Peter Gilmer and Bonnie Morton from the Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry have been honoured with Doctorate of Divinity degrees from St. Andrews College.
Both Gilmer and Morton have worked for several years with the ministry to help low-income residents and families get back on their feet, as well as public advocacy.
While the doctorates were supposed to be issued last year, Gilmer says this year works just fine.
“2021 is an important year for us for a few reasons,” Gilmer said. “It marks 50 years since the creation of our forerunner — which is The Regina Downtown Chaplaincy — so there’s been 50 years of this ministry here but also 25 years of that has been through the Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry.”
The service of celebration was held Monday at Knox-Metropolitan United Church.
Gilmer says it’s a time to reflect on the work that’s been done over the last 50 years by the ministry.
“I think that the many people that we’ve helped ensure they’ve been able to meet their needs and receive those things that they’re entitled to, that’s been very important, but certainly in terms of public policy issues, I think we have had an influence on public policy in this province, in this city, and even had an affect as far up as the United Nations.”
Morton says it’s a great feeling knowing the ministry is doing meaningful work in Regina.
“We don’t see the people that we help out on a daily basis, we don’t always see them coming back (so ) we don’t necessarily see how their lives have turned out,” Morton said. “But the odd time, somebody will come back and say ‘It was because of your help, I was able to move forward.’”
A celebration for the Doctorate degrees is tentatively scheduled for the fall, pending COVID-19 restrictions.
Some of the highlights for Gilmer and Morton include their impact on the 2006 budget and Morton’s presentations to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.