September 9, 1927 – May 5, 2022
Pat Love’s compassion and leadership in supporting restorative justice endeavours are apparent in decades of work assisting those in need: as a provincial probation/parole officer (which she began at age 55); founder and president of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Peterborough; and co-founder of the Ottawa chapter of Circles of Support and Accountability, a highly successful reintegration program that operates Canada-wide. In recognition of her dedication to this work, she was awarded the CoSA Canada Award of Distinction in December 2020.
For five years, Pat led social action committee members to keep a weekly vigil at Ottawa’s Human Rights Monument, through rain, sun, and snow, objecting to drastic budget cuts for society’s most vulnerable. In 2001, at the age of 74, she undertook a 250 km protest walk from Ottawa to Peterborough, spotlighting Ontario’s serious social housing crisis. One year later, she walked 50 km solo on the El Camino de Santiago in Spain.
Pat’s work has contributed greatly to harm reduction in communities and to beneficial personal and social transformation for countless individuals in need. The dozens of core members, hundreds of volunteers, and several staff (including her daughter, Susan, who has been the program coordinator since 2002) and board members and advisors, who have been involved in CoSA Ottawa since its inception, are tremendously grateful to Pat for her extraordinary trailblazing vision and compassion in co-founding CoSA Ottawa, with Garth Bulmer, in 2000.
In the spirit of ‘gone but not forgotten’, I had the privilege of attending the placement of the ashes of Pat Love — a dear friend, an ‘other mother’ to me and tireless social justice advocate — in her final resting place this weekend. She died last year (May/22), at the age of 94 of complications from dementia. As long as she was able, she continued to be on the front lines of insisting on social justice. Her ideas and commitment remain as she inspired so many others to act. Debbie Jeffrey (long-time family friend) July 15, 2023