July 29, 1936 – January 15, 2023
In loving memory ~
Maureen was born in Arcola Saskatchewan. At age 4, Maureen’s father Maurice Connor joined the RCAF and her mother Agnes Connor and family moved to Sidney, BC. Maureen graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Slavonic Studies in 1957 having developed a love of Russian literature and languages. Maureen returned to UBC in the early 60s to work on her Master’s degree in Slavonic Studies.
In 1966 she received a scholarship to study for a year at the University of Moscow to pursue her interest in Russian literature and the poems of Andrei Voznesenski She departed for Russia for an exciting year of study and travel. Once she returned to Vancouver, Maureen taught English and continued using her language skills to translate Russian poetry and other materials.
Maureen then spent a number of years in the 1970s and ’80s living in the Slocan Valley, writing for The Arrow and absorbing the Doukhobor anti-war lifestyle. Some of her poetry translations are included in the book of poems by Voznesenski, Story Under Full Sail, published in 1974. Another fascinating translation, from a 1954 recording in Russian, is an article from the October, 1973 issue of The (Castlegar) Arrow on the death of Peter Verigin. In the mid-1980’s, Maureen settled in Port Alberni to teach English. She helped found the Alberni Environmental Coalition and, on their behalf, testified before the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in 1992. Through the Coalition, Maureen became very involved with local environmental activism.
She was also active in many local groups including the Port Alberni Rock & Gem Club, Port Alberni Historical Society, Vancouver Island Aquatic Management, all the while studying the Nuu-Chah-Nuth language. Her final few years were spent at Tsawaayuus (Rainbow Gardens) where she received loving and thoughtful care. Maureen passed with her daughter Karen at her side.
She is survived by her brothers Denis and Terry Connor, her daughter Karen Sager, son in law David and grandson Leighton.
A private family gathering will be held in the near future. Donations in Maureen’s memory may be made to Western Canada Wilderness Committee at www.wildernesscommittee.org
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