Family, politicians of all stripes lay Gretta Chambers to rest
Published Saturday, September 16, 2017 3:14PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, September 16, 2017 7:40PM EDT
Gretta Chambers, the prominent journalist who became the first female chancellor of McGill University, was laid to rest on Saturday.
Chambers died last Saturday in St. Mary’s Hospital at the age of 90.
She was well known for her weekly radio show on CBC, The Province in Print, which ran from 1966 to 1978 and also hosted a public affairs show called The Editors on CFCF 12 from 1977 to 1980.
Chambers also authored a weekly column for The Montreal Gazette.
Her grandson, Willie Lowry, also a journalist, said he would remember Chambers for “her humour and her compassion.”
“She was an incredibly warm and loving grandmother,” he said. “Growing up, she had an aura around her. I knew she was important. My friends and their parents would always tell me how much they liked and respected her but, for me, despite all her successes she was never anything more than my grandmother.”
Chambers became one of the first Anglophone journalists to write extensively about French-Canadian politics, drawing praise from politicians of all stripes, who remembered her as a trailblazer with a strong intellect.
Former Prime Minister Joe Clark said Chambers a “symbol of what we can all aspire to.”
“She was an example without seeking to be, just in the natural dynamics of the way she lived her life and expressed her views,” he said.
New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair called Chambers “a voice of reason in some of the toughest debates Quebec has ever had.”
“She’s a great mom as well, I know a lot of her kids,” he said. “She’ll be sadly missed.”
Parti Quebecois leader Jean-Francois Lisee said he met her several times across the years and was always struck by her as a woman of both kindness and fiercely held opinions.
“She was a great Quebecer, a great model for all Quebecers, women in particular,” he said.” “She took her place, didn’t ask for anybody’s permission to be there and contribute.”