By Ted Gerk
Soft-spoken Anita Parker was born to Thomas and Maureen Egan on July 13, 1934.
Graduating from school in 1952, Anita began her career at a Catholic school in Cannock, Staffordshire, England. In 1954, Anita met her future husband Bill. They were married on Sept. 3, 1955.
Moving to Canada in 1970, the Parkers quickly moved into a lifestyle of helps. In Canada they were involved in a variety of causes and issues, but the one most dear to Anita’s heart was the rights of the unborn.
Best known for her “servant’s” heart in the running of Campaign Life Coalition British Columbia, Anita must take some of the credit for the provincial NDP government declaring CLCBC and president John Hof as the most “well known anti-choice militant outside the U.S.”
Why? Because those who work behind the scenes in the pro-life movement are indeed the backbone of the movement. Without their commitment to life and service this grassroots movement could not function – and certainly could never reach the level of effectiveness that even the enemies of life must grudgingly admit.
Anita was the epitome of the typical pro-life worker. Handling phone-calls, writing thank-you letters, working on newsletter mailings, holding meetings, giving encouragement – all with the attitude that if no one finds out what they are doing that is just fine with them, thank you very much.
Her commitment to life was well-known and deeply held. She was the one who spearheaded the annual Mass of the Holy Innocents at Holy Rosary Cathedral – held every December 28.
Over the years she was a frequent participant at vigils and protests held outside Vancouver’s abortion mills. Despite feeling threatened and harassed at times because of her protest activity, Anita remained committed to the cause and necessity of front-line activism.
No summary of her life could ever scratch the surface of what she was able to accomplish, what she was able to impart to her children, grandchildren, friends and family and all the rest who knew and loved her. Perhaps the greatest tribute one could have is the statement of those who worked closely with her, for those are the ones who got to know the real Anita Parker. A recent CLCBC newsletter described her thus:
“Anita did so much for us with quiet excellence. She was not interested in recognition or acclaim, so many may not have been aware of just how much she contributed. What mattered to her was that she always did what is right, caring and loving for her family and friends. This same caring and loving made her a crusader for the most innocent, children who were not yet born. Those of us who worked with her so very much appreciated all she did for us even while she carried on with the endless family activities which characterize such a loving wife, mother of four children and grandmother of eleven, the last one just born. To know her was to love her.”
Anita now rests safely in the arms of God, along with all the children she tried so hard to save.