BY KEITH LACEY
Today, Mother's Day, will be filled with emptiness for Elaine Lumley.
This will be Lumley's first Mother's Day since her only
child, Aidan, 20, was senselessly gunned down outside a
Montreal nightclub almost six months ago.
Aidan was in Montreal to celebrate a friend's birthday and
the end of first semester exams from Trent University in
Peterborough. He was a third-year, straight A physics student
who aspired to become a doctor. He was the grandson of
Margaret, and the late Rev. Robert Lumley of Sudbury. The young
man was buried next to his grandfather in the Anglican cemetery
"Aidan was the love of my life," said a tear-filled Lumley
in front of 100 friends and family members at a sombre, but
uplifting memorial benefit concert she organized Monday in
"I felt like I had to do something for Aidan...I had to put
a face to this horrible crime."
The benefit was the launch of her national postcard campaign
calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to put an end to the
proliferation of handguns across this vast country,
particularly in our three largest cities.
Lumley wants to make a profound impact with her postcard
Half of the first printing of 5,000 postcards show a recent
picture of her handsome, six-foot-three son and a "no
handguns" symbol. Aidan's name and the words "young,
beautiful and DEAD" with the last word in large upper case red
letters are printed on the card. The day he died Nov. 27, 2005
is inscribed across the bottom of each card. The other half of
the first printing do not have "DEAD " on the bottom.
At the back of each postcard reads, "Aidan Lumley was a third-year university student.
Ontario swimming champion. Tall. Handsome. Funny. Aidan was
shot in the back...in Montreal, Nov. 27, 2005. The murderers
have never been caught, but they will. Please put an end to
handguns on our Canadian streets."
Lumley wants to make a difference to honour her son's memory
and try to prevent other young people from being killed
"I'm outraged our sons and daughters continue being killed
because of gun violence," said Lumley.
She will send postcards to any organization, individual or
community leader in Canada that requests them. She plans to
continue holding benefits and raising cash to continue the
"If we could send a couple hundred thousand of these
postcards to Stephen Harper's office, I think we could make a
difference," she said. "We're starting small, but I hope we'll
get really strong reaction...Canadians everywhere are sick and
tired of seeing our young people being killed senselessly."
Elaine Lumley was born and raised in Sudbury. Her father, a well-known Anglican minister, died two years ago. Lumley has worked in Toronto's vibrant theatre community for many years.
Aidan was born in Sudbury and spent his formative years here
before moving to Toronto with his mother at a young age.
Aidan had many friends in Greater Sudbury as he spent most
summers working here and sailing at the Sudbury Yacht Club.
A determined, vibrant and intelligent woman, Lumley said she
had to do something after her son's death to try and make a
She has been on national television numerous times in the
past five months after stepping forward as an advocate against
She's met far too many other parents who have lost children
Lumley would like to meet Harper in person to plead her
"I'd love to meet him," she said. "I'd like to appeal to him
not as a politician, but as a father...I don't want any other
parent to have to go through what me and my family and Aidan's
friends have been through."
Harper has advocated stiff minimum sentences for anyone who
commits crimes involving handguns or illegally possessing them,
and "that's a good start," said Lumley.
However, having Canadians demand a crackdown on illegal
handguns, being brought across the border from the United
States, is going to take a lot of political will and many
millions of dollars, she said.
"The guns are here," she said. "I never, ever thought I'd be
having to talk about this, but the guns are here and people are
"It should make all of us furious. We should all be saying
'no more, no more'."
She admits she hasn't started any kind of healing process,
but keeping busy with the postcard campaign and organizing
events to honour Aidan have helped her immensely.
"When I watch television now and see another young person
has been killed (because of handgun violence), it just breaks
my heart all over again," she said. "I can feel my heart
breaking into a million little pieces."
The Benefit for Aidan Lumley was held at Theatre Passe
Muraille, near Bathurst St. and Queen St. E. Performers
included Mutahdi and the World Drummers, Toronto
singer-songwriter James Longo, Toronto band Johnny Ecstasy and
folk performers Rodney Brown and Ian Tamblyn, who are both
well-known to regular attendees of Northern Lights Festival
Boreal, as both have performed numerous times over the years.
Max Kandler, 20, Aidan's best friend was master of
ceremonies at the concert. Not a day goes by when he doesn't
think about him.
"I know he still affects me everyday because he had such a
positive outlook on life and cared so much about helping other
people," he said. "He never acted like he was smarter than
other people and used to pretend he didn't study or do
homework. But then he'd show me his marks and he'd get an
another A in physics. You don't do that unless you've got
something going on upstairs."
Kandler has lived his entire life in Toronto and can't
believe what's happening with young people and guns.
"And it's not just in places like Jane and Finch (a
notorious neighbourhood )...People are going out to clubs with
guns and they're not looking to protect themselves, but looking
to cause trouble," he said.
"These people have a lack of purpose in life and something
has to be done to keep them from getting access to these guns."
Toronto lawyer John Legge, a close family friend and Aidan's
former Scouts leader, brought the audience to tears recalling
Aidan's passion for life and helping others.
Aidan cared about the less fortunate and always wanted to
make a difference, said Legge.
"He was the first to volunteer to help the homeless...the first to volunteer at his church...he was a decent, good kid."
Legge said he's attended funerals of former
governor-generals, leading politicians, judges and many
friends, but he has never witnessed the overwhelming emotion
and huge numbers who showed up to say goodbye to a special
Aidan had a "brilliant mind" and would have become a
successful and influential physician, he said. "We have all
been deprived because Aidan was senselessly and needlessly
murdered," he said.
Legge said he hopes the person who shot Aidan twice from
behind at point-blank range knows what kind of wonderful person
he killed and prays he has the courage to turn himself in and
"There was no fight, no provocation, no reason," he said.
"It was most certainly a case of being in the wrong city at the
wrong place at the wrong time."
Banning handguns and instituting stiff penalties has never
been more important as too many families are having lives
shattered by violent criminals with easy access to weapons of
If enough Canadians demand stiff sentences by the criminal
justice system, and judges and police and government priorities
are placed on banning handguns, the problem will not go away,
but will be drastically reduced and will save young lives, said
"This has got to stop," said Legge.
Aidan's mother says her road to healing will ease when the man responsible for killing Aidan is arrested. The Montreal detective in charge has assured her they have a suspect, but are having difficulty finding him as witnesses have been less than co-operative.
If her son's killer was unable to access an illegal handgun, Aidan would still be alive and continuing a life filled with wonder, excitement, promise and potential, she said.
"This isn't happening just in Toronto or Montreal, but it could happen in Sudbury or any small town you want to name," she said. "We have to get these handguns off the streets now."
Anyone interested in donating to the Aidan Lumley Fund, can write Elaine Lumley at 557 Indian Rd., Toronto, M6P 2B9.