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Mary Ozolins Award

To honour the hard work and dedication of Mary Ozolins, the BCWLC presents an award periodically to a BC woman who provides exemplary and meaningful contributions to her community and serves as an example to women in politics.

Mary Ozolins passed away on August 31, 1993.  Her dear friend, Samantha Camp, delivered the following at her eulogy:

  •  “These are Mary’s words “I’m a little colour deaf. I don’t say it. I don’t hear it. And I don’t allow it.”

  •  This was Mary’s touchstone for longer than I’ve known her. To Mary, colour was not necessarily the hue of a person’s skin. It was any act of discrimination toward those who could not or would not protect themselves. As she said, “I am working for my granddaughter and for all children to come.” Mary was a strong advocate for those who needed to be heard. She spoke out for human concerns and needs. When citizens had their own voice, she made sure they were heard. When they had difficulty in speaking, she provided help. When they had no opportunity to speak for themselves, she spoke on their behalf. Mary was an excellent example of someone who successfully applied her skills toward influencing decision-makers. She was able to bring together many different people of the Surrey community, and link them to provincial and national politics.”

2015/16 Award recipient: Vi (Violet) Roden

On behalf of BC Women’s Liberal Commission, Margo Metcalfe and Caprice Barbour, Co-Presidents, are pleased to announce the awarding of this year’s Mary Ozolins Award to Vi Roden for her dedicated Liberal and Community Volunteer Service. Vi’s name is inscribed on the Mary Ozolins Award Plaque retained in the BCLPC Vancouver Office.

“Give me the List and I will call them!” is the cornerstone of Vi’s fifty plus years of Liberal volunteerism. She has served as Campaign Manager and Office Manager for various political campaigns, as well as Volunteer Chair, Elections Readiness and Communications. She has been a member of the North Shore Liberal Women’s Commission since shortly after its inception in 1973 and a member of her local EDA in both North Vancouver and West Vancouver.

In the community, Vi was instrumental in establishing formal help for abused children and families and addressing the needs of seniors. The programmes she spearheaded were the inspiration for many of today’s community assistance programmes.

As in previous years, the nominations for the Mary Ozolins Award profiled the strong leadership of BC women throughout our BC communities and we congratulate all the energetic and creative women who were nominated.

2014/15 Award recipient: Paola Viviana Murillo

On behalf of BC Women’s Liberal Commission, Margo Metcalfe, President, is pleased to announce the awarding of this year’s Mary Ozolins Award to Paola Viviana Murillo (Vancouver Centre).

Please join us in congratulating Paola! Paola’s name will be inscribed on the Mary Ozolins Award Plaque retained in the BCLPC Vancouver Office. And…BCWLC is also pleased to announce a Honourable Mention to Lydia Hollas (South Surrey/White Rock).

Paola and Lydia will each receive keepsakes recognizing their outstanding community service and commitment to liberalism.

A contributing member of LPC, Paola’s many contributions to the community at large include building channels helping Latin American immigrants as they adjust to their new lives in Canada; creating non-profit organizations to foster community understanding of cultural differences and climate and sustainability issues; building avenues through multicultural exchanges to facilitate the understanding of differing cultural realities; and working with provincial, municipal, and private sector organizations building bridges to weave the lives of new immigrants into the fabric of Canada.

This year brought many nominations for the Mary Ozolins Award – an outstanding affirmation of the leadership, power and contributions women are bringing to their communities and to BC LPC.

We congratulate all the nominees and look forward to hearing more of their achievements and the contributions of all outstanding BC Liberal women as we work toward making our Canada the land we love!


Past award recipients:

2014/15 – Paola Viviana Murillo (Presented at BCWLC AGM)

2012 – Pat Petrala (Presented at Surrey LPCBC convention)

2010/11 – Mary Pynenburg (Presented at Victoria LPCBC convention)

1998 – Susan Masi (Presented at Whistler Convention)

Anita Dadson

Judy Higginbotham

Barb Deb