The life and achievements of Nelson Mandela were celebrated in Thunder Bay on Thursday.

At a memorial service at St. Paul's Anglican Church, about 40 people paid their respects to the late South African leader.

Lita McKeller was one of them

mandela memorial service in thunder bay

Thunder Bay residents gathered at St. Paul's Anglican Church to celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela. The South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist died Dec. 5. (Josh Lynn/CBC)

At the age of 12, she watched Mandela speak during his 1998 appearance at the SkyDome in Toronto

"He was very quiet, in a very powerful way,” she said.

“He didn't have to say anything. He just emanated a certain energy."

Thursday's service included musical tributes and a look back at Mandela's life story.

More on this story is coming up on CBC Thunder Bay’s afternoon radio show, Voyage North.