Anti-racism and housing campaigner;
Born: April 8, 1957; Died: September 4, 2013 .
Janice Fawkes, who has died aged 56, was a former bar manager who inadvertently became a passionate humanitarian.
Having left school with no qualifications, she spent much of her early working days at an East Kilbride pub. But some years later her decision go to college and broaden her horizons was the catalyst that would transform her life and those of countless others in a way she could never possibly have envisaged.
Initially, when she looked for work after training in secretarial studies, it was securing office employment that was important, not necessarily the particular role or organisation. However, that quickly changed when she accepted a post with the Scottish Asian Action Committee. From being simply a job, it became an all-consuming passion as she discovered a desire to fight injustice, racism and discrimination - on many fronts.
She went on to establish numerous women's and young people's groups, make significant contributions to cultural initiatives, including the Glasgow Mela, and to help found The Scottish Anti-Racist Movement and Positive Action in Housing, all achieved quietly and without seeking the limelight.
Born in Hamilton, the eldest of five children, she was raised in East Kilbride where she attended Duncanrig Secondary and East Kilbride High Schools. After leaving education in her mid-teens she had a number of jobs before working as bar manager at the town's Yeoman pub where she met her future husband Jim.
Then at the age of 24 she decided to study, going to Langside and Bell Colleges where she gained her secretarial qualifications before more or less falling into the campaigning sector through the post with the Scottish Asian Action Committee (SAAC). She spent two spells with the organisation, spanning the best part of a decade, her desire to help fuelled by the difficulties she witnessed black and minority ethnic communities facing as they fought inequality, poverty and social deprivation.
Described as a listening ear for many within the Asian communities, she was an ardent campaigner against institutional racism and a woman who also abhorred any form of discrimination, be it disability, religious, racial or sexual.
She took up the cause on behalf of many clients on a range of social issues. She won case after case, saw tough battles through to the bitter end and challenged directors of housing and education to change their practices.
She was involved in Scottish Women's Aid and was a founding member of Positive Action in Housing, a refugee and migrant homelessness charity, and Access Apna Ghar, the first specialist housing provision for ethnic minorities in Scotland, which was in itself a struggle to achieve.
Instinctively a people person, she was bubbly, effervescent and courageous. As one of those behind the setting up of the Scottish Anti-Racist Movement, she shrugged off fascist and racist threats with her unique dry humour.
Robina Qureshi, director of Positive Action in Housing, describes her as the backbone of support for many within the black , and later within women's organisations, and believes The Glasgow Mela, Mel Milaap Centre and the St Andrew's Day anti-racism rallies and marches would not exist in their present form were it not for Mrs Fawkes.
"She will be remembered as one of life's true humanitarians," she said. "She showed compassion and kindness.
"Positive Action in Housing wouldn't be this strident campaigning, casework organisation were it not for Janice Fawkes. She showed us it was important to take up cases one by one, and learn through those cases how the system or policies were unjust, in order to change them. She didn't talk up grand causes, she cared and showed it always in a practical, human way.
"Janice had time for people, she had a warm heart, she gave good to the world, she will be remembered by so many countless people she helped, and she did it without a song and dance. There are few like her.
"She still cared in a world that grew tired of caring. She did it all quietly, and she hurt for other people, which is what drove her humanitarian work."
Mrs Fawkes, who lived in Kelvindale, latterly gave a considerable amount of her time to the Glasgow West Credit Union as well as volunteering at Hyndland Parish Church where she was baptised two years ago.
Outside her humanitarian work, when time allowed, she was an avid reader and loved travelling with her husband, particularly to Portpatrick and Paris. Pre-deceased by two of her siblings, Jean, who was killed in a fairground accident and David, who died after a fall, she is survived by her husband Jim, her sister Fiona, brother Lachlan and wider family.
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