John Abbott College remembers Polytechnique

Vigil included

By Kevin Woodhouse

As a way of honouring the 14 young women cut down in the prime of their lives 25 years ago at École Polytechnique, students and staff at John Abbott College held a moving ceremony last week that included a special tribute to former student and victim Anne-Marie Edward, namesake of the college’s prestigious science building.

JAC director general John Halpin spoke about Anne-Marie Edward as a former go getter of a student who not only graduated in science but took part in many sporting and extracurricular activities during her time at the college in the late 80s, mostly before many of the current student body were even born.

Fourteen male and female students, each holding a white rose, placed them one by one in a vase as each young woman’s name was recited. After a brief moment of silent reflection for the women, Honours Science Student Laura Fasanella spoke to the assembled in the Anne-Marie Edward Science Building about the full of life Edward and her tenure as a student.

“Anne-Marie’s studies specialized in chemistry and she embraced her studies as well as playing sports and joining clubs,” said Fasanella that included soccer, rock climbing, chess club as well as working with handicapped youth.

Jim Edward described his sister Anne-Marie as someone who had tons of soul just like her initials A.M.E. implied and that “she lived more in her 21 years than many people do by 81.

“She should not be remembered as a victim but someone who was warm, sincere, ambitious and a fun loving person,” said Edward. “Anne-Marie had an infectious joie de vivre who gave unconditional love to her friends and family.”

Edward concluded by saying he would continue to “raise the torch to ensure she did not die in vain.”

Before the conclusion of the tribute, Halpin quoted from philosopher Henri-Frédéric Amiel: “Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are travelling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.”
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