Monument to Canadian Aid Workers
The Monument to Canadian Aid Workers, unveiled in June 2001, commemorates Canadians’ commitment to international development and humanitarian assistance and to those who die in the line of this work.
The Monument's three key messages are:
- Commemoration of Canada's commitment to international development and humanitarian assistance. This reflects a long-standing value of Canadian citizens to provide development or humanitarian assistance to vulnerable people and victims of conflict abroad.
- A tribute to all Canadians who die while pursuing the ideals of international development and humanitarian assistance, and acknowledgement of the risk they face in the course of their work.
- Special dedication to Tim Stone and Nancy Malloy, who inspired the idea of the Monument.
Tim Stone was HealthBridge’s Executive Director, from 1993 to 1996.
The Monument Project was made possible through the support of the Canadian government and a large number of individual donors.
The Monument project was initiated when two Canadian aid workers were killed in the space of three weeks in senseless acts of violence while pursuing their humanitarian work abroad.
Tim Stone, Executive Director of HealthBridge (formerly PATH Canada), was killed on November 23, 1996 on a hijacked Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed over the Comoros Islands when it ran out of fuel.
Nancy Malloy, a member of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), was on a mission for the Canadian Red Cross (CRC) in Chechnya when she and six colleagues working with the International Committee of the Red Cross were shot in their beds on December 17, 1996.
Led by Sian FitzGerald, who worked with Tim, and Tim's widow Jean Lash, HealthBridge enlisted the help of the CRC and the CNA to find a way to honour Canadians who lost their lives in developing countries as a direct result of the risks they face in their development work.
A Monument Fund was established to receive donations for the creation of the Monument. Donations were received from across the country.
With those donations, HealthBridge also established the Tim Stone Memorial Award. The goal of the Award is to encourage young people who are considering a career in international development. HB honours one of its interns with the Award every year.
The Art Work
The Monument to Canadian Aid Workers was unveiled by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson at a ceremony on June 28, 2001 in Ottawa's Rideau Falls Park.
Canada now has a permanent monument to recognize those who work in the field of international development and humanitarian assistance, and especially to acknowledge those who have died doing so.
The monument, titled Reflection, was created by Nova Scotia sculptor John Greer after a Canada-wide design competition.
Greer´s design is composed of three elements installed on an intimately sized court. Two benches installed on either side of the court appear to be a single bed reflecting on its twin. The second element, the altar/bridge, spans the court and represents the loss and the gain – the journey of international aid work. The final element, two large bronze feathers, represent the human component of the work, both the individual and the remembered sacrifice of all aid workers.
Unveiling the monument, Mme Clarkson told onlookers: “The Canadian aid workers that we honour were all leaders blessed with deep personal conviction...yearning to help others. Above all, they were devoted to human interests, concerned with the human condition."
Lost Canadian aid workers
HealthBridge has compiled a permanent record of aid workers who have died overseas. To enquire about adding names to the list, please contact:
Tel: (613) 241-3927 ext. 312
Fax: (613) 241-7988
Watch this TED Talk by Vincent Cochetel, who was working for the UN High Commissioner on Refugees when he was kidnapped in 1998. He describes his experience and muses on the fate of other humanitarian aid workers.