"Living at the Raymur Projects in the early 70's were the best times of my life. ... Kids were free to do what they wanted, what I mean by that is, we, as kids, we had no boundaries or restrictions really. We could run around the neighbourhood or go to McClean Park, Strathcona Park. We just had to let our parents know where we were going or where we would be. We had friends from other ethnic backgrounds. Our parents did not teach us to be racist. They understood racism because they both experienced it. My parents were both Immigrants. My Mother from Germany and my Father from Hungary. We had Indigenous,Chinese,Russian friendships. During the summer months we would be gone for most of the day, never stayed inside or at home unless it was raining. We would walk around the back alleys collecting empty soda bottles so that we can buy soda, candy bars or whatever we can buy from our new found loot...lol. We would drink from a garden hose at a house that we had no idea who the owners were. We would have lunch or a quick snack at a friends house then back out again. During the Winter months we would hang out at Gibbs Boys Club which was located across the street from Eastside of Strathcona School. We Lived on the North Tower 1207 facing East. What a great view.
My mother (Siegrun Meszaros) was a Militant Mother. I was 6yrs old at the time living on the 12th floor on one of the towers. I remember crawling underneath the stopped railcars or climbing in between them just to get to school on time. I also remember a tent was pitched on the tracks and going to Victoria to protest. The first winter after construction, was also memorable. I remember clinging onto the fencing going up as the walkway was frozen. You would slip and slide. Going down was fun if you had a piece of cardboard....weeeee To this day when I pass by I get a smile from the accomplishment and the memories. My mother has since passed on (July 2018)....I know she was proud of all who were involved to make this happen. I am sure the overpass saved lives."
These railway tracks by Raymur Housing (now Stamps Place) were the site of a major community victory in 1971. Local kids going to and from Admiral Seymour School had to cross the tracks – often dodging trains and risking serious injury. When two dozen Raymur moms tried to get train schedules changed they were ignored, so they took their fight with the railways to City Hall and the courts. Dubbed Militant Mothers of Raymur, they blockaded the tracks, which led to the City building this pedestrian overpass. The Militant Moms went on to create a food co-op which grew into the Ray-Cam Cooperative Centre.
In honour of the original Militant Mothers