Tributes to Cst. Heidi Stevenson

Cst. Heidi Stevenson

Dear Members of the Association,

Memories of Cst. Heidi Stevenson.

James Forrest
Director of Communications
RCMP Veterans’ Association

RCMP Prince Edward Island

RCMP Cst. Heidi Stevenson’s obituary reads “the couple cherished family ski trips, beach walks in Prince Edward Island…” and so some of our officers did just that in her memory today (photo credit: Jeff Eagar of Hummingbird Production)

With the author Paul Tingley’s permission I am sharing this. It has been posted to RCMP Mates Facebook site.

Ed Strange – Ottawa Division

“Remembering and Honouring Heidi Stevenson in Japan”

by: Paul Tingley

I first met Dean and Heidi Stevenson while teaching at James English School in Sendai, Japan. It was October 2001. We soon discovered we were all from Nova Scotia. Besides instructing English classes, we were building international friendships and representing our homelands. I beamed with pride at having a newfound mascot on our team.

Heidi was soon becoming a “fan favourite” amongst Japanese women and girls who seemed star struck at her amazing character and grace. Her confidence and strength exuded, creating a curiosity for them. Often a group of females would be waiting around the entrance of the school exploring their class options. They would whisper me over to ask about Heidi. “Mr. Paul, do you know who is Heidi?” They asked in their rehearsed question, shy but daring.

“Is she model or actress?”

“I don’t know.” I told them, not wanting to reveal any information about her private life. “Would you like to meet her? You can sign up at the desk for an introductory sample class with her?”

Three weeks later, I happened to be in Sendai again only to be stopped by the same group of females.

“Mr. Paul, Heidi say she is RCMP officer. Is this true?”

“Yes” I said, understanding that Heidi was disclosing this information.

“What? Really?” Their eyes grew wide and their mouths fell open slightly. They appeared amazed at the superhero qualities Heidi possessed. As they stood like that for a few moments, speechless, I found myself wondering if they were imagining all the possibilities for women.

Interactions such as these led me to christen Heidi with her office nickname, “Miss Canada”.

By this time Dean and Heidi also had their own identity together. They would be known as “Dean and Heidi”. A phrase said in one motion when counting fingers in any planning of social events. They were together as one. A young couple who created dreams of romance, adventure and fun. Some students then became curious to learn about that! They wanted to know how they met, how long they’ve been together, where they were going. It was as if they wanted Dean and Heidi to illustrate a step-by-step manual of how to create a relationship like that for themselves.

While spending time with them you felt as if you knew them all your life. Their sincere mannerism was comforting and respected. Their thoughtful consideration of others was admired. Heidi’s quick wit and banter was the source of great delight.

As December was nearing an end, teachers were exhausted. It had been a chaotic, stressful few months. The events of 9/11 had taken place recently, and the aftermath was being felt globally. With Christmas approaching, many were yearning to be home. For some, it would be their first time away from family. Despite this, teachers were planning a Christmas party for the school. In particular, we were interested in having small children experience some western traditions. Dean and Heidi enthusiastically contributed to this event. A selfless act, for the benefit of others.

Try to imagine the many intricate threads of kindness Heidi has sown over the years. Holding together a tapestry of goodwill. She embodied the virtues the RCMP hold so dear. She radiated a core value of beliefs humanity embraces.

Heidi is a Canadian icon. A hero. Being a Canadian is more than a thought, it is a feeling. A unified consciousness. Rest assured her memory will be cherished.

This spring hanami (cherry blossom viewing) will begin. An angelic Canadian spirit will be present. Reminding us we are sakura (cherry blossoms).

I was working on this attachment when I received the email “A Nation Grieves” showing a number of tributes from several members/ex-members expressing their emotion over the death of Cst. Heidi Stevenson. I, as no doubt every member/ex-member of the Force, was experiencing this same sense of loss and emotion, so much so that I decided to create the attachment as a means to express my emotions.

Initially I didn’t think about sending this anywhere, I was just doing this as my own way of expressing my thoughts and feelings. But when I saw the other tributes, I thought maybe I should send it on, to let Heidi’s family and our members/ex-members in Nova Scotia that “she” will always be remembered, that’s the least we can do.

NOTE: You’ll notice the gold heart containing the graphics and Heidi’s picture appear to be off centre to the world, but I did this in order to show Nova Scotia within the red circle on the world beside Heidi.

God Bless,

Ron Wiggins, Reg. #24657, Ex-S/Sgt.
Member of the RCMP Veteran’s Association
Newfoundland and Labrador Division

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