Muriel Helena Ball Duckworth died on August 22. The legendary peace activist was visiting her beloved cottage in Magog, Quebec, built when she was four years old. She had a gentle fall and was taken to hospital. She said she was ready to go, and did, surrounded by friends and family. "She lived a wonderful, wonderful life," says long-time friend Pat Kipping. "I miss her horribly but we had 100 years of her---a century! Her message resonated with scores of people."
Last Halloween, when Duckworth turned 100, was a week-long celebration. Cards, gifts and visitors poured into her Bedford apartment, culminating with hundreds of people attending a Sunday afternoon party and concert at the Cohn. One hundred cakes were served.
Duckworth never wavered in her support for peace. "War is stupid," she said, many many times.
Duckworth's many achievements include helping to found the NS branch of Voice of Women and also the Canadian Council for International Co-operation. She was given many awards, among them the Order of Canada, the Pearson Medal of Peace and at least 10 honourary doctorates.
Kipping says Duckworth was very happy about some recent events. "She lived to see the first African-American community organizer become president of the United States. She was thrilled. She saw Irvine Carvey become the first African Nova Scotian elected as chair of the school board here. And she attended the swearing in of the Nova Scotia NDP government."
At her birthday party last fall Oxfam Canada's Jack and Muriel Duckworth Fund for Global Active Citizenship was launched; it is one of the places her obituary asked that donations be sent to. The Halifax Quakers were entrusted by Duckworth to plan her memorial service here. The first planning meeting is scheduled for September 1.