New Chair of Healing Through Remembering

6 December 2023

At the AGM held on Wednesday 6th December 2023 in University of Ulster, Dawn Purvis stepped down as Chair of the organisation and Brian Lambkin was elected as the new Chair.

In paying tribute to Dawn, he thanked her for her twelve years of service as Chair, and praised her skilful guidance through some difficult times as legacy issues stalled, requiring us, like other organisations working in this area, to downsize. He said that ‘I know we are all very glad that Dawn is staying on the Board to be part of the ongoing work’.

Brian said that he felt honoured to become the new Chair. Referring to the toxic environment created by the passing of the recent Legacy and Reconciliation Act, he noted the additional challenge and drew attention to the relevance of the experience that HTR has accumulated over the last twenty-five years, under the dedicated leadership of our Director, Cate Turner. ‘The challenges of “dealing with the past” show little sign of diminishing’, he said, ‘and in responding to them HTR still has much to contribute to work that will surely need to continue with the next generation’.

Brian Lambkin has been a member of the HTR Board since 2011. Previously, he was Director of the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies at the Ulster-American Folk, Omagh (1998–2018), and Principal of Lagan College, Belfast (1993–97).  He is the author of Calming Conflict: Northern Ireland, Metaphor, and Migration (2019; 2023), which advocates a ‘CALM’ networking project of Colleges, Archives, Libraries, and Museums for ‘dealing with the past’.