-Canadian Friends of Burma (CFOB), January 24, 2012
It is with sadness that we would like to inform our friends, supporters and colleagues that a veteran Burma supporter and human rights advocate Brian John passed away yesterday morning.
Dr. Brian John, Professor Emeritus of English at McMaster University, has been A.I Burma coordinator since 1986 and devoted his full-time to human rights work on Burma since retirement from his full-time teaching work in 2001. He tirelessly highlighted the appalling situations of political prisoners in Burma and campaigned for their release.
He was an active participant of the 'Burma Working Group' in Ottawa and regularly attended a number of Burma events across Canada.
Canadian Friends of Burma wishes to extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife Margaret and the remaining family members.
-Canadian Friends of Burma
P.S Please see a message from the Amnesty International Canada below.
It is with sadness that I must inform you of the death this morning of AI Canada Myanmar Coordinator, Brian John.
Brian will be dearly, dearly missed by many people in or associated with Amnesty—in Canada, Ireland, the UK, in Myanmar and throughout Asia and in many other places around the world. Like his wife Margaret, he was an amazingly dedicated, hardworking and gifted human rights worker, a tower of strength in all kinds of ways, a participant in and leader of our work in Southeast Asia for many years before becoming our country expert on Myanmar. And throughout all of this, he was of course the lifelong and beloved partner of one of this organization’s greatest human rights activists.
All in all, he has given so much to Amnesty that we cannot help but be much less without him, even though thankfully Amnesty has the great fortune to draw continually so many wonderful people into the organization.
It was Brian's wish that there be no funeral. Something will appear in newspapers in which friends will be invited to make donations to Amnesty in his name.
When Brian was diagnosed with terminal cancer last fall, he was not expected to live very long, but no one anticipated that the remainder of his life would be so short.
Not long after Brian received the news of his illness, he in turn received a note from a prisoner on death row who sent his best wishes to Brian for his recovery. Brian’s response was he had no problems by comparison.
What can one say, except that, for so many of us, it been has an immense privilege to have know Brian, to have worked with him, to have enjoyed his company and shared his efforts to improve the lives of people.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Refugee, Migrants and Country Campaigner
1992 Yonge Street, 3rd Floor
Toronto, Ontario M4S 1Z7
Tel: 416-363-9933 x326