During a ceremony at Truro town council, Dr. Lynn Jones, who was recently appointed to the Order of Canada, said there are still issues to challenge and fight for in the community and province.
Jones was honoured by the town of Truro during a council meeting Monday. She was one of 60 appointees to the Order of Canada in June.
“If there’s something that troubles me a lot it’s when people say ‘I did it all by myself, I got here all by myself.’ You’ll never hear me say that because there’s so many people that paved the way, many of you in the room tonight, and I recognize and honour all of you,” Jones said to a room full of her supporters.
Truro Mayor Bill Mills said it was Coun. Alison Graham who told him about Jones’ appointment to the Order. Graham said that Monday was the most people she’d ever seen in council chambers.
“Today, on behalf of the town of Truro and Truro town council, and also citizens of Truro, I’d like to acknowledge and congratulate Dr. Lynn Jones on receiving the Order of Canada,” Mills said.
Mills said Jones’ appointment to the Order was “to honour Dr. Jones’ leadership in leading the labour movement, and in advancing equity, justice, and human rights in Nova Scotia and abroad.”
“Dr. Jones was born and raised in Truro, has been a lifelong civil and human rights activist and educator, a community archivist, and a community and labour organizer, and an inspiring speaker, and a good friend as well,” Mills said.
“The Order of Canada is one of our country’s highest honours and recognizes people all across different sectors of society who made extraordinary and sustained contributions to Canada,” Mills said before he and Graham presented Jones with a certificate and flowers.
Dr. El Jones was in attendance and recited a poem titled “Lynn Jones.” Jones said she wrote and previously recited the poem when Lynn Jones received an honorary doctorate from Mount Saint Vincent University in 2021.
She altered the 48th and final line of the poem to reflect the occasion:
…Been out here for decades before it was woke
In blizzards, when she’s sick, when her body is broke
There is nothing to keep her from doing the most
And us younger Black women we’re here taking notes
But this mother of the movement she never will boast
She’ll keep lifting as long as our humanity’s opposed
The shoulders of the community, the spine and the bones
So welcome to the Order of Canada Dr. Lynn Jones
My ‘hometown, through thick and thin’
At the start of Jones’ speech, she made reference to a portrait that hangs on the wall of the back of the room of her late mother, Willena Jones.
“I’m even more overwhelmed because when El did her tribute and her poem, I was thinking of my lineage in Truro and the community and what have you, and then I happened to glance up and there’s Mom with us all sitting up there in the room,” she said.
Jones then thanked the town of Truro, her “hometown, through thick and thin.”
“When they offered me this award, I was truly shocked. And I had mentioned that it’s only in Canada where you challenge the government on a daily basis and do protests … and it’s so much work, and then they turn around and say, ‘We’d like to give you an award for that,’” Jones said to a round of applause and laughter.
Jones said she then had a similar feeling when she found out she was being honoured by the town of Truro, which she said has its challenges.
“My message for today is that I challenge all of you — particularly because I’ve spent more time lately in the town of Truro — we’ve got a lot of things to challenge and stand up for and fight for.”
“We’ve kind of laid back a bit. I see it, you see it, and we gotta get our energy flowing and get back on the ball.”