The Victor and Nancy Knight Living Tribute Award is presented at the CUC National Conference. Funds were received in 1996 for the purpose of establishing a perpetual fund to honour the ideals exemplified by the lives and work of Nancy and Victor Knight in furthering the principles of Unitarianism in Canada. As an encouragement for others to follow their example, an award is made annually from the income of the fund to a living person, who has made a notable contribution to the furthering of liberal religious principles in Canada.
In 2020, the award was presented by Kim Hunter to Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed
The Nancy and Victor Knight Living Tribute Award was created in 1961 and revived in 1995, to recognize individuals who have furthered the principles of Unitarianism Universalism and Liberal Religious principles in Canada.
The 2020-2021 recipient easily meets that standard.
As an author and speaker, he has challenged us to confront racism in our denomination and society and to grow into a more diverse and truly inclusive religion. As a religious leader, he has inspired us with the intelligence of his thought and the depth of his compassion. As a leader in our Canadian denomination, his patience, wisdom and non-anxious presence helped bring about a new era in the CUC.
The 2020-21 recipient of the Knight award is the Reverend Mark Morrison-Reed.
In the 1990s, while a co-minister in Toronto, Mark played a critical role serving as facilitator between the CUC and the UUA as discussions began regarding the autonomy of the CUC. As the meetings became more formal, Mark was appointed to the CUC negotiating team.
Herman Boerma -a past CUC President and Knight recipient described Mark as having a “ calming influence” that “ kept the conversation on point and amicable.” He had credibility with the representatives of both sides of the border.
As a member of that negotiating team, and as President of the CUC at that time, I can personally attest to Mark’s calming influence. But to be fair, while calm, Mark’s commitment to setting the CUC on a new path was fierce and passionate.
Brian Kiely, also a Knight, recalls Mark standing at the CUC ACM crying freely as the overwhelming majority of delegates voted to approve the separation process in principle.
In 2001 Mark became CUC President and used his terms to complete the autonomy process and help start the CUC on its new path thereby furthering UU principles in Canada.
Throughout his career, Mark has written several books on matters of race and spiritual integration. As a CUC volunteer, he undertook a 2012 survey of Canadian Unitarian congregations on diversity and brought the results to the membership in the Keynote speech at the 2013 CUC Annual Meeting, entitled Radical Inclusion. I re-read his keynote this morning, and the message and challenge it includes is relevant more than ever today.
In 2020 Mark was a volunteer member of the CUC Black Lives Matter Roundtable. His work on diversity and race pushed the boundaries of our understanding of Unitarian principles challenging Canadians to live our religious ideals.
I am told that Mark also led by example among his colleagues in the UU Ministers of Canada, bringing that same thoughtful perspective to their deliberations. He co-led that organization through a powerful extended workshop confronting racism and privilege.
My grandmother Nancy Knight knew Mark and I can say without any doubt at all, that she would be thrilled to see him being honoured by this award which is given in her name and in the name of my grandfather.
Mark has exemplified the ideal of furthering Unitarianism in Canada by prodding us with his ideas while still comforting us with his compassion, humour and love.
Mark, thank you for all you have done for Unitarianism and Universalism in Canada.
|2020||Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed|
|2019||Rev. Frances Deverell||First Unitarian Fellowship on Nanaimo|
|2018||E. Lisbeth Donaldson||Comox Valley Unitarian Fellowship|
|2016||Ellen Campbell||First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto|
|2015||Barbara Taylor||Unitarian Church of Vancouver|
|2015||John Taylor||Unitarian Church of Vancouver|
|2014||Christine Johnston||First Unitarian Church of Victoria|
|2013||Rev. Brian Kiely||Unitarian Church of Edmonton|
|2012||Leroy Dickey||First Unitarian Congregation of Waterloo|
|2011||Kim Turner||Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax|
|2010||Ralph Greer||Unitarian Church of Vancouver|
|2009||Art Brewer||First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto|
|2008||Stan Calder||Unitarian Church of Edmonton|
|2007||John Slattery||Beacon Unitarian Church|
|2006||Heather Watts||Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax|
|2005||Bert Christensen||First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto|
|2005||Anna MacIver||First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto|
|2004||Ruth Patrick||Unitarian Church of Edmonton|
|2003||John Hopewell||First Unitarian Church of Victoria|
|2002||Bernie Keeler||Unitarian Church of Edmonton|
|2001||Herman Boerma||Unitarian Congregation of Saskatoon|
|2000||Helen Backhouse||Unitarian Church of Calgary|
|1999||Ed Ratcliffe||Kingston Unitarian Fellowship|
|1998||Jack Wallace||Unitarian Church of Vancouver|
|1997||Mary Lu Macdonald||Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax|
|1996||John May||Don Heights Unitarian Fellowship|
|1995||Charles Eddis||Unitarian Church of Montreal|
|Phillip Hewett||Unitarian Church of Vancouver|