The Ireland Monument Committee was delighted to host our 2nd Promotion Night at Mahonys Public House UBC Vancouver on Sept 30th 2008. Thanks to Chris Mahony and his staff for their assistance.
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Good evening everyone. My name is Kate Hammett-Vaughan. I’m a jazz vocalist and music educator here in
The Ireland Monument – Unveiling – September 30th, 2008
Good evening Members of the Ireland Monument Committee, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen.
My name is Perviz Madon and I am here to share my thoughts and experiences with the wonderful people of Ireland I’ve come to know and respect over the past 23 years. For those of you that remember the bombing of the Air India flight 182 off the coast of Ireland in 1985 – well on that fateful day, I lost my husband Sam Madon who at the age of 41 became a victim of this senseless act of terrorism. It has been known as one of the worst disasters in the history of aviation and 329 men, women and children were killed in this horrendous crash. After a very disturbing verdict of NOT GUILTY in 2005 by a Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, for the 2 accused, we lobbied for a public inquiry as well as memorials in the major cities where most of the victims of this crime resided, which were Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. It was especially important for us to have one here in Vancouver as the crime was planned and executed in our very city. We had the opening of this Air India Memorial in Stanley Park at Cepperley Park near 2nd beach, in July 2007.
So coming back to my experiences with the Irish people – I am at a loss to express my gratitude for all that these lovely people did for us in 1985 and are still doing for families that visit the Air India Memorial at Dunmanus Bay at Ahakista in the county of Cork. This memorial was erected on June 23rd 1986 on the first anniversary of the crash and was a joint venture of Canadian, Indian and Irish Governments.
From the time of search and rescue, which later turned to recovery of the bodies from the treacherous Atlantic Ocean, the help, guidance, care and respect they showed us, the victims’ families will forever be etched in our hearts. To the people who lived in the proximity where most of the debris eventually washed ashore, it became their tragedy and they mourned for the people they had never met The citizens of the small town of Bantry had to go through the trauma of this horrendous crash and now 23 years later they still tend to the memorial site keeping it clean and tidy and shower the family members who return to pay homage to their loved ones lost at sea, with their “Irish” hospitality and the wonderful generosity of their spirit. Their lives have forever been altered and affected by this tragedy.
It would be very fitting to have the Ireland Monument in close proximity of the Air India Memorial in Stanley Park. I have often said to myself that if my darling husband had to die anywhere, I am glad he died in Ireland. What an honour to have the two memorials side by side and how befitting for all the victims of the Air India flight 182 to share this beautiful space in our prestigious Stanley Park. This is no co-incidence that the two memorials would be planned so very close together – I think it is meant to be.
I would like to take this opportunity and thank Mr. Brendan Flynn and his committee for inviting me here today and would also like to publicly thank the people of Ireland especially the doctors, nurses, search and rescue personnel, Irish Garda as well as the general public, of the County of Cork, for all that they did in 1985 and for the years of love and friendship they have extended us the victims’ families of the Air India flight 182 and I assure you our children and our grandchildren will forever be in your debt.
In closing, I would like to use the quote from the Irish as well as the Vancouver memorials which goes as follows:
“Time flies, Suns rise and shadows fall, let it pass by, love reigns forever over all”.