Rev. Bill Baldwin, a retired priest in Ottawa who has been working for peace in the Middle East, recently received the outstanding contribution award presented annually by the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations.
Mr. Baldwin, a member of the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), was recognized for his “dedication to peace and justice in Palestine.” (Founded in 1985, the Council promotes programs that increase Canadian awareness and knowledge of the Arab world and helps establish commercial, scientific, educational and cultural links between Arab and Canadian institutions.)
Mr. Baldwin, who served as a CPT volunteer in Hebron last fall and in Palestine from Christmas until the beginning of Lent, wrote about his experience in the Israeli-occupied territories in the February issue of the Anglican Journal. He and his wife, Eleanor, have a long history of advocating causes involving minorities. In the 1960s, while a parish assistant at the Church of the Resurrection in Hiroshima, Japan, Mr. Baldwin was involved in the concerns of the Korean minority, who were brought to Japan to provide cheap labour and were considered outsiders in Japanese society. In 1979, the Baldwins ended their service as missionaries for the Anglican Church of Canada in Japan after 19 years.
Shortly after their return to Canada, the couple lived among the Chisasibi people in Quebec for 14 years, until their retirement in 1998. At a surprise sendoff given by the large Cree community, Mr. Baldwin was honoured for his caring pastoral ministry and deep respect for native culture and spirituality, and Mrs. Baldwin, for helping to educate young people and for her music ministry.