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Saturday, December 10, 2016
Three women win peace awards
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 As part of its 60th anniversary celebrations, Pax Christi will recognise the peace work of three women, Sr Pat Robb, Margot Hutchison and Judith Dawes. All have had an association with Pax Christi but their work for peace and justice has encouraged them to work with many other networks and organisations over the years. They will receive the award from the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah on 18 June. The Patriarch is also the International President of Pax Christi Sr Pat Robb CJ worked in Africa for many years and worked with survivors of the Rwanda genocide, before involving herself, upon her return, in the UK with Justice and Peace issues. Pat, a Pax Christi member, has been a campaigner against the arms trade, speaking up at arms manufacturers' shareholder meetings. She has worked in the Cambridge Winter Comfort project for the homeless and is currently a vital part of the chaplaincy team at Oakington Detention Centre for asylum seekers. Pat produces a quarterly Justice & Peace newsletter and is a regular speaker on J&P issues to parish groups, schools, etc. Margot Hutchinson is former Executive and Council member of Pax Christi and member of the Birmingham Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission, She has been a regular visitor to American Air Bases, and protest meetings in London and Birmingham, wearing her 'peace hat'. Margot has campaigned on issues including the arms trade, overseas development, justice for women, nuclear disarmament, homelessness, racial justice and refugees. She has been a representative for Pax Christi on the National Board of Catholic Women and is valued in her neighbourhood community for ensuring people are cared for, always making a point of presenting herself as a Pax Christi member. Judith Dawes sadly died earlier this year, was a member of many peace and justice groups, among them Christian CND, Pax Christi and the Non-Violent Resistance Network. After visiting Palestine, she set up the Oxford branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. She spent time in prison for non-payment of fines after taking part in a blockade of a bridge to an arms fair. In her wheelchair she took part in protests against the Iraq war. Her whole life was orientated towards peace and justice issues. Stewart Hemsley, Chair of Pax Christi said: "As a membership organisation, a movement for peace, Pax Christi recognises that members, supporters and collaborators for peace are our strongest asset - they remind us of the words of Pope Paul V1 that "peace is the fruit of anxious daily care , so see that each person lives in justice as God intends". We cannot leave the work of peace to others. It is a task for each and every one of us. These women are an inspiration to us all The Peace Medal they receive refers to Neve Shalom - Wahat Al Salam village in Israel for Jews and Muslims established by the late Fr Bruno Hussar. One side shows the head of Abraham, father in faith to the Jewish and Muslim religions. He is flanked by the children he had with Sarah and Hagar. The reverse shows the symbol of Neve Shalom - Wahat al Salam with words from Isaiah 32:8 'My people shall have an oasis of peace'. The dove of peace is seated on one of the arms of the symbol.
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