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AGM welcomes new board members, panel on partnership during COVID

October 14, 2020

By Janice Biehn

At its recent Annual General Meeting, The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund elected its Board of Directors, including two new members and an Honorary Associate. For the first time ever, the meeting was on Zoom, and also live streamed to YouTube.

As many as 60 people joined the YouTube live stream which included a panel on Partnership during COVID-19. Bishop Jenny Andison moderated the informative discussion with Musu Taylor-Lewis of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Wade Zamechek of Village Health Works and Dr. Evrard Nahimana of Partners In Health Rwanda. View the panel on YouTube above.

Members elected to the Board Mark Hauck, a parishioner at St. John’s Anglican in East Orangeville in the Diocese of Toronto. Hauck is a high school teacher in the Peel Board of Education and also has a background in fundraising at Oxfam-Canada.

Mark Hauck

“I have been aware of PWRDF and the work it does for many years,” he says. “The organization enjoys an excellent reputation in the field. I am excited for the opportunity to work with PWRDF as it shares my philosophy, and is also a part of the Anglican community to which I am a member.”

Hauck, who is also a Deputy Warden, says though his parish is not involved with PWRDF directly, he hopes to put forward a PWRDF initiative in the near future. His experience in fundraising will definitely be an asset for PWRDF, as charitable donations in general and to international development in particular are down across the country.

“The reality is that giving to an international development agency is not top of mind for many Canadians,” he says. “We have to work extra hard, targeting our programs in the most compelling manner possible to gain our share of the philanthropic dollar. I have seen what works with a wide variety of like-minded organizations and I hope to bring this knowledge and experience to PWRDF.”

Hauck’s personal areas of interest include education, supporting refugees, food and housing security and the humanitarian response, especially as it relates to disaster relief. “My experiences within the Oxfam and White Ribbon Campaign contexts gave me a deep appreciation for the vital role women play in the development of civil society.  I also have an interest in Indigenous issues, recognizing the tremendous urgency for reconciliation with the world’s first peoples, particularly in Canada.”

The Board also elected Verna Firth from the Diocese of the Arctic, as the representative to the Anglican Council of Indigenous People (ACIP). Verna is an Inuvialuit born and raised in Aklavik, NT. She is married to a Gwich’in man and has two children and eight grandchildren. She has work as a finance officer for the Government of the Northwest Territories for the past 31 years. 

Firth is an active member of the Anglican Church of the Ascension in Inuvik, serving as treasurer, licensed Lay Leader and fundraiser and is currently the People’s Warden. Her experience in Indigeneous ministry includes co-chairing ACIP for six year, co-chairing the Anglican Healing Fund and being a members of the Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice. She is also a a member of the PWRDF Indigenous program Advisory Committee.

Verna loves to sing and helps lead the singing in her parish each Sunday. She also loves to watch curling on TV, as both she and her husband were competitive curlers.

The Board of Directors also honoured Jane Dittrich from the Diocese of New Westminster, B.C., for her exceptional and prolonged volunteer service to the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund by nominating her an Honorary Associate.

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For media requests please contact Communications Coordinator Janice Biehn at (416) 924-9199;366.

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