Freethinker editor to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award

Freethinker editor to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award February 25, 2017

THE board of G W Foote and Company, publishers of the Freethinker, are delighted to learn that Barry Duke, above, who has edited the Freethinker for 20 years, is to receive a Lifetime’s Achievement Award from the National Secular Society as part of this year’s Secularist of the Year celebrations in March.
Announcing the award, NSS President Terry Sanderson said:

The National Secular Society is to award a Lifetime Achievement honour to Barry Duke, editor of two online atheist/humanist magazines – the Freethinker and The Pink Humanist – as part of this year’s Secularist of the Year celebrations on March 18, 2017.
I am very pleased that the NSS is honouring Barry in this way.
He has been a consistent voice for many years in the fight for justice and secular humanist principles. From resisting apartheid in his native South Africa to fighting for gay rights in Britain and Spain. Barry, who celebrated his 70th birthday in February, has always provided a strong rationalist voice.
We are glad that Barry is able to join us in London and look forward to being able to recognise his many and varied contributions to the cause of secularism, humanism and his spirited opposition to religious intolerance and irrationality.

The event will also include the presentation of the £5,000 Irwin Prize for Secularist of the Year, the shortlist for which is:
Professor Ted Cantle for his advocacy of integrated education and social cohesion.
Asma Jahangir (former UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion) for her principled advocacy of universal human rights and commitment to secular justice.
Prof Steve Kettell for co-ordinating the secular response to the Commission on Religion and Belief.
Houzan Mahmoud/Kurdish Culture Project for their initiative in providing a platform for Kurdish writers, feminists, artists and activists to advance gender equality, freedom and universal rights;
Scott Moore/Let Pupils Choose – a Northern Ireland humanist campaign for challenging compulsory worship and religious privilege in Northern Ireland’s schools;
• Yasmin Rehman – for her advocacy of a secularist approach to tackling hate crime and promoting the human rights of women.
The prizes will be presented by writer and commentator Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.
The Secularist of the Year lunch and awards will be held in central London on Saturday 18 March from 12 noon to 4pm. Tickets include a three course meal and welcome drink. Tickets are available here:

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  • barriejohn

    Congratulations, and well earned. No more to be said, really, and I have successfully resisted the urge to link to Cliff Richard’s rendition of that number!

  • AgentCormac

    Fantastic news! Well done, Barry – you really deserve this. Keep up the great work,sir.

  • David Anderson


  • 1859

    Well done Barry – I’ve always been heartened by your fair and open-minded approach to comments posted on the site. This and your sense of fun has made the Freethinker site a very important part of my daily routine. High five and….nice doggy, what’s his name?

  • Angela_K

    Well done Barry. Newcomers here may not remember the hard work you did producing the print version of The Freethinker; I miss the print version as it was useful to leave back copies in the Doctor’s and Dentist’s waiting rooms.

  • Congratulations and best to Barry Duke.

  • Broga

    Congratulations Barry. It made my day to see that you had been honoured like this. You keep up such a terrific output of such quality and consistency that it would be easy to take it for granted. This award is a richly merited acknowledgement of your work.
    PS: I see the dog is refusing to get excited. It is sleeping.

  • Paul

    Barry this is well deserved and well done.
    Thank you for the tireless work you put in, it’s amount and breadth is astonishing and that it makes us happy, angry, laugh, cry, furious, curious, grateful – but most of all – free.

  • Alan

    Congratulations and well done Barry.

  • Brummie

    Congratulations Barry.

  • Rob Andrews

    Awesome Barry!
    You stand in the company of people like Mark Twain and George Bernard Shaw. All you did was hold up a mirror to religious belief–they did the rest.
    “No body ever believes their holy book means what it says, he’s always convinced that it says what he means.”
    –George Bernard Shaw.

  • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews

    Congratulations. Well deserved recognition for your hard work.

  • StephenJP

    Bravissimo. And also, hopefully, a boost for The Freethinker, and all your efforts over the years, to an even wider audience.

  • Barry Duke

    Thank you all for your positive comments, and for the avalanche of congratulatory e-mails I have received.
    The pooch, by the way, belongs to a Dutch friend of mine and we were soaking up some winter sunshine on his patio when it was taken a while back.
    Strange, but virtually every picture I have that doesn’t show me scowling has a dog in it.

  • And just where is the additional, long overdue message of ‘congratulations’ for that excellent cartoonist who enlivens everything in the publication?

  • barriejohn

    Barry – the lover of Dog!

  • Vanity Unfair

    So, what next?
    How about Barry being nominated as guest editor of BBC R4’s Today programme for next Christmas?
    Today Programme, W1 NBH 03C, BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA
    It is also on Facebook and Twitter; whatever they are.

  • barriejohn

    Vanity Unfair: Great idea, but what about Barry for Thought for the Day? Hahahahaha!!!!!
    (I was going to say Desert Island Discs, but we don’t want to lose him!)

  • Bubblecar

    Congrats Barry, well earned and I hope you plan to edit the Freethinker for a good while yet.

  • remigius

    Thoroughly well deserved, Barry. I know how it feels to finally get the recognition one has earned. But don’t let it go to your head though – when I won the Freethinker caption competition back in 2009 I was unbearable for weeks.

  • Newspaniard

    Congratulations, Barry. Thank you for not barring this right wing sinner.

  • tonye

    Congratulations Barry, it’s good to see you getting the recognition you deserve for your years of commitment to atheism/sanity.

  • Laura Roberts

    Excellent news! Congratulations, Barry, well deserved.

  • Brian Jordan

    Congratulations Barry! I doubt we can get Barry onto the Beeb, but we could all recognise his achievement by popping over to the donations page straight away. I’ve started the ball rolling…

  • Peter Sykes

    I’am late to this party but Congratulations Barry!
    I know the feeling, I still leave Republic leaflets about the place, doubt it has any impact…

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    Well done you 🙂

  • barriejohn

    Angela_K: I did the same, especially as our ghastly parish magazine is always in full view in the doctor’s surgery, much to my annoyance. Perhaps we should start up our own line of atheist tracts; not Chick tracts, but Check (religion) tracts, or even Chuck (religion) tracts!

  • High five, Barry!

  • larfin

    Congratulations to the old geezer from some other old geezer oh wait where did I put my glasses…
    ..and he is an inspiration to us all when we manage to get up to that sort of thing.
    Well done, sir, and may I say that picture does not do you justice or is that a dog sitting on someone’s lap oh my god that’s not

  • Paul

    I wanted to ask if Bob or Seff
    Or the islamist troll sent congrats ?

  • tom80

    I Don’t agree with your point of view but congratulations for expressing it so well

  • gedediah

    Congratulations Barry. Well deserved!

  • Stephen Mynett

    A bit late from me as have been away but congratulations Barry, a well deserved award.

  • Cali Ron

    Congratulations. I was quite pleased to read about your Lifetime Achievement award from the National Secularists Society. Or as we say in Cali: “Shout out to my bruh Barry. I was hella stoked to hear the NSS was dishing sweet props for you rockin’ the Freethinker. BOOM!”
    Well deserved!