OBITUARY

Margaret Hewitt

November 5, 1951November 4, 2012

(aka Maggie Hughes) November 5, 1951 – November 4, 2012 Predeceased by her parents Gertrude and Elmo Hewitt. Sister to James Hewitt and aunt to Sherri (Michael) Currie, Karen (Ross) McLean, Valerie (Andy) Laszlo, and Sarah (Justin) Plant. Great aunt to five nephews and a niece. Maggie will be sadly missed by her family and friends, especially Adele Carey and Florence Schrieber. An activist, broadcast journalist, involved with independent media, musician, artist and of one soul with nature. Following her wishes, cremation has taken place. Friends and family will gather at TRUSCOTT, BROWN & DWYER FUNERAL CHAPEL (1309 King Street East, across from Gage Park at the delta) on Saturday, November 17 from 1 to 3:30 pm, followed immediately by a celebration of her life in the funeral home chapel.

“Thanks for listening”

Published November 09, 2012 on raisethehammer.org (Ryan McGreal) Maggie Hughes has died after a long struggle with multiple sclerosis. Maggie was an independent journalist and a tireless advocate for social justice, citizen activism and environmental sustainability. For 12 years she produced a weekly radio program on CFMU 93.3 FM called The Other Side that reported and examined news and events from a grassroots rather than an institutional perspective.

Her topics of interest included the Alberta Oilsands, global warming, pollution, corporate globalization, justice for First Nations communities, sustainability, civil rights, the concentration of wealth, environmental destruction, and government accountability. She published interviews with scientists, activists and advocates to present more detailed information and background that could not be found in the sound-bite media.

Just before her death, Maggie focused on the Enbridge plan to run diluted bitumen through a 37 year old pipeline that passes through Hamilton on its way east. On October 30, she published audio recordings of the citizen delegations to the City's General Issues Committee on the plan.

Maggie suffered from multiple sclerosis, a degenerative inflammatory disease that attacks the nervous system and leads to progressive physical and cognitive disability.

Despite her disease and its unpredictable but increasingly debilitating symptoms, Maggie continued single-handedly to publish detailed reports on important issues, producing thousands of hours of audio and video recordings from public meetings, protests, lectures and other events.

James Tennant, program director at CFMU, writes about her dedication. "We remember a woman who needed a motorized chair, yet hitched a ride on the back of a motorcycle to gather news from Caledonia in 2006."

In her last email to me, Maggie expressed her deep frustration dealing with MS:

"I can tell you it is like living in a circus of constant change. Very difficult. ... Be nice if I made some people understand that MS isn't just about going lame, or having speech struggles. It is far more."

Maggie's relentless dedication to social justice in Hamilton has long been a major inspiration for me, not only through her willingness to get involved but also as an example of what a difference one person can make with determination and skill.

She will be deeply missed.

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, November 17, 2012
  • Celebration of Maggie's Life Saturday, November 17, 2012
REMEMBERING

Margaret Hewitt

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Simon De Abreu

November 20, 2012

I will alway remember how passionate, caring and supportive Maggie was. She shall always be with me in all my activist performances.

Valerie Laszlo

November 18, 2012

I'm so sad you're gone Aunt Maggie. I wish we could have spent more time together than we were able to over the years but living so far apart made this difficult. I have very fond memories of spending time with you...your cats and dog too! You were talented in so many ways, including musically and artistically. I am grateful that we were able to keep in touch as we did. Reading the many kind words written of you since you passed makes me feel very proud to be your neice. You inspired so many, including me to be strong and work hard. We'll think of you always.

Lynda Lukasik

November 17, 2012

You were one-of-a-kind, Maggie Hughes! Thank you for teaching us all, by shining example, about the importance of unwavering persistence when it comes to fighting to making the world a better, more just place. We'll all miss you Maggie!

Jim Hewitt

November 17, 2012

How do you remember a life; how do you condense six decades into a paragragh. My sister was the hardest working, and one of the most courageous women that I knew. She was passionate about injustice and impactful in her statments. Rarely will you meet someone who put so much on the line to make her world a different place. God bless you Maggie.
Love Jim

Don McLean

November 17, 2012

Maggie was an inspiration. I regret being unable to attend the service but wanted to express my appreciation of a woman who overcame health challenges and devoted her energies to trying to make the planet a fairer place and a less polluted place. She was tireless in helping others understand and get involved. Just a few days before she died, Maggie made a presentation to city council - something she had done frequently before. It was about the threat posed to human and ecosystem health of pipelines transporting diluted bitumen. Happily, the council seemed to be listening on October 17, and it was obvious to all who attended that Maggie's presentation - complete with a powerful video of what happened as a result of the pipeline break in Kalamazoo, Michigan - has a very strong impact. We will remember her each time we speak for social and environmental justice.

Geoff Langhorne

November 16, 2012

I guess humour isn't permitted in these entries, which doesn't reflect Maggie's immediate and spontaneous appreciation of the ridiculous, which she p ut to subtle purpose as a fellow host at CFMU. I recall we were asked to pose together for a photo, and she threw an arm around my shoulder - hosts covering almost competing issues - and said "Come on Geoff, let's pretend we like each other". You were helpless liking Maggie.

November 16, 2012

God Speed Maggie.You provided those without a voice a platform, you fought to get the truth out and without a doubt the world is missing a brilliant light without you here. You will be remembered.
Diane Chiarelli, We ROCK Canada

November 15, 2012

A loss for all ~ I am deeply sorry to hear about the death of Margaret.
When I first met Margaret through a good friend, and introduce my cause to her, she so brilliantly map out the social challenges I was to experience as an advocate/activist for children of this country. Her honesty, compassion, and her truly compassionate attitude touched me deeply. For the family and friends may the love of those around you help you through the days ahead.
Linda Plourde

Michelle Hruschka

November 15, 2012

Maggie was a very couragrous individual, who valiantly promoted the things she was most passionate about regarding the environment and poverty. I will miss her greatly. MIchelle Hruschka(Ham,ON)

Kathryn Wrong

November 12, 2012

Thank you Maggie, for your endless efforts to get us all to open our minds, ears and eyes to what is right in front of us... We were certainly never ready to lose you, but I believe that the trail you left to teach us to see the world will continue to lead us to the truth...