My mother, Beverley Noel Salmon, was born in Toronto on Christmas Day 1930. Being the first baby born that day, the Victorian Order of Nurses celebrated her arrival by honoring her with a gift!
My parents wedding (Dr. J. Douglas Salmon + Beverley Salmon)
September 15, 1956
A prelude for things to come, my mother, a deeply religious woman, walked a devotional path of love, service and compassion. She was dedicated to her family and was an advocate for the impoverished and the disenfranchised. She has been a tireless and courageous champion of fair and equitable treatment for all regardless of race, gender identity, sexual expression, ability or ethnicity. She embraced people of all faiths and walks of life.
My father's graduation from University of Toronto Medical School
Feminine leadership was her hallmark. She was extremely gracious, caring and compassionate, while having the strength of her convictions. She was VON and spent her life nursing, nurturing and mothering many. She was also fearless and became an activist for equity and equal rights during the civil rights movement when my parents moved to Detroit for my dad’s surgical residency. There the civil rights movement was stirring. It was there that she had the opportunity to hear some of the world's leading civil rights activists including Tom Mboya, Thurgood Marshall and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr..
1967 - the 1st Caribana Festival. Mom holding me (Heather)
My mother was very social and loved engaging in uplifting events and activities. She loved the Black is Beautiful movement of the 60s and 70s and was one of the founding chairs of Toronto’s world famous Caribana Festival – a festival that celebrated West Indian culture and brought together millions of people.
Her work continued as she broke through glass ceilings to become the first black woman to sit on Toronto’s Municipal Council and the Ontario Human Rights commission. Always available to support those in need, she moved mountains establishing homes for homeless youth, justice for victims, access for those with special needs and awareness of the inequities that women of color faced.
Her impact on the culture of the Greater Toronto area has been immense and will continue to reverberate throughout many generations to come. At the heart of it she was motivated by a desire to live in a place where all people could celebrate their unique cultures and identities, and have equal access and opportunities regardless of one’s race, gender identity, sexual expression, ability or ethnicity. She often referred to the culture in Toronto as a ‘salad bowl’ rather than a melting pot. Toronto has grown to become the most diverse city in the world and known for its celebrations of people of all cultures.
Bev receiving the Order of Canada 2018
My mother has been honored with the Order of Canada, Order of Ontario, Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson University), Harry Jerome President’s Award, African Canadian Achievement Award, Bicentennial Award (ON), Queen Elizabeth 11 Diamond Jubilee Medal, Onyx Lions Club Award, Canadian Black Achievement Award for Politics, Canadian Centre for Police-Race Relations Award of Excellence and the Daniel G. Hill Award.
June 21st, 2023 - Our Summer Solstice Celebration,
Black Swan Temple Farm | Maui, HI
Most of all I have been honored to call her mom. Mom led by example. She wanted us to know that we should stand up for ourselves and to know that we were worthy of whatever we chose to be or do. We were taught to be aware of injustices and to not let social biases limit us.
We did grow up in a time when there was still segregation in Toronto in places like the Granite Club and golf courses where they did not admit black people as members. I also recall our family having a reservation at a very nice hotel in Ottawa and when we showed up at the desk, all of a sudden our reservation could not be found and they said that they could not accommodate us. My mother was having none of that and one thing led to another and all of a sudden they found accommodations for our family.
Mom was a self proclaimed life long learner. Even into her 90s she would join in classes to better and expand herself. She embraced change and thought it was powerful and good to do.
She was very supportive and encouraging to me on my life path that led me to trail blaze in the areas of sacred sound healing prayerfomance, our temple and mystery school. She'd often to be the first one to sign up for our online events, and when she came to visit us in Maui she would be at yoga every class and yes she'd hang upside down even though she hadn't done so for about 75 years. Our clients loved her too. Virtually everyone of them who met her would take me aside and share how much it meant to them to talk to her and have presence here.
I recall one of our clients sharing in our opening circle that she felt stressed and anxious on a regular basis. Mom told her that she has been through a lot in her life too and now feels very calm and that maybe that by spending some time together, she'd find some calmness within too. Our client did just that during the week and left feeling much more at peace. It's been so wonderful to see how her life has unfolded since that time a few years ago.
She was an adventurous mother and loved to travel and have her children experience the world and gain other perspectives. During our childhood our parents would take us on lengthy summer road trips with a pop up camper trailer in tow across Canada and the US. We’d often holiday in winter in the West Indies visiting Jamaica where three of our grandparents were born, along with other islands.
Giza Plateau 2018
At 88 mom journeyed to Egypt on pilgrimage with us. She visited the church where Jesus and his family sought shelter when he was a child, she also rode camels and was the first person in our group to make up the narrow passage into the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid. We were so blessed to have her spend her last three weeks with us at our estate on Maui. She loved it here, helped us plant our Peace Pole on Solstice, and told us to keep doing everything that we are doing. Even though her recent pneumonia had taken its toll on her body she was at peace in our little slice of paradise and was full of stories and chuckles as she began her journey home.
June 18, 2023, Temple of Peace, Maui, Hawaii
Just as she arrived on a very special day, my mother passed during a very special celestial event that astrologers called the Great Mother Womb portal and a Divine Feminine stargate. This was marked by our spiritual sun’s, the star Sirius, conjunction (coming into the same sign and degree) with our Solar Sun. During this time the Black Sun and our Solar Sun had also been in conjunction. It is said that Sirius is the star from which many high adepts including Isis/Auset, Yeshua, Buddah, and other master teachers originated to bring wisdom to the people of Earth. These powerful alignments activated the opening of an auspicious Divine Feminine stargate through which my mother passed to no doubt reunite with her star kin. Her cremation was completed on the auspicious Feast Day of Mary Magdalene, July 22, 2023. This day celebrates Mary Magdalene as the apostle of apostles.
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