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Celebration held to mark awards for granddaughters of civil rights leader E.F. Gordon

Moira Stuart, left, and sister Sharon Davis-Murdoch were celebrated at a ceremony in Halifax. Here they are with Raymond Davis (aka Khalid Wasi) and his wife, Kelly Dow (Photograph supplied)

Two granddaughters of the Bermudian civil rights activist Edgar Fitzgerald Gordon were celebrated at an event in honour of them simultaneously receiving awards from their respective governments.

A ceremony was held on Saturday at the African Cultural Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for Moira Stuart, former British Broadcasting Corporation newsreader, and her sister, Sharon Davis-Murdoch, the cofounder and co-president of the Health Association of African-Canadians.

Last year, Ms Stuart was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire, while Ms Davis-Murdoch was appointed to the Order of Canada.

Ms Stuart began her career as a radio production assistant in the 1970s. She became a BBC Radio 4 newsreader and later a presenter for The Andrew Marr Show, BBC Breakfast and News After Noon.

She became the first Black woman to read the news on British television in 1981.

Ms Stuart told the BBC at the time: “Over the years, since my first Radio 4 news bulletin in 1978 through to my last BBC News summary in 2018, I’ve been committed to public service broadcasting, which gave me the chance to shift barriers, open doors and change so many stagnant stereotypes.”

Ms Davis-Murdoch, who was educated at Bermuda’s Mount St Agnes Academy, was recognised for her work to eliminate systemic inequalities in the Canadian healthcare system and said the HAAC played a major part in that work.

The organisation was formed in 2000 to tackle African-Canadian health problems and inequalities that affect health.

A report on www.cbc.ca said: “Born in the United Kingdom, Ms Davis-Murdoch said she grew up in Bermuda where she was influenced by ‘very politically astute people’ and had a Catholic education that emphasised service to community.”

The Order of Canada honours those who make extraordinary contributions to the country.

The sisters gave thank you speeches to the attendees while tributes were paid to the work they have done.

The women’s grandfather, Dr Gordon, was born in Trinidad & Tobago and was a British-educated doctor. He arrived in Bermuda in the mid-1920s and became a labour leader and parliamentarian.

Bermuda Biographies said: “He championed the cause of Bermudian workers and fought tirelessly for equal rights for Black Bermudians, thereby laying the groundwork for much of the political and social change that came about after his death.”

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Published January 10, 2023 at 7:57 am (Updated January 10, 2023 at 8:20 am)

Celebration held to mark awards for granddaughters of civil rights leader E.F. Gordon

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