Growing up Greenpeacehttp://www.metronews.ca/vancouver/local/article/969859--growing-up-greenpeace
MATT KIELTYKA September 15, 2011
Sometimes, history lands right in your living room.
It did for Barbara Stowe.
She was just 14 years old when her parents, Dorothy and Irving, gathered friends in their Vancouver home and formed what would become the global movement of activism and environmentalism known as Greenpeace 40 years ago.
"That's the kind of family we were," Stowe recalls.
"On Saturday, some kids went on ski trips with their parents on the weekend. We went downtown and marched in anti-war demonstrations."
And though she was shy and reluctant to embrace this newfound idea of activism, Stowe instantly recognized the spark that led to the first Greenpeace anti-nuclear testing mission on this day in 1971.
"I was moved by my parents' passion," Stowe said.
"They were well educated, deeply into philosophy and weren't the kind of people to take action and not think about it."
Her father died of cancer in 1974 and Stowe moved to New York a couple of years later to pursue a dancing career.
Though she knew activists continued to visit her mother over the years, Stowe had no idea Greenpeace had gone on to become the largest eco watchdog in the world and an established entity in over 40 countries.
"I'd wish Greenpeace would just leave us alone," she said.
That changed in 2003, when Stowe toured Greenpeace vessel Esperanza.
Suddenly, the scope of the organization and her family's legacy hit home.
Since then, Stowe has embraced her place in the Greenpeace narrative and treasures sharing stories of her late parents' exploits.
"There is a lot of pride there when I look back at it now," she said.
"Now I'm the fond aunt, helping to link the new generation with the past."
Even to this day, Greenpeace continues on in the spirit of her parents.
"My dad only had two points in the charter. To stop nuclear testing and to preserve the environment," Stowe said.
"In that sense, Greenpeace is still fighting the same battles as they did in the beginning."