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Nelson Mandela service organised by Union United Church

Mandela Union United.JPGTo commemorate the life of Nelson Mandela, a church in Montreal is honouring the former South African president as well as his connection and appreciation of Montreal.

Four months after Nelson Mandela was released from the South African prison that held him for 27 years, he wasn't supposed to stop in Montreal on visit to Canada. Montreal had been a staunch supporter of a boycott organized by the  African National Congress, which asked municipal and provincial governments to turn their backs on companies with South African interests.

Mandela agreed to extend his visit to include Montreal, and on June 19, 1990, organizers scrambled to put together the logistics of the event.  Mandela also visited the Union United Church, which had a committee dedicated to the fight against the apartheid regime in South Africa. 
The downtown church was packed.  In the congregation that day were Marcus Durant and Gloria Simmons.

(Photo credit: Marcus Durrant)

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