Who is your hero? | Wallaceburg Courier Press

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Who is your hero? Answer now please. Not easy is it?

Have you chosen your favorite host or sportsperson? Some may deserve this status, but many do not. A hero is a person admired or idealized for fighting adversity through feats of ingenuity, courage, exceptional achievement, or noble qualities. That’s not to say that singers or hockey stars didn’t make their way to the top of their pack, but they did it for themselves. Each of us, in our own lives, has gone through trials and tribulations to get to where we are today. A true hero has usually gone to extraordinary lengths to improve someone else’s life or the greater good of mankind, often sacrificing a lot in their own life to do so and without thinking of any reward. How about Mother Teresa or Greta Thunberg?

Now let’s make it more difficult, can you pick a Canadian? What about Terry Fox?

Often times it is only when someone has died that we even realize we had a hero among us and yet there are ordinary people who may never be rich or famous who deserve the title of hero.


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One of my heroes is Laura Secord, a pioneer practically trapped in her own home, caught in the middle of the War of 1812 when the Americans invaded Canada. Her husband had been seriously injured in the battle, and she had a group of young children and American officers housed in her house. She became their cook and their maid. Hearing the officers planning an attack on the last Canadian / British stronghold on the Niagara Peninsula, she tricked them into allowing her to bring food to her critically ill brother in a nearby village. Having to stay off the beaten track due to soldier patrols, she got lost in the Great Black Marsh, braved wolves, wildlife, mosquitoes, black flies, crossed streams and scaled the escarpment. of Niagara. Then, in the dark of the night, Laura ran into a group of natives, who helped her join Lieutenant Fitzgibbons. It took about 32 kilometers in almost 20 hours. Fitzgibbons defeated the United States in battle, keeping us from being part of the United States.

There are a lot of male heroes out there, so here are some lesser-known historical Canadian women, heroes in their day, that you might like to take a look at.

Jeanne Mance, a single woman, raised funds and challenged a bishop who arrived from France in 1642 to open the second hospital in Canada. She participated in the actual foundation of Montreal; took her hospital from one room to the fort to build the Hôtel-Dieu ‘where she also helped care for our natives and settlers.


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How about Vancouver-born Elizabeth Gregory MacGill. She was working on her aeronautical engineering degree when she was struck by polio, taking her exams at the hospital. After three years in a wheelchair, she continued her studies. The Canadian auto and foundry company hired her in 1938 as its chief aeronautical engineer, where she designed and tested the Maple Leaf Trainer. During World War II, she oversaw 4,500 construction workers on the 2,000 Hawker Hurricane fighters used in the Battle of Britain, earning her the nickname “Queen of the Hurricanes.” Elizabeth also oversaw the engineering of the Curtiss-Wright Helldiver fighters for the US Navy. She could never fly her planes because she needed a cane to walk. She became the first female technical advisor for the United Nations International Aviation Organization and the first female corporate member of the Engineering Institute of Canada!

Rose Fortune and her family (former black slaves from Virginia) immigrated to Nova Scotia in 1783 at the age of 10. She later started a successful trucking business out of the Annapolis Royal docks. She was appointed to maintain order in the city and became the city’s only police officer and the continent’s first female judicial officer! She worked with the Underground Railroad, was a single mother with two children and an influential citizen. An incredible pioneer!

Why not see Salford’s Amie Semple McPherson?

Or Pitseolak Ashoona, an astonishing Inuit artist or Thanadelthur, an enterprising Indigenous woman who became influential and powerful in the fur trade and peacekeeping in the early 1700s?


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