Annual Newsletter
CERLAC Newsletters

Summer 1999, Issue 26
Editors: Alejandra Galvez, Andrew MacDonald, Masani Montague and Laura Norris.

Main Sections:

Dan Benedict Receives Order of Canada 

CERLAC is very proud to announce that Dr. Daniel Benedict has recently received the Order of Canada.  Since CERLAC’s foundation in 1978, Dan has collaborated extensively with the Centre as a consultant, advisor, and a friend.  Dan’s inspirational efforts in organized labour and social justice movements both within Canada and abroad make him a worthy recipient of this prestigious honour. 
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Liddy Gomes Named Honorary Fellow 

Liddy Gomes retired from York University on May 1, 1999.  Directors of CERLAC come and go but Liddy
represents the thread that has provided continuity, stability and a sense of place for CERLAC Fellows, Associates and students throughout the years.  She has been the source of institutional memory to which they could turn for help and information. 
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Louis Lefeber in Profile

When Professor Louis Lefeber is credited as the founding director of CERLAC, he points out that the primary credit belongs to a group of committed, but at that time young, scholars. They had a leading role in obtaining the support of the York University administration for the formation of a centre for Latin American and Caribbean studies. When CERLAC was officially established in 1978, Louis was appointed director as a senior faculty member with Latin American experience. 

Louis remained in that post until 1985. Sharing the work with him as Deputy Director was Liisa North, followed by Peter Landstreet. Louis also recalls the devoted help of Liddy Gomes, whom riginally he appointed as secretary, but who rapidly advanced to become CERLAC’s office administrator. 

Major research projects were started and strong linkages were developed with FLACSO, Quito, and various other Latin American and Caribbean institutes and academic organizations. The Graduate Diploma Programme in Latin American and Caribbean studies was also created at that time. But Louis is particularly pleased that it was during his tenure as director that the Centre’s academic independence and disinterested scholarly orientation were solidly established, in spite of various—and occasionally heavy—institutional pressures. 

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