It is with the heaviest of hearts that we inform our members, advisors, and supporters that our dear friend Jim Nugent passed away around midnight on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. Jim was diagnosed with lung cancer in its advanced stages. Our deepest condolences and love for Christine Nugent, his lifelong partner, his sons, and the rest of the Nugent family.
His life is remembered and celebrated by his family, friends, and comrades as a revolutionary who literally embodied the values of emancipation and liberation. Throughout his life, he was a tireless activist supporting working-class struggles everywhere – from union organization and advocating for injured workers, to fighting for and organizing against global injustices. In everything Jim did, he dedicated himself to fighting the oppressions faced by workers everywhere. In his words, “an injustice against one is an injustice against all!”
It was this dedication that made him a strong advocate of working-class immigrants living in the East-Danforth neighborhoods of Toronto. He understood the injustices and indignities that troubled our community members. He was also deeply committed to supporting community-led efforts to defend the rights of vulnerable community members.
Jim became involved in the efforts to support marginalized immigrants living in our community through SAWRO. During his time with us, Jim served as a volunteer and Secretary/Treasurer. In his role, he was a steadfast mentor who truly believed in the leadership and potential of immigrant women to solve our community’s problems. He constantly supported the organization to gain knowledge, capacities, and resources to lead the community forward.
We fondly remember Jim’s role in the organization’s daily activities. In addition to his role as the Secretary/Treasurer, Jim provided support in various capacities for our service activities, public education, mobilization campaigns, and social and cultural events. For many of our community members, he was a reliable and supportive individual who touched many lives as a friend and a teacher. Jim took every chance he could to connect with community members, learn about them, and impart any information to help people better their lives.
Despite the grim realities and challenges we faced on a daily basis, he celebrated the milestones of members. “Look at how far you’ve come along!” His words of endearment were invigorating for women and girls taking small steps to overcome the profound social isolation and economic marginalization they experienced after coming to Canada.
It saddens us to lose a dear friend. Without a doubt, Jim was a great ally for our community in our fight for the right to a decent life in Canada. Over the last years, he supported our community’s immigrant women to amass the strength to be outspoken advocates in the collective interest of our community and of the working class at large.
As we remember and celebrate Jim’s life, we remember his dedication to fight for the rights of vulnerable workers – to fight for the rights of all. We want to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation for his contribution to the organization and mentorship of community women leaders and youth activists.
Although this is a tragic loss, we will strive to continue his legacy to celebrate his life. His wisdom and guidance over the past 16 years will continue to fuel community-based organizing in many communities like ours.
Forever in our memories, Jim Nugent!
South Asian Women’s Rights Organization (SAWRO)