Thursday, June 28, 2007

It was Sunday morning in Vancouver. The date was April 02, 2006 and I was about to set out on a journey that would eventually encompass more than a year of hard work, dedication and desire. Was I up to the task? Indeed, had I known then what was to become painfully obvious medical wise a few months down the road, probably I was not.
This was the day that I would officially commence my investigation and the writing of the Wilbert Coffin affair. Not knowing any of the parties involved, and as well, very little about the case in general, the task was uphill from the beginning. Earlier in that week I realized that I needed a starting point. I placed a call to the city hall in Gaspe' and explained what my plans were. My question was, could they point me in the direction of someone who may be able to speak with me. I was given the name of a resident of the area. This person was a sister to Wilbert Coffin. The name of this person was Marie Stewart (Coffin).
Upon placing a call to Marie, I very quickly realized this person on the other end of the telephone line was a very special person. She offered great words of support, but in no way did she make any attempt to influence my plans and ideas. Marie made it very clear, I was welcome to contact her at any time for information. Without doubt, during the next year I would learn volumes about Marie.
Marie exhibits those qualities and characteristics that are consistent with a warm and caring individual, dwelling upon the strong points, rather than directing cricitism to the weaker areas. In many instances I have heard Marie expressing concern for someone experiencing tough times. Never though, have I ever heard Marie lamenting on her own personal trials and tribulations of life. I have decided to dedicate this posting entirely to Marie Stewart (Coffin) today. There is a special reason for deciding to do this.
In 1993 Marie was diagnosed with breast cancer. Marie was hospitalized and underwent surgery. Being the strong person that she is, Marie never complained about her situation. She was determined to beat the cancer. Marie carried on with her daily affairs, driven by her desire to clear her brother's name. The cancer was by now, many years in the past.
A few short weeks ago, Marie received some disturbing news. After an absence of fourteen years, the cancer had returned. Marie explained to me on the telephone that she had beaten it once, and she would beat it again.
As I put the final touches on this report for publication, Marie is undergoing surgery in Gaspe' today for the latest battle with the cancer. I spoke with her yesterday, and again, she was not dwelling on the problem, she was continuing with original plans for the month of July.
Marie had been planning a fundraising walkathon around the river area in Gaspe' to raise funds for her brother's case. This walk was, and still is slated for July 14, 2007. Marie explained to me that this cancer surgery of today is not going to hinder her plans for her walk. She plans to be out there walking herself, and she extends the invitation to any others who might like to hook up with some sponsors and join her. This is truly determination at it's finest.
Throughout the past year, Marie has hand picked hundreds and hundreds of pounds of wild berries to sell in her fundraisers. She has hand knitted and raffled a beautiful blanket, and as well, I must not forget to mention the dozens and dozens of loaf cakes, and enough cookies to feed an army. Without doubt, Marie is a shining example of what happens when a positive mind is set into motion on a course driven by determination and a desire for success.
I ask that you take a moment and think about Marie today. You are most welcome to leave Marie a message on the comment board. Marie reads the website on a regular basis, and would love to hear from you. I remember once reading a comment from a young lady on the comment page who stated that "Marie reminds one of the Grandma that many wish they had, but did not." God bless you Marie.
Lew Stoddard


Jeanette Landry said...

Mr Stoddard, you have a wonderful way with words. A very beautiful memento to a lady who has touched the hearts of thousands. Mrs. Stewart Coffin we are pulling for you all the way.

Jeanette Landry
Kingston, Ontario

Norm Cafferty said...

With the strong will and desire that you have Marie, you will fly right over this little bump in the road. Never give up. God Bless.

Norm Cafferty

Anonymous said...

Cancer is such a scary word but you Mrs. Stewart,are such a strong person I know you can beat it again. God bless you . Mr.Stoddard, you have worked very hard on this case and I praise you for that.I know that you will be able to clear Wilbert Coffin's name and it is long overdue. Good luck . My prayers go out to you and Marie. JudyLacombe ,Gaspe

Lani Baker Mitchell said...

Earlier in the week, the phone rang and when I answered, it was Marie inquiring about the health of my husband who hasn't been well. This sweet woman, who had just been diagnosed with recurring cancer, was concerned about MY family!
We all have our flaws. There are few in life who I think of as ' purely good ' people...Marie stands amongst those few!
Marie and I talked about the case and, as always, I was struck by her determination to bring closure and peace to her family.
Marie, I wish you the very best and know that with your incredible strength and strong belief, you will beat this.
Even though some on this blog say 'shame!' to those who remain silent,I think I have some understanding of their silence and can only encourage them to find it in their hearts to share what they know...and when they do, perhaps it would help to remember the words on Wilbert's headstone
"judge not less ye be judged." Hopefully, those who are able to provide the 'missing pieces ' to the Coffin case will come forward and give Marie the greatest gift of all..the truth and, finally, peace!
She deserves nothing less!

Susan McNeil said...

What a beautiful tribute to Mrs. Stewart Coffin on your web posting today.

Marie, we are thinking of you, we have been there as well in our family, but i know that determination is what it is all about and never giving up.

Susan McNeil
Amherst, N S

Charlene and Bob Feeney said...

hello Marie,

Thinking of you out here in Victoria, B C. Keep the spirit up, and God Bless You.

Charlene and Bob Feeney

Barry Samuels said...

Sit back and rest for a few days Marie. I know it is easier said than done. Your attitude will get you past the rough spot. We love you and admire your stamina.

Barry Samuels
London, Ontario

Anonymous said...

I am curious….In the posting where Mr. Sinnett said he may have came in connect with the killers in the woods. He also said he was in a rush to get to a mine strike in saint Anne de monts. I find it strange that any police would pull over a vehicle with men in bloody clothing, who were saying they shot a moose, out of season, and not bring them in for questions… If Mr. Sinnett was in a rush to get to st. Anne de monts, what was he doing in the woods… or did he meet them on the Murdohcville road….... If he was in such a rush, why did he take the time to pull over the vehicle in the first place…? Seeing the bloody clothing would have been reason to search for a dead animal or for fire arms….I really have a problem also in the posting where it said in the search for the missing hunters; Mr. Sinnett decided to take a nap…. Very strange a police officer napping during a search…., Also, Mr. sinnett never talked about this bloody shirt and the men he pulled over in the woods until the trial…since he goes on to say he knew Mr. coffin so well, and this important piece of evidence never came up in conversation while they were searching for missing hunters….How could he have felt threatened, before he knew there was a murder committed. Unless he already knew there had been a murder committed……..……….shooting a moose out of season would have been reason enough to detain those men……there is something very wrong here….Is there any possible way now to find out if there was a mine strike in st. Anne de monts on this date….


Dave and Marcey said...

Hi there Marie. The battles of life sometimes seem unfair, but I believe they make a stronger person of us all.

Get some rest, and you will be up and about in no time at all.

Dave and Marcey Saunders
Ottawa, Ontario

Anonymous said...

Hi Marie,
Every time I read something about you, or read one of your own postings, I am reminded of the one time I met you(and your Nephew Jim) at the AIDWYC annual meeting last November. Those are wonderful, true and deserving words that Lew writes about you. But I don't need anyone to tell me what a beautiful person you are. I sat there listening to your speech and I was moved to tears then, as I am today. I knew then what a quality individual you are. I am proud to be able to say that you are one more of those special friends that I seem to be collecting from my involvement with the wrongly convicted. God bless you, Marie, and I wish you all the best in your recovery. I treasure the photo I have of you and Jim.
Sincerely Bent Romnes

Edith McAloon said...

Good luck to all of you Marie. I know you have just been through a lot medically. It is not easy. You are such an inspiration to all who know of you.

Also Lew Stoddard many of us have heard of your medical problems. You too Sir stand out as a pillar of strength.

Edith McAloon
Shediac, N B

Hannilore Giesbrecht said...

Mr. Stoddard thank you for taking the time out of a very busy schedule to recently assist our daughter in a writing project. We are happy. With your advice through your e-mails, our daughter went from a C minus to an A plus for her final paper in June.

Mrs. Stewart (Coffin) we are pulling for you, but look after yourself as well.

Hannilore Giesbrecht
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Janine St. Pierre said...

As the last commenter said Mrs. Stewart (Coffin) we are all pulling for you, but I agree you have to be careful. You have to look after yourself as well. God bless you as I know that you like to help everyone. I do believe that your brothers name will be cleared of all this terrible mess. I wish it was possible to be there and walk with you next week. My thoughts will be there anyhow.

Janine St. Pierre
Hull said...

Just wanted to say hello and to let you know that all three of us (Lana, Mark and Biranna)are thinking of you..Good all in all you have facing you right now.
Love Lana Mullin Hinsperger

ruth said...

Hi Marie as I have heard you have another hill to climb our thoughts and prayers are with you. We love you.
your rama partner ruth

Nephew Rick said...

Hi Aunt Marie; Hope you are feeling up to the walk tomorrow. All is well here and our love and thoughts are with you as always. Have a great journey.

Clément Fortin said...

I invite you to read my book L'affaire Coffin: une supercherie? published at Wilson & Lafleur in Montréal, for a real account of what was said before the Percé jury. My book is based on the 2250 pages of the court transcripts.
Also visit my blog: