Letter: June Harrison

Tuesday, July 19 2016

I want to respond to the obituary and letters about June Harrison in a recent Sounder, because when I moved to Gabriola many years ago, June was one of the first people to welcome me, with gusto, great humour and a sincere interest in my newborn baby. Over the years June always inquired about my children and I believe that her work on the School Board (23 years!) represented true dedication.

June and I often disagreed regarding the means to our political ends, but we always agreed on the larger environmental and social goals we both worked for. I sometimes cursed the “cut-and-paste” results of June’s reporting and writing for the Flying Shingle, but when I followed up with a discussion later, we would both end up laughing about her maverick journalism.

Many years ago I asked June, “How can you report on a meeting when you weren’t there?” She quipped (without delay), “I have my sources.” Well, you can’t beat that for the kind of defiant and confident way that June took on every issue that was news for Gabriola. I will always remember her for the beautiful, flamboyant scarves and fabulous high heels she wore to meetings, but more for her fierce and faithful dedication to Gabriola, the island we both called home. 

~ Susan Yates