Bruce Kent awarded peace prize

Veteran peace campaigner Bruce Kent has been awarded the 2019 International Peace Bureau Sean MacBride Peace Prize

Quakers expressed delight at the news that veteran peace campaigner Bruce Kent has been awarded the 2019 International Peace Bureau (IPB) Sean MacBride Peace Prize.

Friends from Bury St Edmunds Meeting, where Bruce Kent has close connections, hailed the former Roman Catholic priest and vice-president of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) for his ‘persistence and inexhaustible enthusiasm for the cause of peace’.

Graham and Pam Gosling said: ‘This award is very well deserved. In recent years Bruce has become an inspirational visitor to Bury St Edmunds Meeting. In 2017 Kevin Mayhew composed a choral work entitled A People of Peace which he dedicated to Bruce [and who] attended the premiere at our Meeting house, so we have been much inspired by Bruce.’

Jill Segger, from Bury St Edmunds, also paid tribute to the campaigner who recently turned ninety, saying: ‘When Bruce Kent came to the Meeting in 2014 to talk about “Striving for peace in a troubled world”… at the age of eighty-five, and making his case with zest and wit, [he] gave no indication that we might ever feel entitled to put our feet up and leave it to others. We were told quite firmly that there was always something we could do. “Anyone here written to a newspaper this week?” he challenged us. This is the down-to-earth persistence, the refusal to let discouragement dominate.. which has made Bruce Kent such a remarkable and indefatigable campaigner over so many years.’

Friends from Southern Marches Area Meeting, where Bruce Kent delivered the twentieth anniversary Millichap Peace Fund Lecture in May, also praised the former IPB president. The campaigner was presented with the prize, also awarded to Elayne Whyte Gómez, at a ceremony at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London. Elayne Whyte Gómez is the permanent representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations Office in Geneva and successfully led the negotiations of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

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