Sara Corning Society

Sara Corning is known and revered by Armenians and Greeks worldwide: in their literature, museums, education centers, and in their hearts and prayers. Her heroism is recorded in recent books by several historians. As Sara's story comes to life, may we all hear more about her and those whom she saved, including their histories. This is a wonderful opportunity for dialogue. Because of Sara Corning, this is a rare and meaningful opportunity for Canadians to interact with Greek, Armenian, Assyrian, and Lebanese communities here in Canada and elsewhere - bringing many communities together.

For her bravery and humanitarianism, Sara was awarded the Silver Cross Medal of the Knights of our Order of the Saviour, by King George II of Greece, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, on June 23rd, 1923 at the Zappeion palace in Athens. The medal is equivalent to the Order of Canada, creating for her the honorary title of "knight". Later, the King and Queen of Greece visited Sara at the orphanage she managed in Oropos, Greece. A letter by Sara's interpreter and friend, Mrs. Erato, is now in the archives at the Yarmouth County Museum and Archives. It describes the visit by the Greek monarchs with Sara. Her medal, Red Cross uniform, and other memorabilia are on display at the museum as well.
In 2012, the Sara Corning Centre For Genocide Education was named in her honor at the Armenian Community Centre in Toronto, and Sara features prominently in the Centre's brochure.

  

Pictures: Medal from Greece, Ceremony with King George II (Sara is second woman from left) and Recognition by the Armenian community in Toronto

At the age of 58, Sara left the Near East Relief as operations began to wind down in 1930. Many orphans had reached sixteen, the age of maturity as defined by the NER. Back at her childhood home in Chegoggin, Sara cared for children of family members, always helping others. She continued to support her church and her orphan girls. Neighborhood children, now adults, still remember her kindness in always offering candy from a pretty bowl whenever they left her house. As the children grew, she measured and recorded their heights on one of her doorframes. They were always allowed to play in her yard. "Aunt Sara" as the Chegoggin children called her, died on March 5th, 1969 at the age of 97 in Yarmouth Hospital.

  

Pictures: Sara at age 47, Red Cross and Near East Relief nurses ready to depart NYC in 1919 and Sara at age 80