Inner voice from Toronto

Hearing two word “Vietnam”, Lil Green’s face becomes radiant as she smiles. She seems to return to the events and memories of more than 40 years ago.

Lil Green is o­ne of the founding members of the Voice of Women for Peace – VOW thatwas established in Canada during the 1960’s. With the aim of providing support to Vietnam, VOW launched a project named “The o­ntario Voice of Women Knitting Project”. The project knitted clothes for children living in a country tens of thousands of kilometers away.


This project attracted around 1,500 women from Canada and the US.. Mrs. Green used her house as the location of gathering clothes before transferring them to Vancouver where they were sent to Vietnam. During 1960 to 1975 more than 30,000 units were sent to Vietnam. At the time, the project and Lil attracted the mass media .


It is hoped that whoever received a jumper knitted by Lil and other peace loving women could find out who was responsible for knitting the jumper.


During the war, VOW held many demonstrations and parades against the war in Vietnam. o­ne of the most effective and famous events was in Ottawa o­n April 18, 1970 when people protestedI protested against the Canadian Government’s backing of the US.. Thanks to these silent international friends, the Vietnam War came to an end early.


At the time, Lil’s husband, Mr. Ray Stevenson (who has sadly passed away now) stood by her side. He was a senior journalist and an anti-Vietnam War activist. He was also a member of Canadian Aid for Vietnam Civilians (VAVC) – a volunteer organization founded in Vancouver in 1966. Canadians supporting Vietnam assembled at this organization in order to seek aid and help. By the end of 1975, VAVC had collected and sent 200,000CAD in cash to Vietnam and 46 cargos including children’s clothes, quilted blankets, health care supplies and school equipment that were worth 275,000CAD.


The memories about the time they were side by side, unceasingly fighting to help the Vietnamese people always stands in her mind. The most precious memory is the visit to Vietnam by Mr. Stevenson, who was the Secretary of the World Peace Council in May 1980. The Vietnamese Prime Minister, Pham Van Dong welcomed the delegation at his presidential palace.


Memories of Lil’s experiences flowed when that 89-year old benevolent woman met with the Vietnamese. She gave new friends some documents and souvenirs about VOW’s “for Vietnam” activities. Because of her loyal and silent love for Vietnam, Lil is willing to offer a lot and many people will be surprised to learn that Lil Green has never even been to Vietnam.

Tuoi Tre Newspaper
Translated by VWU Int’l Relations Department