To explain where Grace is now we need to know where Grace has been.

In her words she, “Came out of the Arctic, pregnant with her fifth child in 1966.” Think what you will, but those who know her can easily conjure up an image of Grace, large of belly, propelled by a blast of cold air and snow, flying across the tundra on a dog sled heading for Ottawa.

Richard “Dick” Hargrave gad been transferred to Ottawa and the family settled in the Alta Vista area of the city. Dick and Grace, alerted by a community announcement on the local radio station, attended a formation meeting of a pro-life group at St. Joseph’s Church Hall.

They joined, and Grace did “sticking and glueing” jobs, which helped lead to the Alliance for Life founding meeting October 1968 in Ottawa. She gives much credit to the work and perseverance of Philip and Mary Cooper for the successes of those early years.

Grace became a key speaker for the new Alliance and she was part of the first national coverage obtained when she was “slaughtered” on the CBC Under Attack. However, she did manage to get the now famous and compelling Life Magazine pictures on TV for the first time in Canada.

Grace claims she performed very poorly on the program, but she just kept holding up the pictures in front of the camera and repeating that this was the child that was killed in an abortion. That program led to many inquiries and interested new members. Gwen Landolt, who Grace met at the home of a mutual friend, was co-opted to be the Toronto contact so that callers from southern Ontario could be referred to a Toronto area group as well.

In 1971, Alliance President, Joan Lusignan of Hull was “with child” and there was a shortage of both human and physical resources in Ottawa. It was agreed to move the Alliance office, now growing rapidly, to Toronto and Dr. Heather Morris was elected president.

Action Life was established as the Alliance affiliate in Ottawa with Grace as president, working from her home with volunteer help until 1974. Probably her most vital talent was her recruitment ability; the trust she had in others, which allowed her to bring them into the movement, to delegate to them a specific job and to expect that it would be done.

Nobody said no to Grace but only because they saw the example of her concern and her willingness to work tirelessly for the unborn.

Grace Wyrzykowski Hargrave hails from Manitoba and is a former elementary school teacher. She and Dick have seven children, five natural and two adopted and seven grandchildren. For the past 18 years she has been “enjoying” herself as a school bus driver. Dick is now retired and together they have a little spare time. They still live in the same sprawling house and the back door still remains open to anyone to stop by for a coffee, but often it is hard to catch them for more than a few minutes. Five of their children live in the west and this creates incentive for their winter passion, skiing, mostly in B.C. and Alberta. Much of the summer is spent at the cottage near Kenora, Ontario.

Grace remains a presence on the pro-life scene and supports Campaign Life Coalition, especially by attendance at events but in endless other ways as well, always with encouragement and humor. She is still propelled by that Arctic wind and blows in and out of the office frequently.

Generally Grace is between bus runs so when she calls and says to put on the coffee, everyone jumps to it. Knitting is another one of the many talents of Grace and there are a lot of pro-lifers wearing her fisherman mitts that are actually a double pair knitted together with one cuff. Exceedingly warm and comfortable, as Jim Hughes and at least one MP and some parliamentary staff will testify. Graces donates her knitting profit to Campaign Life Coalition and Action Life.

Comments from Grace on the pro-life movement: “I can’t believe society has progressed so rapidly toward what was predicted in 1969. Nevertheless, in 1969, at the first pro-life march on Parliament Hill, a Globe and Mail reporter was overheard to say, ‘They are right you know.’

That remains the same, we are right!