Love,Mary.

And so ended the last email I received from the bastion of spirit, the defender of democracy and truth in British Columbia, BC Mary.

Love.

Love, Mary.

Love she did, her family most of all, Nadina, Jacob, and Fraser as well as Guy… ; ) Robin, Kootcoot, Cal, Leah and all her friends and family, right up to and including the end, which came early March 3rd, 2012 at Toronto General hospital. My deepest condolances to all her family and friends who loved her well. I’m sure I’ve missed many names but tears and emotion rule, please forgive me for this.

To be honest I can’t even remember the exact moment I met Mary, our friendship seemingly longer than actual time, similar to Robin Mathews anecdotes.I’m sure she found me, she was brilliant at drawing those of similar minds and goals to her, guided by the light of truth. Old souls, comrades in arms, she was just as pissed about both big parties in BC as I was, and so we became allies first, friends in short order.

But saying we were just friends is not quite correct- she was more than my friend – she was my mentor, inspiration, my source of courage, and very much both a mother figure and female confidante. She epitomized everything I strived to be as a writer. Detailed, exhaustive, particular. She urged me to stay on something when my gut told me there was more, she very much prodded me to be bold, be loud, but never stay silent. Mysterious as she was to many ( ” just who is, BC Mary? was a common email question, but we would never tell), those who knew her, knew of her capacity for investigation and drive for change in this great province. Her quick wit, biting remarks when needed, and kick in the ass if it applied,have been felt by many, again with love being the catalyst of them all. She wanted us all to be our best, as she gave the best to all of us.

 She was one of the the only people who believed with all her heart, that I should, and could, run as an independent.  And she said so often, words that echo in my heart that over flows with tears today.

We had fun over the years, great fun, via emails of course. All of us. United by a common goal that centred around the Liberals, I recall in particular when I located a photo of Campbell and Dauphinee together,while he was still in power, in a particularly tender moment. She wanted that photo, but there was no way he was going to give it to Mary. I emailed the photographer who was  happily riding the Liberal train, and he was more than happy to oblige to sell me a copy of the photo and the rights to use it. Of course, it was not my fault that I shared the same name ( different spelling) as a good friend to said subject…. and he simply assumed I was that person! Oh, the laughter that Mary had when I told her the photo was in hand. I mailed it to her, framed, for posterity. Good times, back then. Good times.  But there was so much more to our BC Mary. So much more than just the monumental dedication to documenting and pushing to reveal the truth of what happened to BC Rail.

We shared many, many personal moments -some good, some bad, some historic. We all have our unique memories and wonderful times with Mary.  I know of all her grandsons best moments, his personal observations and insight, her worries and angers as a woman removed from these fights. She was so proud of ” Jakie” as she would sometimes call him, he was everything to her. The voice of an angel too, she said. She shared photos and maps of potential new homes when she moved from the big house “that talked in each room”,  stories of the home stagers, the work, Nadina, her lovely, talented Nadina…I felt the pride of her daughters performances, her fears for her eyesight….which pained me physically when we first heard what was happening. So cruel a thing to happen to a woman like Mary whose life centered around her dedicated work. Many did not she was an author, having written some amazingly detailed books.

She knew of my battles and scares with cancer, my sons special needs, and my personal struggles. She would  tell me stories of her youth, her family growing up, her marriage, in understanding, and maybe that was our personal connection as women. We try to do it all and take the burden of the world on our shoulders and she often did.

Through it all, the clarity of her love for this great province was clear, uncorrupted and pure, as was her love for those of us fighting to uphold all that is right and true and democratic. It was that love that bound us, until even two weeks ago when she told me exactly how far along she really was – although in no way did I expect this close – and that she was spending this time in a lovely log home on a lake in Ontario, with her ex, who at the end proved a valued, loved and respected ally. She hoped somehow, and voiced it, thatwe would all continue the work she had begun, not just for BC rail, but for this province. She wants us all to continue that fight. The good fight.

In her words:

 ” There’s no cure for what I have — a “fairly aggressive kind of cancer” — but so far am holding steady. It’s been 2 years of holding steady. I ain’t what I used to be, but I’m alive, blogging, and — did you know this? — living with my dear old ex. and finding a remarkable contentment in that. I think it is called perspective…. there is a comfort being together in these circumstances.”

She signed that last email, ” Love Mary. ”

I love you too Mary, more than I ever said, a regret I am feeling in this moment strongly.

She blogged her last blog, on February 23rd. http://bctrialofbasi-virk.blogspot.com/  With clarity, and no indication of her imminent departure, she railed against Harper and the current robocall scandal.

She was valiant, determined and dedicated to the people of BC until the end, despite being ridiculed by many a well-known reporter for her persistence and undying dedication to revealing the truth behind the gift of BC Rail. It is that very persistence and dedication I admired so much and that remains her legacy, among others, to the people of this fine province whether they knew her or not. Her work at The Legislature Raids is an amazing part of the history of British Columbia.

Her final absence is truly, something I was not prepared to confront, and I am bereft. Actually, bereft does not begin to describe the waterfall of emotions I’m feeling today. There simply is no one else like our BC Mary, nor will there ever be again. She was one in a million.

I leave you, with the words of  Robin Mathews:

” BC Mary provided – as we all know – one of the solid, on-going, thorough, responsible, informative sites on the BC Rail Scandal and the Basi, Virk, and Basi trial. She was dedicated to the defense of the people and the province of B.C. until the end, providing us all with a rare example of determination and toughness, with clarity of mind and purpose, and with a breadth of humanity.

She and I came into contact when she dropped me a note – how many years ago? – and suggested I ‘drop down’ to the Supreme Court of British Columbia and look at the Basi, Virk, and Basi pre-trial hearings.  We never met.  But we became firm friends and discussed – over the years – everything from philosophy and opera to “nice” police officers, the idyllic life on the Gulf Islands … and much, much more.  She remembered, from when she lived in the Francois Lake/Burns Lake area of B.C., my brother who “drove the ferry” there. We seem to have had a much longer time of friendship than we were granted.

She knew that her time was being used up, and she faced the end with wonderful calm, telling me that she had, really, three lives – all of which were good.  She was much more calm and stoic about her leaving than I was.

Canada has lost one of its best.  British Columbia has been blessed and strengthened by her life and work. Her family has everything to mourn. We shall not look upon her like again. Nor will she really be gone, for her work will (silently) help to shape any of the things that are good about our future in this province.

BC Mary is gone … and we mourn.” ~ Robin Mathews

We all welcome your memories of Mary here to be share with all who loved her well. And perhaps in a not so odd coincidence, a chinook blew warm and constant on the coast today.

I like to think it was BC Mary coming home.

** update- Leonard Krog rose in the house today to ask everyone to pay respect to Mary. Many, many thanks to Norman for this wonderful gesture and many thanks to Leonard for this respect. : http://northerninsights.blogspot.com/2012/03/requiescat-in-pace.html

From Hansardhttp://www.leg.bc.ca/hansard/39th4th/H20305y.htm :

 Tributes

MARY MACKIE

L. Krog: I rise today to ask the House to pay its respects to the passing of one of British Columbia’s most courageous citizen journalists, a woman who was a harsh critic of the B.C. government, particularly around the sale of B.C. Rail, and also critical of yours truly, in the role that I played in criticizing the government. She was a well-known blogger. A defender of democracy, she feared no power. I’d ask the House to pay its respect to the passing of B.C. Mary — Mary Mackie.

Mary's wind...

37 thoughts on “Love,Mary.

  1. Don F.

    I just found out on Ross k’s site and left some words there. I am truly saddened at not only her loss but that i will never again exchange thoughts and words with this wonderful, beautiful soul i only knew as Mary.
    Time to rest now Mary after a fight well faught while teaching us all how to carry on, love Always!
    Don

    Like

    1. Laila

      Her love is here, in all of us who appreciated and respected her work.For some reason today, when I was writing that SNC bit, I thought of what she would say when she read it, of course, not knowing until it was done and posted, that she had left us.

      Her work is a legacy to all British Columbians, her spirit a gift we were blessed to have known. I loved when she was particularly pissed off at someone or something ,and whe would write these emails peppered with swear words that would have shocked a gentlewoman..lol.. I miss that already, her great anger which was a catalyst for many to keep the fight for truth going.

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  2. Lisa Barrett

    Thank you Laila (and Robin) for breaking the news gently and with such compassion and reverence as Mary deserves. It’s hard to believe we won’t see more of her scathing commentary but what a treasure she was while we had her.
    I was just writing to Alison at Creekside that it’ll take some time to get out of the habit of scrolling down the Tyee comments to find BC Mary’s always brilliant whackupsidethehead insights.

    A sigh. A sob. Lots of love for Mary and all those who loved her too.

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  3. Sad news. Mary faced her last months with quiet bravery and only a mere hint that she wished more had been achieved in causes that mattered.

    In private emails, Mary showed her selflessness, modesty and generosity and, above all else, her dedication to principle. Not surprisingly, the people who were her targets lack all those qualities.

    Mary’s family and friends should be comforted that she tried to make here community a better place. She saw problems and took action, using words as her weapons. I wish I had opportunity to know her better.

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  4. It really is a fantastic tribute to a fantastic woman Laila and Robin. Thanks.

    It is fitting that you use my real name here, because I could never get Mary to use it. Even when I went to visit her at the ‘big house’ when I first learned that she was sick, she insisted on calling me by screen name with a term of endearment in front of it. She said that was the way she always thought of me, with the two of them coupled together.

    The term and then the screen name, I mean.

    Gosh.

    I was going to write my tribute tonight, but I don’t think I can.

    I’ll try again tomorrow.

    .

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  5. A sad day indeed.

    BC Mary should have gotten the Order of BC for her efforts, but no, not here, not in BC, where media lick-spittles are the order of the day.

    She shall be sorely missed.

    Alas, her work will not be done until those who are guilty, are found guilty in court. Only then, will her great works be recognized.

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  6. The Legislature Raids were my introduction to the BC Rail scandal, and BC Mary kept me coming back for every sordid detail. Had it not for her dogged determination to get at the truth behind one of the most disgraceful chapters in B.C. history, I would have been as blissfully unaware as the average British Columbian.

    It was Mary that introduced me to you, Laila, although we have never met. One night I noticed your name on her list of links, and decided to have a boo. I’ve been a fan ever since.

    Go with God, Mary……..I’ll miss you.

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  7. Debbie

    Like so many others, it was BC Mary who brought the BC Rail scandal to the forefront with her persistent quest for answers and made me such a fan. Her voice and wit will be missed but her spirit lives on in others like you Laila who are not afraid to take on those who will expose them.

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  8. Susan Heyes

    Thank you Laila and Robin for this moving tribute to our feisty friend Mary.
    I hope her family knows how much she was appreciated. I admired her relentless pursuit of truth and justice. She inspired me to, as she put it, ‘give’em hell’ and to never give up. Her grace and courage remain a constant inspiration.

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  9. Leah

    There are no words to describe how I feel at the moment, losing Mary is like losing an extremely valuable family member – because she is.

    Heaven became a much more interesting place March 3rd…I’m sure she’ll be asking how this wonderful province and her people were brought to their knees, and will be wanting to know when…exactly, she can expect the wrongs to be righted. Indeed, the Angels have their hands full!

    Were it not for her, we would likely have never known the truth of BC Rail…or as much as we now know of it. Though others have since brought much information to light, it was Mary who turned on the spotlight to begin with. It’s up to us to ensure her light isn’t turned off, until we have the answers she sought.

    Truly one-of-a-kind. Her quality of person is rare, we’ve lost much. Yet what a privilege it is to call her Friend. I am heartbroken.

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  10. Laila

    I received a lovely email from a valued reader last night, who had this to share:

    “Thanks for your sharing about Mary. It’s March 4th, so we should March Forth, today and every day, in her honour.”

    I could not agree more- it is what she would have wanted. I welcome you all to continue posting your love, thoughts and wishes here for her family,but while you do, I will March Forth with a post of some revealing documents shortly and urge everyone to find it within themselves to re-visit the SNC story below, and share via twitter, email facebook. Mary would have said to ” nail those bastards to the wall.” Yes, she had a way with words in private..lol..

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  11. Julie

    Upon hearing of BC Mary’s death. Everything ripped through me at the same time, sorrow, anger, shock and grief. I had no idea she was so terribly ill.

    She laughed at my acronym, T.F.B. I was so furious with Campbell at that time.

    We will all miss our dear BC Mary.

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  12. A very sad day indeed. I can feel the pain amongst this group and all her followers and associates, I can feel the pain within myself at the loss of a great woman, a beautiful human being, a great loss in and to the community.
    Heaven most surely must be on its best behavior now. 😉

    My sincerest condolences out to all of Mary’s family, biological and otherwise. I didn’t know her much more than through her blogs and posts on sites like Laila’s, but she struck me as a woman who knew who she was and what truth looked like. I don’t believe there was ever a post or statement made by her that I didn’t agree with in some fashion. She knew the truth, and worked hard to put it out here for us to hear and take and work with.

    I have the greatest respect for her dedication, thoroughness, tenacity and her personality on her blogs/posts (Seek not to follow in the footsteps of men of old; seek what they sought.~ Matsu Basho), she obviously had a great passion and was able to share it in a loving fashion while pulling no punches (Don’t hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit softly.~ Theodore Roosevelt) and for that I had the greatest admiration.

    Mary, may your spirit always remain in the hearts of all who knew, and that will come to know you.
    Your physical time here on this plane of existence may have ended, but your spirit will never end, and for that reason alone today I smile, albeit with heart-heavy sadness.

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  13. How could one not concur with all of the above? A stalwart with a big heart and a sense of humour to go with her sense of justice and outrage. The outpouring is heartening, and the sense that the task still remains unfinished.

    So! is there a move afoot to archive and preserve all the great work that Mary and Robin did on the Trial Of Basi and Virk Blog? When the time comes, it would be great to have the perpetrators, as part of their sentence, take turns reading verbatim from the script that Mary left…

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  14. BC Mary kept the BC Rail fiasco simmering on the stove. Although it heated up somewhat with the Tsakumis documentation, unfortunately it seems to have waned again. Mary would have kept the pot cooking.

    Laila, your tribute to BC Mary was more than commendable. Her loss saddens me as well. Most British Columbians don’t realize the efforts she made looking after their best interests.

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  15. Laila

    Rmaharg, you said it. She did always keep this issue out there and strived to explore every avenue,not just focus on one aspect of this very twisted saga. And koot was essential to this because he, unknown to many, kept that blog running for her through it all, sickness and health, he would post for her if needed,he was the unsung tech guy behind the scenes, and for that I thank you dearly Koot.She loved you well, as I know you did her.

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  16. lynn

    Beautifully said, Laila.

    Mary was such a great woman and citizen journalist.

    From my correspondence with Mary, I know she was very proud of you as well.

    We must all ‘keep on keeping on’ in her memory………

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    1. Laila

      Thank you Lynn, and many warm thoughts for you in this time of loss. Made me cry again. This morning I woke up early as I always do, got a coffee and checked my blog to see the daily stats, and of course saw incoming visits from Marys site. In my befuddled half asleep state,I didnt even think and went to see what she posted…. and remembered as soon as I saw the hansard tribute. It’s a part of my daily routine that I dont think I will ever break,clearly nor will anyone else who admired and loved her well.

      Hugs to everyone.

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  17. EM

    She will be sadly missed, she inspired me, and because of her I did things that are totally out of my realm. I travelled to the BC supreme court twice, When someone beat me up over my “writing” she defended me. Robin Mathews and I and ?? another blogger , so sorry cant remember name shared lunch in between court and spoke how Mary would be furious of the days proceedings. If not for Mary ………… Always gracious….. so sad. And LMAO at leonard Krog, Ty Mr Krog for your tribute in the house, I know Mary smiled, I wish I could have seen her smile. And to all the friends of Mary, I share your pain, as tears fall down my face, MARCH FORTH FOR MARY. XOXO Eva
    ( EM)

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    1. Laila

      EM, you are exceptional ” because of her I did things that are totally out of my realm…” There is a line in a song I love that says ” Because we all have wings, but some of us dont know why…” Mary helped many discover their wings.. including you. Use them well, EM. Passion goes a long way.

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  18. Rosemary

    Laila- A wonderful tribute to Mary – your eloquent words have captured the essence of what I felt and sensed about her while reading Mary’s blog for many years. Mary’s spirit and words will be missed so much. I was so saddened to hear the news. I will miss reading her commentary and following the updates on the BC legislature Raids blog. The world needs more B.C. Mary’s and I am heartened to see you and others carry the flame forward.

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