Monday, October 27, 2008

Green Candidate Pat Gostlin, R.I.P.

Well friends and foes, I met Pat Gostlin a couple of times at Green Party events. We only chatted briefly but I was impressed with Pat's enthusiasm and knowledge. Sadly, Pat Gostlin was killed in a car crash Sunday morning. I join with Elizabeth May in mourning our loss.


Green Party mourns Pat Gostlin

Greens across the country are shocked and saddened following the tragic and unexpected death of Pat Gostlin. Ms. Gostlin was the Green candidate in Oshawa in the recent federal election. She was killed by a drunk driver while driving home early on Sunday morning in Durham.

"Pat's untimely death is simply devastating," said Green Party leader Elizabeth May. "She was a tireless and dedicated advocate for change. Her warmth, kindness and cheer touched all those she met. Pat will be sorely missed and I extend my deepest sympathies, on behalf of all Greens, to her family and loved ones."

Ms. Gostlin's efforts were instrumental in propelling the Greens into the televised debates in the last election, when she and other Greens organized a protest that hit the national airwaves.

"Many of us were blessed by the opportunity to know and work with Pat. Many more of us felt proud after learning of her tremendous efforts to protect democracy in Canada. Pat will always have a special place in Green history and today we mourn her tragic passing."

The Star has some details about the circumstances of the crash.

Gostlin's car was hit while stopped at a red light on John St. W. at Park Rd. S. in Oshawa, according to Durham police

The driver tried to flee, but was held by a citizen until officers arrived, police said. A Bowmanville man has been charged with impaired driving.

The GPC site is still showing Pat's candidate page. That page will be removed soon but I'm taking the liberty of copying Pat's bio here:

Pat Gostlin is a recently retired teacher who speaks 5 languages, including German, Polish, French, and Spanish. Born in Germany, she came to Canada with her mother in 1953 and grew up on a farm in Brooklin, Ontario (north of Whitby). A teacher with the Durham Catholic School Board for 35 years, she earned a B.A. in Cultural Studies from Trent University in 1997 after attending night and summer courses.

Asked why she is seeking public office under the Green banner, Pat simply answers: “Because I am a mother and a grandmother.” She has always been interested in politics and feels that retirement will allow her to dedicate the time and energy needed to effect positive policy change – not just for the sake of her children and grandchildren, but for her grandchildren’s grandchildren.

Pat’s care for future generations stems in part from a lifetime of work with young children. In addition to teaching in a classroom setting, she worked closely with children with reading difficulties and acquired expertise in reading recovery. Recognized by her peers as a distinguished educator in 2001, she was awarded the prestigious Ontario English Catholic Teacher’s Association President’s Award for Durham Region in 2007.

Pat has been very active within her unit of the teachers’ federation and served on numerous committees, including the negotiating team. She chaired the professional development committee and was a founding member of the Sharing of Excellence committee, an outreach initiative which shared original ideas and provided information to parents, teachers and the community on successful methods for dealing with problems like autism, learning disabilities, and bullying.

Pat is also an active volunteer in her community. In addition to her local involvement, she is a member of Amnesty International and The Council of Canadians.

Truly a great loss...



sassy said...

A great loss indeed, to her family, friends, community, (immediate and extended), I offer my sincere condolences.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Gostlin was my grade two teacher at St. John the Evangelsit Catholic school and I can't say I have ever met a nicer woman. She made that school year for me and my classmates a very enjoyable one and I can say with absolute conviction that we will all miss her and remember her as long as we live.

I also offer my most sincere condolences to her family and friends.

Mark Koepp

Jennifer Smith said...

A terrible, terrible loss. My condolences.