Rehtaeh Parsons mother guest speaker at Bread and Roses event

Chantelle MacIsaac
Published on March 7, 2016

There was not a dry eye in the building as Leah Parsons told her daughter Rehtaeh's story.

The 34th annual Bread and Roses supper held at the Lions Club on March 6 saw a sold out crowd of 230 guests, all who heard Parsons speak of her daughter's ordeal and how society needs to change the way victims are looked at.

Parsons is also expected to speak to youth at St. James Regional High and Belanger Memorial, spreading awareness and education on sexual violence.

Watch the March 14 edition for the full version of the story.

Strength and courage

As Leah Parsons prepared herself to speak in front of hundreds of people at the annual Bread and Roses event, she reached into her purse and pulled out a rock.

Rocks can symbolize a lot of things – stability, solidity, strength and a sense of being grounded.

Why Leah Parsons would carry a rock – was not questioned.

She stood to the podium as the first picture of her daughter Rehtaeh appeared on the slideshow.

It was a picture of her and a tattoo she received throughout her ordeal. It symbolized strength and courage.

Leading up to the anniversary of her daughter’s death was hard for Leah. She stayed up most of the night wondering how the next day would be and how the family could spend it.

A thought led Leah out gathering stones and painting until mid- morning. The stones have Rehtaeh’s name on them, as well as her birth and death dates. Although all different, they share the same message.

The next day, Leah placed the stones at all of Rehtaeh’s favourite places. Since then, thousands of stones have been placed in thousands of towns and communities.

On March 6, Port aux Basques received a stone. It’s meant to serve as a reminder, and to also bring strength and courage to the town and its people.