The Watering Hole Blog

Steps for Safety: A Walk in the Park

Steps for Safety: A Walk in the Park to Remember Those Who No Longer Can


People walking at Burnaby Steps for Life
Steps for Life walk, Burnaby Lake Regional Park, BC, May 1st, 2016

“A health and safety problem can be described by statistics but cannot be understood by statistics. It can only be understood by knowing and feeling the pain, anguish, depression and shattered hopes of the victim and of the wives, husbands, parents, children, grandparents and friends.”

– George Robotham, safety advocate

This is NAOSH week (North American Occupational Safety & Health) – a perfect time to make sure your workplace is safe for everyone.

As part of NAOSH week, on Sunday May 2nd, I participated in the Threads of Life “Steps for Life” fundraising walk in Burnaby, BC.

The purpose of the walk was to raise awareness about the personal impact that a workplace tragedy – a fatality or life-altering occupational injury or disease – has on an individual, a family, a workplace and a community.

I was very honoured to be this year’s Family Spokesperson for the Burnaby event.

MA speaking at Burnaby Lake Steps for Life
Maryanne delivering opening address at Steps for Life walk

If you would like to read the short presentation I delivered, here is the link.

I actually hadn’t done any public speaking for awhile so I felt a bit rusty. But then again, speaking publicly about such an intensely personal and difficult experience will probably never be…a walk in the park.

And I’m okay with that because despite the pre-speech nerves and the vulnerability while speaking, I know that if just one person in any given audience is impacted enough by the story of John’s death to think about workplace safety in a different way – and maybe even act upon it – then it is worth every moment of my personal discomfort.

As of May 3rd, my peeps have donated $775 to Threads of Life in memory of John…so if you are one of those people, THANK YOU for your support!

If not – but you’d like to be – you can still donate here 🙂

birdhouses at Burnaby Lake
Love this pic of some birdhouses at Burnaby Lake Regional Park

The 5km walk itself in Burnaby Lake Regional Park was absolutely lovely! It was a day to remember…in remembrance of a great guy who is missed by many.

John & Sable at Emerald Lake
John & Sable, Emerald Lake, BC, 1997

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her weekly blog, please sign up here.



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2 thoughts on “Steps for Safety: A Walk in the Park”

  1. It was wonderful to read the Steps for Life speech you gave in Burnaby. This year was the first time since 2004 that we haven’t been able to attend one of the walks here in Ontario. (Our grandson was being confirmed at church) I know our grandson appreciated that we were there for him but the walk has been the one day each year since our son John died in 2003 that I felt I could honour him. Been in a funk ever since and I hate it!

  2. Hi Marjorie! I’m sorry you weren’t able to make the Steps for Life walk in your neck of the woods this year…but hopefully you will be able to again next year! I totally understand what you mean about honouring your John at the Steps for Life walk. The Burnaby Steps for Life walk the other day was my first Steps for Life walk…and I really enjoyed it. I found it a very peaceful and special day…and like you, I found it a wonderful way to honour and remember my John – and so many others.

    Take care 🙂

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