Pocock, Nancy, 1910-1998

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Pocock, Nancy, 1910-1998

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24 October 1910 - 1998


Nancy Pocock was born in Chicago on 24 October 1910 as Anne Dorothy Meek. She was raised in both Illinois and Pennsylvania but by the age of ten has settled with her family in Toronto where she lived until her death in 1998.

After graduating from Central Technical School she entered "The Grange" or the Ontario College of Art to pursue a career in design and jewellery making.
In 1930, she studied design and bench work in Paris, and upon returning to Toronto opened a studio on Gerrard Street which she shared with potter and friend Nunzio D'Angelo. Pocock was one of the founding directors of the Metal Arts Guild of Ontario and the only one to be described as a "silversmith" in its letters patent. Her work was included as part of the craft component for the Canadian Pavilion in the Universal and International Exhibition in Brussels in 1958. Pocock later moved her studio to Yorkville where she worked with her husband Jack (John) Pocock until 1970. They married on 5 March 1942.

Being of different religious backgrounds led the Pococks to search for a common religion to fulfil their needs. Nancy and Jack found spiritual fulfilment in the Canadian Society of Friends (the Quakers). Nancy Pocock joined the Peace Movement after Jack returned wounded from the Second World War in 1944. Pocock worked with Jack in planning the Grindstone Island programmes, a series of seminars devoted to tackling the problems of war through peaceful means. She was also a founding member of the Voice of Women and Project Ploughshares and was involved with the Canadian Peace Research Institute, the Canadian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and a variety of Quaker peace projects including the Canadian Friends Service Committee. She was also a Quaker representative to the Inter-Church Committee on Refugees (ICCR) and Co-ordinator of Toronto Refugee Affairs Council.

Pocock committed much of her time to working with refugees during the Vietnam War by helping American draft dodgers and deserters as well as Vietnamese refugees find homes in Canada. She visited Vietnam four times, the first time during the war as a member of a Quaker committee sending aid to Vietnam.

After the death of her husband in 1975, her work with refugees intensified and she expanded her scope of interest to include refugees from Latin and Central America. She received the Pearson Medal for her efforts and accomplishments in 1987, and numerous honourary doctorates over the years.


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