Vivian Godfree

by | May 10, 2024

The Village of Pugwash sadly lost an impactful and creative member of the community recently. Vivian Godfree was so important to volunteer organizations like the North Cumberland Historical & Genealogical Society that it is hard to imagine how they can carry on without her. 

Vivian spoke softly but had a passionate social activist heart, always ready to stand up for issues that she thought were important. Like human rights, world peace, the protection of the environment, the importance of books and a place to read them, the importance of learning about our past and how it impacts future generations.

She launched local annual letter-writing campaigns through PEN Canada to show solidarity with imprisoned writers, appealing to governments and embassies, to encourage people to make their voices heard. She was a steadfast member of the Friends of the Pugwash Library for years, helping raise money and lobby to build a new library in Pugwash. She was a regular at the Pugwash Farmers’ Market, supporting local farmers and the ‘Eat Local’ and ‘Zero Waste/Circular Economy’ initiatives. She was a member of the Remsheg Hookers Guild, using her colourful art works to make big political statements, while using repurposed materials.

Vivian was an outstanding human. She demonstrated how to navigate life by making a difference, one step at a time and never giving up. She will be missed by many in this little village. 

Here is a lovely tribute by the North Cumberland Historical & Genealogy Society:

“We have lost the beating heart of our organization. Vivian Godfree passed away suddenly on Sunday, April 28th, and we are in shock. This wonderful woman joined North Cumberland Historical Society many years ago, because she loved the stories and the people who told them.

She was on the board of directors, was vice-president, president, treasurer, and office manager filling in and doing whatever had to be done. What she really liked doing was helping people find the answers to their questions. She was the one who warmly welcomed people as they came in to the Train Station. She had a keen interest in who they were and their ties to our area. If she didn’t know an answer, she would do everything to find someone or something that did. She knew who to ask. Even if it took weeks, she would continue to work away at it. Her knowledge of the history of our area is irreplaceable.

Vivian was one of the ‘good ones’ in a time when the world desperately needs more like her. She could always see the good in people and championed keeping an open mind and practicing understanding. One of her many qualities that was always appreciated was the feeling that she

cared. She cared in all the ways that truly matter. She cared about people; her family, her friends, her community. She cared about our historical society, its history and the stories of its people.

Every minute spent knowing Vivian was truly a gift that we were lucky to have. She was the heart of the Historical Society and there is no doubt that the world is a little darker and has lost some of its wonder without her shining star in it. We miss you, Vivian, especially on Friday afternoons, and you will always be in our thoughts.”