Thursday, December 6, 2012

Celebrating Edith Ballantyne 90th Birthday

Edith will be 90 on dec 10th International Human Rights Day

The first of all Human Rights is the right to live in peace and dignity. No other person still alive has done more to forward this corner stone for peace, justice and truthfulness than Edith Ballantyne,  born Muller, the daughter of  a Sudeten Germany family of refugees, made homeless by Hitler's takeover of  Tschecheslovakia in 1938.  The family flew first to Great Britain and was then shipped to Canada as cheap labour. After having worked as a farm worker and a later as a maid she was helped by the Canadian section of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and met her husband,  the journalist Campell Ballantyne, became a Canadian citizen, after having been a subject of the British Crown before, and  followed her husband to Switzerland, back to "old Europe". While Cam worked for the International Labor Office, Edith brought up their 4 children  and made a home, before she reanimated the orphanized  international office  of WILPF and became  a prominent peace activists within the International Community of NGOS. Edith has served as a mediator for many causes that others had given up on, last not least, she struggled for the betterment of the fate of the Palestinian  people side by side with sisters in Israel.

It was Edith  who encouraged me to commit myself to peace and justice on an international scale, she was my tutor and remained my friend even when I had gone astray and had lost course for quite a while.

May the International Community of NGOs remember and commemorate well, what Edith has contributed not only in Geneva but across the globe for cause of Peace, Justice and Human Rights  for the peoples of the world small and big.
December 10th,  the birthday of the International Declaration of Human rights (in 1948)  will this year be her 90th birthday too, a wonderful coincidence.

My there be peace on earth, peace in justice for all nations!