By ROB JOHNSON
Many of the residents of Ladysmith don’t know who Lady Smith was or how our town ended up being named after her. Even fewer know that a Ladysmith born and part time resident with land holdings here, has recently also been given the title of “Lady”.
In October of 2014, Pamela Anderson, Ladysmith’s Centennial baby in 1967, and of Baywatch fame was recognized for her “activism in defence of animals and especially marine life in our oceans”. This honour was bestowed on her by the Imperial House of Montenegro. She received the title of “Grand Dame of Montenegro”. The term ‘Grand Dame” is the female equivalent to becoming a “Knight”, allowing the recipient to be called “Lady”.
Unfortunately, most people are unaware of Pamela’s role and the recognition she has received for her environmental and social activism. Nor do they know that she has been active in working with PETA for most of her life and received the first “Linda McCartney Memorial Award” from Sir Paul McCartney for her work in animal rights protection. Pamela has worked tirelessly in a campaign against the “Kentucky Fried Chicken Corporation” for what she feels about their poor handling of some 750 million chickens a year. She presently has gotten the attention of Russian President Vladimir Putin which resulted in the stopping of the importation of seal products into Russia. This is a major win for her as Russia had been taking 90 per cent of the seal product from the Canadian seal hunt.
Pam has participated in many fund raising events to support many worthwhile causes. In 2013 Pamela was to run the New York Marathon as part of Sean Penn’s charity team where she and her bother raised $75,864.00 for Sean Penn’s Haitian Relief fund. She had never run a marathon and but she struggled and completed it despite the skeptics. One of those that doubted her ability to complete that marathon was Ellen DeGeneres, who afterwards had Pam back on her television show to congratulate her.
Lady Pamela’s work covers a wide range of issues that affect our environment. She has travelled the world raising environmental issues by bringing her name and its fame to shine light on issues from protecting the biodiversity of the oceans off the coast of Vancouver Island to protesting the deforestation of the rainforest (the lungs of the Earth) world-wide. She has shown that she is more than a just figurehead, she has done her part hands on, including cleaning cages with the California Wildlife Centre where she often volunteers.
Pam recently created the “Pamela Anderson Foundation”, in order to “support organizations and individuals that stand on the front lines in the protection of human, animal, and environmental rights”. As Pam says, it was created “for our planet and life within it”. If you want to know more about her Foundation you can check it out at www.pamelaandersonfoundation.org
Once Pam’s building development on her property in Ladysmith is complete, it is hoped that she will include a home for herself. Our town is called Ladysmith after Lady Smith, but that we may also have a more modern resident with the title of “Lady” in our Town.