John Bocock recently received a high honour from the University of Alberta when he was given The Alumni Centenary Award for Service to the University. The citation for the award stated that among other contributions “Bocock has been involved with Initiatives of Change for more than 50 years. The organization is committed to promoting racial harmony and reconciliation around the world.”
In its September 21, 2016 issue the St. Albert Gazette carried an interview with John about the award. Journalist Kevin Ma wrote the following about his involvement with Initiatives of Change: “Bocock said he decided to join the group when he saw one its films, Freedom at Edmonton’s Varscona theatre in 1958. After hearing the cast of the film speak on the importance of reconciliation, he realized he had to take a look at his own life. ‘I realized my relationship with my brother Bill needed a bit of help’ he said. The two reconciled and have farmed together ever since. ‘When I watch the national news most of it is bad news about bad relationships, he said. ‘The lesson we seem slow to learn is how to get along with each other. We need to start making friends with people instead of dropping bombs on them.’”
The award also recognized John’s significant work as an environmentalist. When an oil company announced plans to set up a sour gas plant near his home, John was chief spokeperson and helped bring people together to get the company to install scrubbers that would reduce sulphur emissions.
Jack Freebury, Calgary