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November 20, 2019 November 20, 2019

Monument to Sisters of St. Martha

Posted on September 25, 2019 by Lethbridge Sun Times

As the 90-year history of medical care and assistance from the Sisters of St. Martha came to an end this year, a group of locals who have worked and associated with St. Martha came together with the City of Lethbridge to honour their work with a monument installation in front of Lethbridge City Hall.
Sunday afternoon, the large glass chapel window-frame style monument, stating the 90 years of service from 1929 to 2019, was unveiled for past workers and community members to see.
“This was my wife and I’s idea to organize this from scratch and it is a solo project to bring honour to the Sisters of St. Martha from the City of Lethbridge,” says Garry Kohn.
“Having worked with these ladies for many years, I realized that there is no single group or person that has given more service to the city of Lethbridge than them. They were pretty much an unknown factor here because no one knew their total involvement with the hospital, most people just thought the sisters worked there but they built it and they gave everything.”
Throughout the decades, the Sisters of St. Martha and St. Michael’s Hospital helped hundreds of community members who were needing medical and other assistance. Keeping humble in their work, the sisters went nearly unrecognized for their work, as they did it out of the kindness of their hearts.
Taking steps against violence
The ninth annual YWCA “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event to raise awareness of gender-based violence and some funds for Harbour House Women’s Emergency Shelter took place at Galt Gardens on Friday.
The event was up-beat and high energy even with the event’s underlying purpose, with dozens of men and women, representing various organizations and companies, from the across community coming out to put on high heels to walk for a good cause.
“I think there is no room for (gender-based violence) in any society,” stated Michael Shovar, who was walking on behalf of all his colleagues at Sodexo Canada.
“So anything we can do, whether it be a small thing or a big thing, that can lead us to that point where we have gender equality across society on a whole, is important. There should not be any reason for violence whatsoever, and anything we can do to help is important.”
Friendship group expanding
Southern Albertans may remember seeing red-hatted women at social events.
Today many have joined a Canadian friendship group, and it’s expanding across the country.
The women have become members of the Crown Jewels of Canada Society — and they’re still having fun together.
There are now 12 chapters across southern Alberta, the organization reports, including Lethbridge, Taber, Cardston, Pincher Creek and Medicine Hat. And they’re getting together Sept. 28 in Lethbridge to celebrate the non-profit society’s 10th anniversary.
“The society was formed in 2009 in southern B.C. and quickly grew across Canada,” says “head queen” Helen Wentz. “Ladies flocked to this Canadian group.”
Women of any age may join, she says, and they can link into an existing chapter — or form one of their own. The annual membership fee is $10.
The Alberta South “Royal Court” — the “queens” from each chapter — will be hosting a lunch at Country Kitchen Catering on Sept. 28, with about 100 women expected to attend.
Further information is available from Wentz at hwentz@telus.net and on the website, http://www.crownjewelsofcanada.com.
Stephans acquitted
There was loud, boisterous cheering, repeated clapping, a standing ovation and sobs of joy and relief, and it had nothing to do with a sporting event.
The spontaneous outburst was in a Lethbridge courtroom, Thursday, where Justice Terry Clackson acquitted David and Collet Stephan of failing to provide the necessaries of life for their 18-month-old son, Ezekiel, who died in March 2012 following a two-week illness.
Clackson’s verdict ends for the Stephans a seven-year battle in the courts. They were first found guilty in 2016, then lost an appeal by Alberta Court of Appeal, and were finally awarded a retrial by the Supreme Court of Canada.
“We didn’t know what to expect coming into today,” David Stephan said outside the courthouse shortly after the verdict. “It’s the right decision, and it’s shocking because it’s been seven years of our life fighting this, and so it’s become a part of our identity, and it’s just a beautiful thought that we can move on with our lives, mourn the loss of Ezekiel, appropriately, and see where life takes us from there.”
Justice Clackson took only about two minutes to read his decision in a packed courtroom.

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