- MYLES Vardy
- April 22, 2013 - 08:56
I remember it well. Judy Ford was from my home town, my sister baby sat her when she was little. The cause to make a safe passage across the Parkway became a passion for me and many. The wee hours of the morning, eating donuts, drinking coffee was not a joyous occasion. Rather it was a sad reflective time a time to unite on shared a common purpose involving life and death. We were fighting to makes safe passage across the Parkway for all students and professors alike. Three degrees later, When I drive under the Skywalks today I think of Judy and the cause we were successful in fighting.
- November 05, 2010 - 11:05
Thank you for writing this article. I graduated from MUN just a few years ago but I passed by the wreaths tied to the parkway fence dozens of times during my time there and always wondered about the events of that day. I staffed the MUSE for a time and recall hearing about an ill-timed article that very week (was it about traffic on the parkway?) that was to preclude this accident. I am glad the students on 1980 still think of this today. I wish the student spirit was a little closer to what it was then than it is now.
- October 24, 2010 - 12:24
Thnak-you for remembering Judy Ford. She was a dear friend of my mother.
- Dave Moore
- October 23, 2010 - 22:37
I remember it well. I spent a good many days and nights there during the protest. Like a lot of people, I got the news late on Friday and spent an hour or so wondering if it had been one of my friends. No name was released at first - and many of us knew female students who had reason to cross that road on that day. At the time, it all sort of fell together. My recollection was that those who started the vigil, did so as a memorial as much as a protest. So many expressed the idea that it would be vile to allow traffic back on the road so soon after just washing away the blood and body. It evolved quickly as there was talk of ending things and other voices suggesting that if we kept things visible and peaceful, then perhaps a change would be made to protect those who might use the cross-walk in future. Curious students who came to see the vigil, offered to stay while others went for dry clothes, food, coffee. The numbers grew, and by the second day, there was more will to see things change. I truly believe (in retrospect), that the city and the university administration also wanted a change, but were afraid of how to make it happen without appearing to bow to pressure or appearing to accept responsibility. The police were also very sympathetic. It was a very different time, and I think that a lot more people than just university students felt genuine empathy for the girl, her family and her friends. Perhaps like me, they also wondered briefly if it had been somebody close to them. Today, spin rules. News is instant. Nobody is given that hour or two to imagine yourself in somebody-else's shoes. To really feel that thin thread between us and the victims of tragic events. I do not think it could happen the same way today. I think that people are still people, but the walls between us are greater because we have far less time to wonder and feel connected. Spin doctors and share holders would be getting their message out before we even knew the story. For a hundred or so people who were there the longest, it was a time of great humanity. For the hundreds more who played a part, an event that maybe helped them grow a little into the people they are today. Poor Judy never knew the changes made in her name, but they far exceeded anything architectural. Since that sad day, countless others have passed in similar ways. Traffic deaths make the evening news. We see the vehicles, or hear that lives were lost, but we generally don't feel a connection to our own lives. The world would be a far better place if we did.
- KAREN SPENCER
- October 19, 2010 - 11:12
As a fellow MUN student of the early 80s, I thank Peter and The Telegram for remembering Judy. Although I did not know Judy personally, I have thought of her every single time I have driven that section of the Parkway for the past thirty years. And every time I pass under the skywalks, I wonder how many lives have since been saved. It is important today's students and parents know of Judy's life and legacy.
- Ken OBrien
- October 19, 2010 - 08:46
The fall of 1980 was my first term at MUN and I remember the vigil well. Ms. Ford was killed by a dumptruck that failed to yield after the traffic in the other lane had stopped. I believe it was a rainy day and she had her hood up as she crossed the road. Her death was quite a shock and made us wonder about the wisdom of running a four-lane highway through campus. We walked along Prince Philip Parkway, devoid of traffic, and I thought, "This protest just might work". And it did. After the skywalks were built and a fence was placed in the median, I saw some students hopping the fence to cross the road. In the opinion of many, they were morons. Thankfully, that behaviour stopped and I haven't heard of it any more. Thanks for reminding us of this painful event that led to the skywalks being built.