Senator Richard J. Gordon called on Filipinos to be active members of the community and thus bring positive changes in the lives of other community members and so help resolve the country’s peace and order problems.
Gordon, who marked today the birth anniversary of his mother, former Olongapo City Mayor Amelia Gordon, recalled how she had devoted many years of her life to making life better and more dignified for others by affecting positive changes in their lives.
“We should think about how we can be a positive influence to others. Instead of turning into drugs; or joining movements, whose ideologies bring more harm than good to the country, we should think more of how we can help others. We should be more humanitarian. We should just work together to steer the country towards peace and development,” the senator said.
“My mother was the best example I had of being a ‘man for others,’ so to speak. I remember her giving shelter to street children and going on various humanitarian pursuits. If we all strive to help others live as human beings deserving of dignity and respect, our country won’t be having peace and order problems,” he added.
Amelia Gordon was born on September 4, 1919 and passed away on November 17, 2009 at the age of ninety. She was a tireless public servant, elected as the first woman mayor of Olongapo City following the assassination of her husband James Gordon, Sr. in 1967 and then as Assemblywoman in the Batasan Pambansa in 1984.
Aside from being an exemplary public servant, she continued her life of service in the private sector, advocating the protection and promotion of the welfare of needy and abandoned children, legally adopting fifty-four children as her own, changing the lives of thousands more as the founder of the Olongapo Boys Town and Girls Home, and founding several other civic organizations such as the Olongapo City Civic Action Group (OCAG), the Iba-Olongapo Catholic Women’s League, and the Olongapo City Red Cross where she also served as Chairperson for twenty-eight years.
In recognition of Mrs. Gordon’s humanitarian pursuits, her dedication to children and adoption, and her life-long work for the cause of abandoned Filipino children of American descent, she became the second Filipina recipient of the Pearl S. Buck International Woman of the Year Award in 2002.
She also received numerous medals and awards for her other political and civic accomplishments, including the Dona Aurora Aragon Medal, the Silver Jubilee Family Award, the Silver Medal Award from the Philippine National Red Cross, the 1985 Gintong Ina Award Alay kay Inay, the 1993 Gold Humanitarian Service Cross Award, and the 2000 Centennial Woman of the Year Award.