PBI-Canada remembers peace activist Frank Showler
Photo: Frank Showler a his 100th birthday in August 2019.
Frank Showler passed away on February 10 at the age of 102.
Frank was a long-time peace activist and member of the Toronto Monthly Meeting Peace and Social Action Committee.
In this recollection of Frank’s life, Matthew Behrens writes: “Born in the aftermath of the mass slaughter of WW1, Frank was part of a generation who came by their pacifism and anti-capitalism honestly, having inherited the wounds and trauma of the previous decade and challenged themselves to sincerely ask: how do we prevent that from ever happening again, and how do we transform a system that perpetuates and profits from mass slaughter?”
He adds: “For his whole adult life, he, along with his beloved Isabel, resisted war while supporting its victims. [This included welcoming] Chilean and other Latin American refugees from the death squad dictatorships of the 60s and 70s and 80s, housed war resisters who arrived in Toronto with no place to stay, journeyed to the war zone in Nicaragua with Witness for Peace to try and prevent (once again) the use of Canadian weaponry then being used by the terrorist contras on the people of Nicaragua…”
Matthew concludes: “Frank and Isabel always kept the faith with a gentle, subversive, relentless persistence. And with some love and solidarity amongst each other, we can too.”
Dan Anstett also writes: “I first worked with Frank during the Cruise Missile Conversion Project days in the 1980’s, then later when assisting the Quaker Committee for Refugees and the work of Peace Brigades International.” And he tells us: “Frank was a support to me when I worked with PBI in Guatemala in 1984-85 and I think he attended some meetings with the small team in Toronto in those days.”
To hear more from Frank about his life, please see this video from his 99th birthday.
There is also this 4-minute audio clip of Frank and Isabel recorded by Scott Neigh on pacifism during World War II.
Photo: Frank Showler (age 21-22), a conscientious objector, at his bunk at the Montreal River Alternative Service Work Camp (Montreal River Harbour, Ontario) in 1942.