It was an honour to be presented with a Haliward last night in Halifax. We were among some of our cities nicest and hardest working people and they work tirelessly for a variety of great causes – mental health, animals in distress, persons with disabilities, conservation and environmental issues, seniors, and free karate to encourage healthy and active lifestyles. A room full of positive change.
At first I wasn’t sure how to take getting an award but realized the award isn’t for me, it’s for Rehtaeh. The event host Alex Maine says it like this:
The parents of Rehtaeh took it upon themselves to tell the story of their daughter to help others avoid this outcome. From this, awareness has been served, laws are progressing and the world is learning from this tragedy —and I believe that is extraordinary. That is why we made the decision to present a Haliward to the family of Rehtaeh commemorating their daughter.
Whether you wish to see this Haliward as a memorial to her life, as a statement to her legacy or as a thank you for what she has left behind, we’re fine with that. All we know is that we knew we had to do this. This Haliward is not just about Rehtaeh, it’s about her family and those who helped her when she needed it most and while I never knew Rehtaeh, I’m sure she would want to say thank you to those who were there for her.
Even though we are a limitless award, this is not what you would have come to expect from the Haliwards, but our awards are about more than “awarding”, it’s about honouring, it’s about being thankful for the things that those around us do. The world may have not been able to save Rehtaeh, but you can be sure that Rehtaeh saved others in this world.
I know the story of Rehtaeh has affected a lot of people in many different ways. It has caused outrage, distress, anger, sadness, and heartache. I know we’ve stepped on some toes but those toes should never have needed to be stepped on in the first place.
We’re looking ahead to build something positive.
The 2013 Haliwards
The Haliwards is a volunteer based community awards project that celebrates people in the HRM who have made an extraordinary impact on their local community. Throughout HRM there are people who strive to make their community just that little bit better; they are those who raise money for charity, who sacrifice their time to care for a sick child, who stand up for what they believe in, or do everything they can to make life just that little bit easier for those around them. Our goal is to offer thanks to these individuals and groups for the extraordinary things they do. Our awards have no boundaries; in everyone’s life there is someone who is extraordinary, so nominate them for a Haliward and give them a memory and a memento to treasure for a lifetime.