Hon. Patricia Bovey: Honourable senators, I rise today to read a statement on behalf of our colleague Senator Bernard, who is unable to be here due to COVID restrictions.
As we near the end of Women’s History Month, I’m deeply honoured to pay tribute to East Preston’s oldest community member, Eliza Brooks. This year’s theme, Because of You, celebrates women and girls who have made lasting impacts on our country. I can think of no other who has contributed more in their life to our community than Eliza Brooks, who celebrated her hundred and first birthday this past May. Ms. Brooks continues to be an active community leader as a member of the East Preston Senior Citizens’ Club and the East Preston United Baptist Church, where she has been a member of the choir for over 70 years.
Ms. Brooks is a shining example of how members of East Preston work together for the betterment of others. At 13 years old, Ms. Brooks became the primary caretaker of her family after her mother died. She would often help her father shovel the road since there was no snowplow service in the early years of her life. To this day, Ms. Brooks participates in social and civic engagements, where she actively contributes to intergenerational conversations by sharing her lived experiences as an African Nova Scotian woman. One such experience that she shared was of a time when there was no support for the community’s segregated school. The community banded together to supply wood to the local one-room school in order to keep it warm during those brutally cold winters. Her courage and resilience inspire so many of our young women.
Honourable colleagues, please join me in thanking this remarkable woman, Eliza Brooks, for her many contributions that have helped shape and strengthen our community of East Preston, Nova Scotia.