Stephen Lawrence's mother among speakers for Holocaust Memorial event

Thursday, 8 January 2009

A prestigious panel of speakers will visit Halifax this month to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

They include Doreen Lawrence, mother of Stephen Lawrence - murdered for being a black man in London in 1993 - and Colin Parry, whose 12-year-old son Tim was killed in the IRA Warrington bombing in 1993.

Calderdale will mark the day with a special event at the Victoria Theatre, Halifax, on January 27th from 5pm to 8.30pm. The event will focus on the damage caused to individuals by acts of hatred and hate crime.

Also among the panellists are Sheri Dobrowski, whose son Jody was murdered in London in 2005 for being a gay man; and David Quarmby, a local blind man who has been the victim of crime because of his disability.

From 5pm to 6pm there will be displays and exhibitions in the theatre foyer, with the commemorative events starting at 6pm. Each panellist will speak for five minutes, followed by an hour-long question and answer session. The panel will be chaired by Michael Barrie, Chair of the Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association.

Holocaust survivor Eugene Black will also speak about his family’s story and students from Crossley Heath School in Halifax will give a talk about their visit to Auschwitz.

There will also be a presentation from Calderdale Interfaith Council and music from the Bradford Women Singers. The presentations will finish with the memorial prayer ‘El Male Rachamim’ from Rudi Leavor.

The Mayor of Calderdale will open and close the event.

Holocaust Memorial Day is a national day of remembrance which commemorates the tragic loss of life in the genocides of World War II, and since then in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur and many other countries. It is held on 27th January, the anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp at Auschwitz-Berkenau. This year’s Holocaust Memorial Day theme is Stand Up to Hatred.

Councillor Ian Cooper, Calderdale Council community services portfolio holder, said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is set to be an extremely moving occasion. The day is about recognising that hate crime still exists in society; celebrating our diversity; and pledging our commitment to work with local communities in Calderdale to combat all types and level of hate crime.”

The event is free, but bookings are essential. Contact Viviana Archer-Todde on 01422 393307 or email

For more information on Holocaust Memorial Day, visit

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