by SUE SECONI
WANGANUI — “Surprised and unexpected, but absolutely delighted to receive this acknowledgement,” was the immediate response from Wanganui’s Ted Downs after he was awarded Life Membership of Voice for Life at the annual general meeting on April 26.
For 30 years, Mr Downs has been an active member of the Voice for Life committee, previously named the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child.
In that time, he has sent hundreds of letters to parliamentarians, letters to the editor columns in newspapers and has also supported many pro-life exhibitions.
At the same time, he has faithfully participated in the city-wide Monday evening Rosary for the unborn child.
Being the father of a “late” baby in his early 50s proved decisive in him deciding to make such a pro-life commitment.
“My wife and I struck a lot of negativity and [were] asked what we were going to do about ‘it’, since our youngest was 14,” said the long time parishioner of Holy Family parish.
Holding his newborn baby brought him to a deeper level of God’s creation and just how vulnerable babies are.
“It was at that point that I told our Blessed Lord that I would do all in my power to protect the unborn child. How can anyone destroy such life?” he said.
The “surprise” baby, John, is now 28 and on the eve of completing his doctorate in computer science at Melbourne University. He will soon be travelling to Cambridge in the United Kingdom to deliver a paper on the subject.