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Awards acknowledge contributions to civil rights

Individuals and organisations have been honoured at this year’s Independent Civil Society Awards for their roles in advancing civil rights and shaping modern Gibraltar.

The awards ceremony, held at the Garrison Library, saw for the first time Equality Rights Group Chairman Felix Alvarez and Unite the Union Gibraltar Regional Officer Victor Ochello jointly present the awards.

Five individuals and organisations were recognised for their contributions to equality and human and civil rights. Two of the awards were accorded on a posthumous basis to Agustin Huart and Alexei Dalmedo, with proud family members present to collect their awards on their behalf.

Mr Huart was recognised not only for his role as a city councillor and JP but also as a pioneering political and civil rights activist and long serving head of the trade union movement from 1920 to his death in 1965.

His great-grandson and Senior Crown Counsel Damian Conroy collected an honorary plaque on his behalf.

Mr Conroy, who has penned a book about his great-grandfather’s achievements, said: “It is right that we should recognise these characters that did so much for us in terms of civil rights and to shape the Gibraltar that we now have and enjoy.”

Similarly, the late Alexei Dalmedo, who passed away in 2015, was remembered and honoured for his tireless devotion to trade unionism and the cause of humanity. Mr Dalmedo’s daughter, Jessica, collected the award on his behalf.

Juan Pecino was acknowledged and received an honorary plaque for his work on the rights of private sector employees, seeking equality for migrant workers, advocating for the environment and tenants’ rights.

The awards event this year focused strongly on the environment, with both the Environmental Safety Group (ESG) and the Gibraltar Ornithological Natural History Society (GONHS) receiving honorary plaques for their services to Gibraltar.

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