Inside RAP - Resettlement Assistance Program Newsletter/Remembering Elizabeth Gryte

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Remembering Elizabeth Gryte

On behalf of CIC Representatives - RAP Working Group

CIC, SPOs and the RAP Working Group are still trying to come to terms with the loss of Elizabeth. How could such a passionate and inspirational mentor leave us so soon? The news of Elizabeth's illness and passing was devastating to all those who knew and worked with her. Her wisdom and knowledge of refugee and settlement issues will be difficult to replace.

Elizabeth's foresight and ability to think outside the box made her a one-of-a-kind visionary. Elizabeth's readiness to go out on a limb to make things happen inspired all those who worked with her. She never shied away from advocating for a cause she truly believed in. However, this passion and determination never encroached on her sense of humour: she could always reduce people to hysterics with her wit.

There is not a day that goes by without thinking about what Elizabeth would say or how she would approach a problem. CIC staff only wishes they had been given more time to learn from her. Elizabeth held the RAP program very close to her heart and she will be missed dearly.

On behalf of SPO Representatives - RAP Working Group

It is hard to believe that Elizabeth has left us! It seems just like yesterday, when she was making her presentation at the RAP National Conference of last February. She was everywhere inspiring and challenging us.

Her loyalty was to the well-being of immigrants and refugees. She admired innovation and challenged hypocrisy. For those of us who have had the privilege of working with her, we enjoyed her wisdom and were challenged by her whenever we were trapped in our inaction and limitation. Elizabeth was a mentor, coach and a role model for many of us. She was a beacon for many of us who wished to dream and aspire to greater accomplishments. She not only helped us to envision the dream but generously she taught us how to live it. For many of us she has been larger and deeper than life, just wonderful!

Elizabeth passed away on the eve of Canada Day. As a person who helped thousands of immigrants and refugees come to Canada and later on to become Canadians, her work reflected what she stood for. Elizabeth was the daughter of immigrants, a proud Canadian, and loyal to her immigrant roots!

We will miss her!

Settlement and Integration Services Organization (SISO) is in the process of building a reception centre in Hamilton, Ontario. The reception house will include an Art Therapy Centre which will be named in Elizabeth's honour and memory.