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Commemorative windows honour Wirral human rights campaigner
A MEMORIAL to a world famous human rights campaigner who lived in West Kirby has been unveiled in the town’s library.
Two specially-designed windows commemorate Edmund Morel, who campaigned in the early 20th Century to release the true story about the atrocities being committed by agents of the Belgian king Leopold II in the Belgian Congo.
Morel lived in West Kirby at the same time as he began campaigning.
The windows were created through partnership work between Liverpool University’s Duncan Society, the Worker’s Educational Association (WEA), visitors from the Ark centre in Birkenhead and West Kirby glass artist Robbie Macoy.
Tina Read was WEA tutor behind the whole project. She told the Globe: "I was surprised to discover that someone so deserving of a memorial had been largely forgotten.
"I thought being as a Workers’ Educational Association tutor was an opportunity to develop a community project which would lead to opportunity to make a memorial for him."
Cllr Chris Meaden, cabinet member for culture, tourism and leisure said: "It is a little-known fact that Edmund Morel lived in West Kirby during one of the most important periods of his life, in which he traveled to the Belgian Congo for the first time and denounced the horrific system of slave labour that was being enforced there.
"We believe this memorial is the only one in existence dedicated to Morel, which remembers a tireless campaigner for peace and the right to basic human rights for all."
The designs for the windows were created by residents of the Ark centre, with the aid of Robbie Macoy. The Congo Children’s Trust collected charitable donations for the memorials.
The campaign to remove the Congo Free State from Leopold’s control eventually led to Belgium taking direct control of it in 1908.
It has been estimated that 10 million people may have died as a direct result of the rubber and ivory trade in Congo from 1885 to 1908.