BY Ryan McDougall | June 7 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Pro-life ‘heroes’ honoured by awards

three pro-life stalwarts received awards for their services to the cause at an annual dinner last weekend.

Des Hamill, Marysia Kobylarska and Mike Hughes were all recognised for their efforts in assisting the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) Scotland at their Scottish Pro-Life Awards Dinner on St Vincent’s Street, Glasgow.

180 people attended the special event, which was an opportunity to reflect on past, present and future examples of witness and dedication to the rights of the unborn and the weakest people in society.

Des Hamill said he was ‘absolutely gobsmacked and taken aback’ when SPUC Scotland CEO John Deighan announced he had won the Pro-life Friend of the Year Award.


‘Invaluable help’

Mr Deighan said the award recognised Mr Hamill’s ‘invaluable help’ with Project Truth, a SPUC initiative led by young people who take to Scotland’s streets to inform people about the development of babies in the womb.

Mr Deighan said: “Mr Hamill has shown great tenacity and inventiveness in the range of help that he has provided, even chasing up his local council with determined doggedness to ensure the Project Truth team were granted all the necessary approvals for visiting his town.”

Mr Hamill, a Knight of St Columba based in Coatbridge, accepted the award on behalf of all the knights, and said he will ‘always support SPUC by whatever means he can.’

He said the pro-life cause was ‘always very important to my family, whether it was the beginning of life for a newborn or the end of life for someone.’


Changing opinions

“SPUC are a great bunch of people. The work Project Truth do is fantastic—I don’t think I could stand in the street and talk about some of the things they do,” he said.

“They’ve told me a lot about their experiences and some of it’s hard-going. They go through some horrendous challenges, but what they are doing helps change people’s opinions on pro-life.”

Marysia Kobylarska was awarded a trophy for her lifelong support for SPUC.

She had a prominent role in establishing a SPUC group in Dundee in the 1970s.

Announcing her as the winner of the Lifetime Award, Mr Deighan said she ‘proved from the outset a talented and trustworthy organiser.’



Mrs Kobylarska, who still works tirelessly for the society, said: “I remember back in 1974 we went to the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow for the pro-life march and there must have been at least 15,000 people there.

“I remember thinking there could only have been about 5,000 abortions that must have taken place by then but there had been tens of thousands.

“I was really disturbed by it all but didn’t know what I could do at the time. The Knights of St Columba were keen on getting people to lobby their MP on moral issues so I thought I’d help in getting a SPUC branch started up in Dundee.”


Youth involvement

She added: “I don’t think the issue of abortion is getting better yet in Britain, but I think there are more young people taking it seriously now. Younger people really want to get involved with SPUC.”

The final award, for Pro-life Contribution to Education, went to Mike Hughes, principle teacher of religious education at Turnbull High School in Bishopbriggs.

Mr Deighan said SPUC’s work ‘cannot be accomplished without the generous co-operation of so many teachers,’ and that Mr Hughes ‘has been exemplary in his dedication’ to the cause.


Heroic work

Following the dinner, Michael Robinson, director of communications for SPUC Scotland, said: “Standing up for the humanity of the unborn child and promoting the human right to life is the number one issue facing Scotland today.

“We thought it was important that our society hears more about the heroic work done by individuals to promote the dignity of every human life and overcome the tragedy of abortion.”

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