Lotta Hitschmanova, Cyprus, 1950s
“It seems to have been an instinctive desire on her part to bring out the leadership qualities she knew were in so many talented women she met, and an intuition that their ideas on human development would match her own.”
As millions of women and men around the world march to the cry of “women’s rights are human rights” – amid calls for greater tolerance, social justice, dignity and respect – a tiny candle of remembrance lights itself in honour of our women’s rights pioneers of times passed.
Lotta Hitschmanova (1909-1990) was one of those early pioneers.
When I came across a recent article in the Ottawa Citizen, I noticed that research firm Abacus Data had conducted a survey asking Canadians what made them proud of their country.
The top two responses were: freedom to live as we see fit and Terry Fox.
Given the recent publicity around the 12 women (including Lotta Hitschmanova) nominated to appear on a Canadian banknote, I was curious to see how they ranked in this survey.
We started Lotta56sparks.ca on Lotta’s 107th birthday, November 28, not quite knowing how a blog dedicated to this humanitarian “pioneer” would be received.
Since then, over 700 individuals have visited the blog!
Sincere thanks to everyone who has helped spread the word, with a special nod to the Lost Ottawa Facebook group.
Here are the most popular stories of 2016:
- Sharing a Lotta story: “She loved to party.”
- The most iconic – and confusing uniform in Canadian history?
- How did a Jewish refugee to Canada become a Unitarian “saint”? Part I. NB: Part II to be posted in 2017, stay tuned.
- 56 Sparks St – Canada’s most famous address?
It seems that Lotta scored very high indeed, in the recent Bank of Canada survey. She didn’t make it onto the Bank’s five woman short list, but the indicators are very strong indeed for some future recognition (another bill, a stamp perhaps?) for this Canadian social justice pioneer.
“The nominees included most frequently in a respondent’s top list were Elsie MacGill, Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova, Viola Desmond and Nellie McClung…. Continue reading
Welcome to the launching of Lotta56sparks.ca – on this, the 107th anniversary of one of Canada’s most beloved humanitarians!
Though Dr. Lotta did not make it onto the Bank of Canada’s short list of five women banknote candidates, there is still much cause for celebration, and indeed for reflection on the lasting impact that she has had on our Canadian society. Continue reading