering began with speeches, then progressed to a candle-lighting ceremony for the 14 engineering students which included a 15th candle for Lynda Shaw, a Western engineering student who was murdered on Easter Monday in April, 1990.

Lynda Gonneau, member of the Ritual Planning Committee and speaker at the ceremony, said these students were killed only because they were women. "It could have been any city. It could have been any university. It could have been any woman. It could have been me."

She added it was essential the community gathered to remember these lives. "It is a remembering that fuels our passion for action and change. We celebrate the change achieved thus far."

Marion Boyd, former New Democratic Party representative for London-North, spoke to the crowd of 300. "Their bodies were murdered, their dreams and hopes ended. The violence that ended their lives can be controlled and should be controlled."

Boyd added much change is needed in our society, such as stricter gun control laws. "We haven't achieved it yet, but it's moving inexorably along."

However, until violence is controlled, Boyd said the London community and nation can only remember. "We will always remember that the terrible tragedy that happened to these 14 women galvanized a nation."

Nikki Dionysakopoulos, a fourth-year engineering student and president of Women in Engineering, Science and Technology at Western, spoke to the crowd and explained that the Montreal Massacre was a personal horror. "What happened 10 years ago is something that we, as a society, should never forget."

Dionysakopoulos added she felt fortunate she had not been a victim of the violence other women have experienced.

Brent Newman, a second-year engineering student, said he would always remember what the engineering community had lost. "I don't know about anybody else, but in engineering, we are like a family. And losing an engineering student is like losing a family member."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999