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Volume 12 Week 5

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

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Tim Tierney



 

 

 

   

 

(Posted 5:30 a.m., April 25)
Blackburn Hamlet family receives Ontario Victim Services Award

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

(Left to right) Shola, Moji, Abiola anf Bashir Agoro received the Ontario Victim Services Award of Distinction on Tuesday during a ceremony at Queen's Park. Photo supplied


The family of a 19-year-old young man who was stabbed to death while trying to break up a fight in June 2002, was honoured during a ceremony at Queen's Park on Tuesday for tuning their personal tragedy into a triumph of the human spirit.

Bashir and Abiola Agoro received the Ontario Victims Service Award of Distinction, along with their two daughters Moji and Shola during a ceremony attended by seven other recipients and presided over by Ontario Attorney General John Gerretson.

Dapo was an 19-year-old, Grade 12 student at Lester B. Pearson High School when he was stabbed to death while trying to break up a fight at a downtown dance club. Rather than allow the devastating event to destroy their lives, the Agoro family decided to honour his memory through the creation of the Dapo Agoro Foundation for Peace.

Launched in 2005, the Foundation seeks to promote non-violent conflict resolution through a variety of initiatives including the Dapo Peace Award which is presented annually to a graduating student at both Lester B. Pearson High School and Gloucester High School who best exemplifies the traits personified by Dapo while he was alive.

2012 will mark the 10th anniversary of Dapo's death and the Agoro family is more determined than ever to convince governments at every level to take knife violence more seriously, especially among youth.

"The criminal justice system treats crimes committed with knives differently. There's one set of laws for crimes committed with a firearm and another set of laws for crimes committed with a knife. Invariably crimes committed with a knife are treated more leniently," said Shola Agoro. "We feel that any crime committed with a lethal weapon, whether it's a gun or a knife, should be treated the same."

The Agoro family also believes a campaign should be launched to make young people aware of the potential perils that come with owning and carrying a knife.

"There is no question that a knife culture exists among today's youth. We need to send a message to kids at a young age that carrying a knife is not cool and that it can change their lives in the blink of eye," said Moji Agoro.

The Agoro family plans to meet with elected officials at all levels to deliver their message to strengthen the current laws and develop a public awareness campaign.

Ottawa-Orléans MPP Phil McNeely was honoured to be present at the ceremony and later recognized the Agoro family in the provincial legislature.

"The Agoros are truly a remarkable family whose faith in God and each other helped them deal with their son's untimely death. Through the ongoing develop.m.ent of the Dapo Agoro Foundation for Peace, they hope to create a lasting legacy that will impact the lives of hundreds of young people by showing them alternatives in non-violent conflict resolution.

"I know the entire community of Ottawa-Orléans would join me in congratulating them for receiving the Ontario Victim Services Award of Distinction."

(Left to right) Shola, Moji, Abiola anf Bashir Agoro received the Ontario Victim Services Award of Distinction on Tuesday during a ceremony at Queen's Park attended by Ottawa-Orléans MPP Phil McNeely (far left) and Ontario Attorney General John Gerretson (far right). Photo supplied

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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