Manitoba Lieutenant Governor

Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba

The Honourable Anita R. Neville, P.C., O.M.

Memorial for Vivian Silver

Remarks by

The Honourable Anita Neville, P.C., O.M.

Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba


Asper Jewish Community Centre

Thursday, December 14, 2023

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Dear friends and fellow Manitobans – today we are gathered in remembrance and in sadness, to honour the life of a distinguished Winnipegger.

As Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, I join you in mourning for Vivian Silver – a peacemaker, a leader and inspiration to many. A beloved friend and family member to many  gathered here tonight

We live in a time when the most horrific images of world eve can be beamed into our homes 24 hours a day.

We live in a time of increased radicalization and polarization driven by the algorithms of social media.

And of course we live in a time of increased antisemitism – around the world and unfortunately right here in Winnipeg.

It would be easy to give in to despair. It would be easy to say there’s no solution, no way to bring people together to resolve disagreements through dialogue.

Today, as we gather to remember Vivian Silver, it is our responsibility to honour her vision by avoiding despair.

I never met Vivian Silver. But I certainly wish I had.

I have read that this Winnipeg-born peace activist “never gave up on people.”

I have heard that she insisted at all times that: “There’s always hope.”

Vivian Silver worked to make a better and more just world possible. She co-founded an important peace movement. She built bridges of understanding.

How can we pay tribute to a woman who lived her values so profoundly – and whose murder was such a cruel denunciation of those values?

  • We can work for a culture of listening and understanding.
  • We can build bridges in our own neighbourhoods and communities.
  • We can teach our children to hold hope close in their hearts.

It is unlikely that anyone here has a plan to create world peace. But perhaps world peace is the sum of billions of small-scale acts of peace.

Perhaps in that way we can help bring Vivian Silver’s vision closer to reality.

May we all find peace in our hearts, and offer kindness to others at a time when the world needs it so desperately.

Thank you.  Merci.  Meegwich.   Shalom.