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Memorial Lecture of Ronald “Bernie” Bernickow

Cornerstone Institute is proud to partner with the Ronald Bernickow Education Development Trust, the South Africa Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) and the Cape Cultural Collective to host the memorial lecture of Ronald Bernickow, on 29 June at 19h00.

“Bernie”, as he was know to many, was a trade unionist during the 1980s and ended his life-long career in the labour field working at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). He passed away on 26 June 2017 after a long battle with cancer.

Bernie started work at the age of 16 as a messenger at Newspaper House in Cape Town. At a young age, he helped organise newspaper sellers, media workers and journalists into trade unions like Media Workers Association of South Africa (MWASA). He was passionate about media advocacy and in later years he served as SACTWU’s National Media Officer.

“Cornerstone Institute recognises the immense contribution of Bernie to peace, education, prosperity and a life of dignity for all South Africans. Bernie is one of the unsung heroes of our democracy to whom we will be forever grateful. As Cornerstone we are delighted and honoured to host the memorial lecture of Bernie,” said Noel Daniels, CEO of Cornerstone Institute.

Bernie received the Order of Luthuli posthumously in 2018. The Order recognises South African citizens who have contributed to the struggle for democracy‚ nation-building‚ building democracy and human rights‚ justice and peace as well as for the resolution of conflict.

Bernie was recognised for his life-long contribution to the fight for social justice and persistence in challenging the system that oppressed the people of South Africa.

The Memorial Lecture recognises the contribution of Bernie, and people like him, who are always willing to help those in need, those who build stronger communities and workplaces, and those who lend a hand to the tasks before us.

The lecture will be delivered by Pregs Govendor, former Deputy Chair of the Human Rights Commission, MP and trade unionist. Pregs is the author of ‘Love and Courage’.

The Ronald Bernickow Education Development Trust was formed in 2017 with the aid from the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) and Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI) who will make bursaries available to first-generation university students keen to pursue a career in media.

“The Trust hopes that these bursaries will contribute to strengthening the role of the media, make a difference to the life of a family, enhance the voices of our communities, and ultimately drive our shared vision for equality and a better life for all,” said Lorna Daniels from the trust fund.