For the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Queen’s community will be joining together in person without gathering restrictions for a live ceremony to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on Dec. 6. The national day memorializes the 14 women who were murdered at l’École Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989. It is a day to remember the victims and think about the effects that gender-based violence has had – and continues to have – on society.
The ceremony is organized by students in the Engineering Society, and it will be held in the Beamish-Munro Hall atrium at 11 a.m.
“It is important for all of us never to forget the horrific acts of violence that occurred on Dec. 6, 1989,” says Kevin Deluzio, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “The 14 victims were targeted because they were women, and the engineering community needs to honour their memory by continually striving to be more inclusive and equitable. I hope people from across the Queen’s community join us in reflecting on the significance of this day.”
During the ceremony, 14 members of the Queen’s community will read the names of the 14 victims, share facts about their lives, and reflect on why it is important to remember them. A moment of silence will follow.
This year will also be the first opportunity for many Queen’s community members to observe the day in the presence of the permanent Dec. 6 memorial in Beamish-Munro Hall. The memorial was designed by Queen’s alumna Haley Adams (Sc’21), and it was unveiled in 2020.
“The centerpiece of the memorial is the white rose, which is surrounded by a petal for each of the women who lost their lives that day. The petals drift along the wall, representing the idea that although we move forward, their memories are with us,” says Adams. “It is my hope that this memorial can act as a gentle reminder to this generation of engineers that diversity in the profession is our strength. Only when the engineering community reflects the society we serve can we best design for the needs of our communities.”
Officially published in the Queen's Gazette.