2018 John Gibbard Award Ceremony In Celebration of UN Day

In recognition of the United Nations Day on the 24th October, UNAC-Vancouver Branch Presented Andrew Sheroubi with the John Gibbard Award. 

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October 21 – Thank you Way Kent for your always warm welcome to the Vancouver Branch of the UN Association of Canada. The connection between UNAC and the Unitarian Church goes back a long way and remains as strong as ever.

The United Nations Association of Canada (UNAC) is a national non-governmental organization with branches across the country. Its goal is to advocate for and educate Canadians about, the work and the ideals of the United Nations.

Founded out of the ashes and rubble of WW 2 the goals of the UN are stated clearly in the preamble to its Charter:

  • “To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war
  • To reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small.
  • To establish conditions under which Justice and respect for international law can be maintained.
  • To promote social progress and better standards of life.
  • To practice tolerance; to live together in peace as good neighbours.
  • To unite our strength to maintain international peace and security.

The annual John Gibbard Award which we are presenting today, is presented by the Vancouver Branch of the UNAC on the occasion of United Nations Day 24th October, which celebrates the UN and its work for human rights, justice and international peace and security.

The award is made in recognition and memory of John Gibbard, a Canadian academic who following WW1 became a committed supporter of the UN’s predecessor – the League of Nations.

After WWII when the UN was formed he became an active member of the UN Association of Canada. He was especially dedicated to involving young people in the creation of a better world.

This award is given annually to a young student or group of students in recognition of their dedication and commitment to work for humanity and a better world.

This year the Vancouver Branch of UNAC has unanimously decided to make the award to Andrew Sheroubi.

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Andrew is an engineer who very recently graduated from UBC specializing in Chemical and Biological Engineering.  He is just beginning his career, but his list of humanitarian accomplishments – started in the Middle East where he lived for a while, continued in Canada with the local branch of the Canadian Red Cross and now extends across the globe, for example to St. Lucia in the Eastern Caribbean. He recently persuaded UBC to offer a Humanitarian Engineering Course – of which he is the first coordinator.

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I will ask Andrew once he has received his award to tell us more about himself and some of the amazing work he does, but before he does that I want to quote from his nominee Tasha Nathanson who is a youth development worker and mentor:

She wrote: “Andrew stands out as a young person who has already accomplished more than many adults do in a lifetime. He has done it entirely voluntarily on top of an already supercharged academic programme.”  Later in her nomination, she wrote how Andrew had just started his professional career and she said, “Andrew confessed to me his concern that he still has time to pursue the humanitarian projects that motivate and energize him. I have no doubt that he will continue to be a leader in this realm. He will see a need and he will organize to fill it – no matter what else is on his plate.”

Congratulations Andrew. We are all very proud to include you among the distinguished recipients of this award. I am sure that you would make John Gibbard very proud! I am equally sure that we shall hear much more about you in the coming years.

George Somerwill, Past President & Current Board Member, UNAC Vancouver

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