Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 5, 2007
Refugee advocate honoured by St. Stephen's college
Pallard provided sanctuary for threatened Filipino nanny
By WCR Staff
Josephine Pallard, a long-time local advocate for refugees, has been honoured with an honorary doctor of laws degree from St. Stephen's College, University of Alberta.
Pallard received the honour Oct. 15 at St. Stephen's 83rd annual convocation held at MacDougall United Church.
A parishioner at St. Anthony's Parish and herself an immigrant from the Philippines, Pallard became involved with refugee sponsorship in 1979 following an appeal to archdiocesan Catholics by Archbishop Joseph MacNeil.
She chaired her parish's immigrant committee, which over the last 28 years, has sponsored more than 500 people to come to Canada from Vietnam, Poland, Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Even prior to that, she and her husband Raymond were inviting international students to their home where she conducted English as a Second Language classes around their kitchen table.
In 1984, she helped found Changing Together - A Centre for Immigrant Women to provide a gathering place for immigrant women to give each other support.
Pallard served as chair of the centre's board of directors from 1997 to 2003 and has been its executive director for the past two years after retiring from her job as a teacher.
In 1999, her work drew national attention when she and Raymond provided sanctuary in St. Anthony Church for Leticia Cables, a Filipino nanny working in Edmonton who was facing deportation.
Cables eventually won her battle to stay in Canada and today serves as Pallard's administrative assistant at Changing Together.
Pallard also speaks out on issues of family violence, mail order brides, live-in caregivers and human trafficking.