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Remembering Lynn Hainsworth

SCIC is deeply feeling the loss of Lynn Hainsworth, who passed away peacefully on September 17th, 2017 in Saskatoon. We find comfort in reflecting on the many people and organizations touched by her passion for a better world, and the energy she brought working for peace and justice. Lynn was one of the first recipients of SCIC's Global Citizen Award in 1993 for this work, which she continued to do in so many ways. Sending love to her family and friends, and all those she touched.

Below are excerpts from her obituary, which beautifully captures some of Lynn's spirit. Read the full obituary and condolence messages on the Star Phoenix website.


Lynn was a voracious reader from the time she began school to close to her end. Books fuelled her imagination and desire for social change and life with a bit of adventure. As a young woman she travelled, mostly alone when women did not really venture solo to North Africa and India. Between trips, Lynn volunteered with social justice groups such as OXFAM - Canada and environmental groups where she supported the moratorium on the MacKenzie Valley Pipeline. She prepared food for First Nation protestors - she was not a cook and the meals were not a hit. - A hermit at heart she always knew that she had to return to the city to bring about change.

Her travels and work with the environmental group - Save Tomorrow Oppose Pollution informed her of the need for systemic change and a battle against capitalism. She switched from reading fiction to reading biographies of revolutionaries and the history of the American trade union movement. She credits her knowledge of Samuel Gompers with her finding the first good job of her life - working with OXFAM - Canada where she learned many skills from Michael Murphy, and from the newly -arrived Chilean refugee community who taught her Marxism.

She initiated many community-building activities such as tree-banding. Since she was a gardener - her recreation and her meditation, she initiated a fall food fair. She helped many people start their own gardens and became one of the first people to garden on the boulevards and alleys, following the lead of Mrs. Koval, a neighbour in her 90s. Lynn was known as a guerrilla gardener, People asked “isn’t that illegal?” Now its accepted practice. It was a rule worth breaking.

She was grateful to her friends, many unnamed here, who absolutely cured her of her hermit tendencies. She read and re-read her books in her final years, 1984 was one of her favourites which she read many times. She bloomed in that final year - and perhaps like her garden - had the best year of her life and hopefully spread some seeds of peace in her community and in the hearts of her friends. She truly loved life and was grateful for her time on earth.