Sunday, March 08, 2020

The Strength of Women

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Belleville's annual Docfest will come to a close this afternoon having screened 50 documentaries from a few minutes in length to about 100 minutes. We realized this year that at least half a dozen of the docs were available through various streaming sources and wondered if we really need to attend anymore. I'm glad to report that we have seen many excellent films which have been provocative, enlightening and at times entertaining. Yes, we both laughed and cried.

The last of  four we saw yesterday was Maiden, the story of  how Tracy Edwards, a 24-year-old cook in charter boats, who became the skipper of the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World in 1989. Edwards was a happy child when her father died of a heart attack then spiraled into angry, rebellious behaviour as a teen. After essentially running away to the other side of the world she learned to sail even though she was a cook and eventually returned to her native Britain. 

She decided that she should gather a group of women to sail around the world in one of the toughest races that exists and was mocked for even suggesting it could happen. She gathered a crew of a dozen experienced sailors and found a boat which was a reclamation project. No one would sponsor the project and it looked as though it would fail until the king of Jordan stepped forward to 

Journalists and other naysayers literally bet that they wouldn't make it through the first few days yet they did well on the first leg to South America, then onward. I won't spoil the story but they did complete the race, against all the odds, and did so with astonishing courage and resolve.

On International Women's Day we might reflect on all the brave, nurturing, creative women in our lives. We can consider the women of the bible who demonstrated leadership and faithfulness, even in their patriarchal societies. We can do our best to support women in their ministries and all the other endeavours of their lives. 

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