Freedom 85! - The Inspiration
1920 - 2004
The character Sybil in Freedom 85! is based on Sybil Collins, mother of Canadian Playwright Debra Hale’s partner, Steve Collins.
“On one hand Sybil was one of a kind,” says Debra, “but on the other hand she was much like many other strong, wonderful women of her generation and experience.”
Born and raised in Britain, Sybil joined the war effort in WW II as an ATS driver. She slept in damp ditches and army vehicles -- decades later blaming Hitler for her arthritis, but always with an charming giggle characteristic of this born storyteller!
Sybil had already lived a full life when Debra first met her, but she was still going strong -- regularly frequenting her favourite haunt, Tim Hortons, and chatting with all she encountered.
“As Sybil shared her stories,” says Debra, “I learned more and more about her life journey and marvelled at how the struggles of the past led to the strong and engaging woman she had become. “Her smile was infectious, her giggle contagious, and her love for her neighbours, inspiring,” says Debra. “If you met her, you never forgot her.”
Click here for more information on Britain's ATS.