Betsy Bury helped launch Saskatchewan’s first Planned Parenthood
The oldest member of the Saskatoon YWCA is calling on young people to promote women’s participation in decision-making processes.
“Women have universally been the caretakers at home and people who made sure the meetings were open. But when it came to making the decisions, often the decision maker is the other gender. It should be some of both because we all have our own ideas,” Betsy Bury told CBC News at a community celebration of her birthday Friday.
Some 50 people gathered at Saskatoon’s YWCA Friday to honour her work and mark her birthday.
Bury received the Governor General Award in 2017 for a lifetime of work dedicated to gender equality. She helped launch Saskatchewan’s first Planned Parenthood clinic and helped establish the Saskatoon Community Clinic.
Bury, who served in the Royal Canadian Air Force women’s division in the Second World War, said she also hopes young people will be “ambassadors rather than warriors” in order to promote peace.
A testament to ‘loving life’
“Betsy is our oldest member at the YWCA. She’s been a legend and an inspiration to all of us in the building here for a long time,” said YWCA Saskatoon CEO, Shannon Friesen who organized the birthday celebration.
Bury is also known for being physically active.
“There she is 96 year-old, doing weights, on her bike, working out. She’s just such a testament to loving life and embracing life,” Friesen said.
Saskatchewan NDP leader Ryan Meili said Bury’s life work has been an inspiration.
“I’ve known Betsy for 20 years. She and [her late husband] John were a big part for the fight for medicare, so that’s always inspired me,” he said.
Bury has a message for the younger generations.
“I hope that they will try hard to speak out. When you see something wrong, say something.”