From Christian Missionary to Refugee Advocate
True story of a young Nova Scotia woman who found herself witness to the Armenian genocide in the nineteenth century, from celebrated author of Mona Parsons.
These days it’s common for twenty-something women to seek adventure and life experience through travel. Some people are moved to work in other countries to gain an understanding of other cultures, or to help in humanitarian crises.
Katherine Bell Fraser’s reasons for going to Armenia in 1892 weren’t much different. The young woman from Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia, traveled as a young Christian missionary full of zeal, but relatively ignorant of the world and informed by untested ideals. Within a couple of years she witnessed events that were previously unimaginable — well beyond the poverty and want she was told to expect.
Such affronts to her notions of justice and human decency shaped her, and gave her credibility and a voice to speak passionately about crimes against humanity she witnessed. Her story — told here with the help of historical photos, diaries, and personal letters — sheds important light on the efforts by missionaries, many of them women, to provide relief and to save lives during the Armenian Massacres of 1892 to 1897.
Author and actor Andria Hill-Lehr holds B.A., M.A., and M.Ed. degrees from Acadia University. She is the author of Mona Parsons: From Privilege to Prison, From Nova Scotia to Nazi Europe and A Mother's Road to Kandahar. Originally from Toronto, she is a Counselling Therapist who divides her time between Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley and Scotland.