PEI

Professor and human rights advocate David Morrison dies in Halifax

David Morrison, founding member of the UPEI religious studies department, clinical psychologist, and co-author of the UN Convention Against Torture, died Monday in Halifax.

'It's all about trying to become better or healthier in our own lives'

Through all his international work, Morrison remained grounded in P.E.I., working with the local prostate cancer support group, and counselling at the P.E.I. Cancer Treatment. (Matt Rainnie/CBC)

David Morrison, founding member of the UPEI religious studies department, clinical psychologist, and co-author of the UN Convention Against Torture, died Monday in Halifax.

Morrison grew up in Halifax and came to UPEI in 1969, where he taught for almost 30 years. Most recently he was priest in charge at Cherry Valley Anglican Church in rural P.E.I. He retired from that post in 2014.

It's all about trying to become better or healthier in our own lives, whatever we're doing.- David Morrison

Along the way, Morrison also served with Rotary International, the YMCA, World University Service of Canada, Canadian Human Rights Foundation and as national director of Amnesty International.

As part of his work with Amnesty International, in the 1970s, Morrison co-authored the United Nations Convention Against Torture and the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

More recently, he was involved in UN initiatives on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases such as cancer and diabetes, which led to a declaration by the general assembly in 2012.

Striving to be better

Through all his international work, Morrison remained grounded in P.E.I., working with the local prostate cancer support group, and counselling at the P.E.I. Cancer Treatment.

In an interview with CBC's Island Morning, Morrison drew little distinction between his international and local work.

"It's as important when I go into one of the coffee shops downtown to chat with a couple of people [and] you can see on their face maybe they need a little [something]. That's just as important as getting on a plane and flying into a world capital. It really is. It's all about trying to become better or healthier in our own lives, whatever we're doing," said Morrison.

"Our young people, what are they striving for? They're striving to be better people, to have more meaning in their lives. Those are the questions, I think, that at the end of the day are really, really important."

With files from Island Morning