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Canadian Pacifist, Social Advocate Muriel Duckworth Dies At 100

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – Canadian activist Muriel Duckworth, a passionate pacifist who for decades was an advocate for women’s rights and social justice, has died. She was 100.

Duckworth died Saturday in palliative care in a hospital in Magog, Quebec, according to the Halifax Chronicle Herald.

She had been staying at her family’s cottage near Montreal when she fell and broke her leg, her granddaughter, Anna, told the Halifax Chronicle Herald. Anna Duckworth said the cause of death was old age.

Born on Oct. 31, 1908, Duckworth grew up in a village in Quebec and graduated from McGill University in Montreal in 1929. She and her late husband, Jack, moved to Halifax in the 1940s.

Duckworth vigorously protested wars dating back to the Second World War, and was still attending peace rallies during the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

But it wasn’t always easy for her, especially in a traditional military city such as Halifax.

“Halifax is very much a military town, and I’ve always had crank letters and phone calls,” she said in 2004. “People wouldn’t speak to me on the street.”

At times, she performed as a member of the Raging Grannies – a hat-wearing and shawl-sporting troupe of women who sing protest songs.

Duckworth, a former educator, was a member of the Order of Canada and in 1991 received the Lester B. Pearson Peace Medal.

In a statement, Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter extended his condolences to Duckworth’s family.

“Muriel will be forever remembered as an ambassador of peace, defender of women’s rights, and champion of educational development,” Dexter said.

Duckworth was the mother of three; she had 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Anna Duckworth said funeral arrangements were not complete.