Mary MacRae

Mary MacRae

“Oh, you are Mary of the calendar…”

Mary is a volunteer with AI Canada’s refugee program. She began her work as a volunteer shortly after her retirement from …years of teaching. As a retired teacher, supporting the refugee program was a perfect fit. She was already familiar with working in a multicultural environment and with the stresses newcomers face adapting to life in Canada.

For 15 years Mary MacRae has listened to stories of pain on a weekly basis. In many cases she can only offer an empathetic ear to those who come to Amnesty International, hoping for so much more.

Mary’s faithfulness to her work with Amnesty and refugees makes her one of the extraordinary angels who walk the earth (and she doesn’t believe in angels)! She doesn’t expect accolades for her work, but quietly goes about her business, never knowing who might walk through the door or what story they carry. Amnesty International is a better place because of Mary MacRae. We are honoured to have her with us.

Gloria Nafziger


Former AI Canada Refugee, Migrants and Country Campaigner

In Mary’s words:

“When I retired from teaching, I did not miss the stress and chaos of a large high school. But I did miss my Amnesty club! It was a very multicultural school and our “Youth Campus Group” was active and popular.

We had students from many troubled countries who were amazed that we were safe and free enough in Canada to write letters to tyrants and dictators! We did several presentations to other schools and even had one of our meetings filmed for YTV. One of my students recently contacted me and showed up at the Toronto office looking to become involved again. That was a wonderful surprise!

My interest in human rights has grown even more with my work as a volunteer in the Refugee Network, and of course, sending out the “Calendar of Events” twice a month. These activities have made me very aware of the great activism in the GTA and the need to continue the good fight!”

This is what AI members say when they first meet Mary MacRae. And then, they thank her for preparing and sending out the AI Toronto e-calendar, on the 1st and15th of each month, without exception since… 1998!

Elena Dumitru


AI Canada Activism