An excellent sendoff for a great leader

The members of the Black Action Defense Committee must be commended for an excellent job, not only for their part in helping to organize an appropriate and moving funeral service but, as well, for all the events honouring and celebrating the life of this great community activist during the past three weeks.

Last Saturday, as I marched proudly on Eglinton Avenue West behind the hearse bearing the remains of my brother in the struggle – my final of the many marches led by this committed activist – I remembered his work with the relatives of victims of police brutality. Uppermost in my mind was Wade Lawson, the 16-year-old who was shot and killed by police.

Dudley was always in the forefront, organizing, challenging and protesting police brutality. I can still hear him saying, “June we got to march.”

On a related matter, Dudley was a strong supporter of the Africentric School and its principal, Ms. Thando Hyman-Aman, who literally grew up in BADC.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the principal and her staff for the excellent job they are doing teaching and nurturing our kids. My husband and I had the pleasure of sitting in the section reserved for the children who performed at the funeral service. During the more than three hours the service lasted we were both amazed by the discipline of these children. Aged from about six to 11, they conducted themselves with a maturity that belies their years. There was no bickering, no fidgeting and very little talking. When they did talk, they whispered, obviously respectful of the proceedings.

Great job, Thando.

Dudley had a send-off befitting his work in the community. His funeral was undoubtedly the largest of our community, certainly for me in the 30 plus years I have lived in Canada. No doubt, the large number who attended his funeral is an indication of respect for the man and his efforts on behalf of our community. Yet, I keep thinking, it is unfortunate that more of us didn’t communicate that respect while he was alive.

May his family be comforted by the fact that his work was well appreciated.

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