Amelia Gordon, Champion of the Underprivileged
Amelia Juico Gordon passed away at the age of 89 but her achievements and good deeds will be remembered for more than a lifetime…
Acknowledged as the “Mother” of Olongapo, “Ma’am Amelia,” as Olongapeños fondly referred to her, pioneered the city’s Master Plan as mayor and assemblywoman.
However, Amelia’s commitment to help the public, means more than government service. She was wholeheartedly dedicated in caring for the young and needy. She adopted more than 50 children and changed the lives of thousands more as the founder of Olongapo City’s Boys’ Town and Girls’ Home. She led the formation of Iba-Olongapo Catholic Women’s League, Red Cross-Olongapo City Chapter and of Olongapo City Civic Action Group, organizations that are helping Olongapeños up to the present.
“For Mama, every human being who needed help will be given assistance regardless of his or her birth, fortune, position or political affiliations. She was not afraid to get her hands dirty or lay her life on the line. She braved disasters—the massive Baguio earthquake in 1990, Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991 and various floods and other calamities, to ensure that food and aid reached those who are in need,” said daughter Veronica Gordon-Lorenzana.
Due to her noble deeds, Amelia, mother of Senator Richard Gordon, received various awards such as the Doña Aurora Aragon Medal Award, Silver Jubilee Family Award, Silver Medal Award from the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), Gintong Ina Award, Gold Humanitarian Award, the highest award given by the Red Cross, and the 2002 Pearl S. Buck Woman of the Year Award, an award given to women who make outstanding contributions in the areas of cross-cultural understanding, humanitarian outreach and improving the quality of life and expanding opportunities for children around the world like world-wide achievers, Laura Bush (2006) and Audrey Hepburn (1993), in recognition of Amelia’s life-long dedication to the welfare and protection of children.
“My mother was not only our mother, she was the mother of all. She gave meaning and hope to the lives of orphaned and abandoned children. She was a great leader, a remarkable woman, champion of underprivileged children and most of all, a devoted mother. We will always treasure her memories and will always be proud of her life’s work,” said youngest son Olongapo Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr.
2002 Pearl S. Buck International Woman of the Year, Amelia Juico Gordon or ‘’Ma’am Amelia,’’ as Olongapeños fondly referred to her, passed away last November 17, 2009 at the age of 89. She lived her life to the fullest, protected and fought for the rights and protection of abandoned and orphaned children. She led the formation of many civic groups in Olongapo including the Olongapo City Boy’s and Girls Home, Red Cross Olongapo City Chapter and the Catholic Women’s League of Zambales.