Guelph GoGo Grandmothers (4Gs): Beginnings 2006

"The Founding of the Guelph GoGo Grandmothers" by Ellyn Peirson. Loving Hands: Recipes & Reflections. (2015. 182.)

"In the spring of 2006, Rosemary and Ellyn decided to explore the possibility of forming a grandmother-to-grandmother group to assist with education, raising funds and awareness for The Stephen Lewis Foundation and to help "Ease the Pain" of HIV/AIDS in Africa. (Changed in 2011 to "Turn the Tide".) The first and tentative meeting of a 4Gs steering committee was held at Ellyn's home in June, and in August, Ellyn attended the life-altering weekend in Toronto with grandmothers from Africa brough over by The Stephen Lewis Foundation. The remarkable learning and bonding experience "to form solidarity" culminated in The Solidarity Walk of August 13 to the CBC building to present The Toronto Statement to the 2006 International AIDS Conference. In that September, the first open meeting of 4Gs was held, and we've never looked back!

The founding members were: Emmy Beauchamp, Rikki Durbin, Rosemary Kennedy, Ellyn Peirson, Monica Peirson-Durbin, and Sya VanGeest.                                                                         With permission: Ellyn Peirson

Ellyn PeirsonPhotographer John Phelps (4Gs 2019 Calendar)

Webmaster Sya in conversation with Ellyn Peirson:
Ellyn, you created the beautiful logo that has become emblematic of the Guelph GoGo Grandmothers. Tell us about your inspiration, the development and artistry of that logo.

Ellyn, "When it came to creating a logo for 4Gs, Guelph, the decision for a brand was simple for me. My son had been to the highlands of Kenya to undertake an extensive medical elective there. He fell in love with the Kenyans, with the country and with the primal roots we all have from Africa. Dr. Glenn wrote, and sent home, a beautiful poem which distilled his experience. Later, I paired it with an acacia tree he’d photographed. This acacia tree, then, seemed to be the perfect logo for 4Gs, and so I styled it for the group."
 - -  - the stylized logo:

4Gs logo 

Glenn’s poem:

 my God is
(November, 1989)

The african sunset (African
sunset) is more ancient
than my god - so I come
to teach the truth to the

There was no knowledge in this
dark land before me (there
was no sin in this dark land
before me).

This is the truth (of orange
colours fading into light
across the dimming africa).

And my god - my God - is
here, my inspiration, and
is the african sunset
through me, despite
me, before me.

Praise be to the Dimming Africa.


4Gs logo

Sixteen years later: going strong, even with COVID restrictions.