THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Patsy George, hailing from Kochi, has been chosen for the Order of Canada, probably the first Malayali to be conferred with Canada's highest civilian honour. The Order of Canada was established in 1967 to recognise outstanding achievement and service in various fields of human endeavour and is the country's highest honour for lifetime achievement. Appointments to Order of Canada are made on the recommendation of an advisory council, chaired by the Chief Justice of Canada.
Ms. George, prominent social worker and former Director of the Ministry of Multiculturalism and Immigration, British Columbia, Canada, was born as the eldest daughter of Puthanpurackal George and Ida in Kochi and immigrated to Canada in 1960. She had been honoured earlier with the Order of British Columbia and the Queens Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, the Deryk Thomson Award for Community Planning, British Columbia in 1993, the Woman of Our Times Award of the Congress of Black Women in Canada in 1993, the Commemorative Medal for the 125th anniversary of the Confederation of Canada in 1992, the Distinguished Services Award of the Canadian Association of Social Workers in 1990 the Award of Appreciation for Promoting Social Justice, BC Association of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women in 1989 and the President's Award for Excellence, United Way of Vancouver and Lower Mainland in 1991. She lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her sister.
Ms. George, who took her Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Ottawa, was appointed to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada in 1989 and held the post till 1992 coordinating the backlog division for British Columbia and Alberta. The British Columbia Government appointed her to the panel reviewing the child welfare legislation using a public consultation process. The resultant report led to a new Child, Family and Community Services Act of British Columbia. She had served as the president of BC Association of Social Workers, the first visible minority person to hold that position. She is the founding member and vice president of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of Canada.
She helped start the Pacific Immigrant Resources Society and served as its president. She was a Trustee of the Vancouver Public Library, Director of the United Way of Vancouver and Lower Mainland and Director of Legal Services Society of BC.
Ms. George served as the president of the International Council on Social Welfare, Canada, and as the president of the North American Region of its world body that promote social development globally.