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CUPE and the labour movement are mourning the loss of long-time activist Donalda MacDonald, who died Sunday after a valiant, seven month battle with cancer.

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MacDonald had just attended a meeting of the National Women’s Committee in Ottawa.  It was her last meeting as a National Executive Board liaison with the committee after having been confirmed as a General Vice President at the 2007 National Convention in Toronto.

“Thank you for a wonderful, amazing five years,” MacDonald told the women’s committee members as she continued to champion the needs of CUPE women members.

Barb Moore, former co-chair of the National Women’s Task Force said: “Donalda was one brave woman and she will be greatly missed by all who knew her.”

MacDonald was the 2007 winner of the Grace Hartman Award for activism in the struggle for workers’ rights, equality and social justice.

“Donalda was an inspiration to all of us and we know you will join us in extending sincere condolences to her family,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.

MacDonald spent more than 25 years as an active union member in CUPE 1770 in Prince Edward Island, as president of CUPE PEI and as a Regional Vice-President before becoming GVP in Toronto in October.

A secretary at the Eastern School District since 1979, MacDonald became involved in her local in the early 80s. Throughout the years, she held various positions on the local executive.

She was a member of the Job Evaluation Committee; she sat on the negotiating committee and was involved in the Benefits and the Education committees.

Sister MacDonald chaired the PEI Education Sector Benefits Trust Committee, served on the executive of both the PEI Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress.

She was a tireless advocate for women in CUPE, serving on the National Women’s Task Force, and the National Women’s Committee. She was a trustee on CUPE Employee’s Pension Plan, she facilitated workshops for Union Development and represented CUPE internationally.

Always active in her community, MacDonald was a board member of the PEI Women’s Network, a Girl Guide leader, President of the Catholic Women’s League, and president of the community centre board, a member of the minor hockey association and the drama club in her home town, Little Pond PEI.

Ms. MacDonald was also a member of the committee responsible for building the new Souris Hospital.

MacDonald is survived by her three children: Patrick, Ryan and Leanne, her partner Victor Nanson and a large extended family.

Details on memorial services will follow.