Bob McKeon, a longtime educator and community organizer who also coordinates the archdiocesan Office for Social Justice, has been honoured by the Edmonton and District Council of Churches (EDCC) with the Rev. Marilyn McClung Memorial Award for Ecumenism.

The award was presented at the council’s annual general meeting on June 7 at First Presbyterian Church. The award was created to honour the memory of Rev. Marilyn McClung, a passionate ecumenist who had served as the ecumenical representative for the Anglican Diocese on the EDCC executive.  (Bob is pictured above with EDCC President Rev. Kevin Kraglund, left, and Mr. Ted McClung, right).

Julien Hammond, Ecumenical Officer for the Archdiocese and a past president of the council, introduced his friend and colleague at the event.

“Bob is a social justice animator, educator and community organizer of the highest order,” Julien said. “He holds a PhD in theology from the University of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, and has taught courses in theology and social ethics for many years at Newman Theological College and St. Joseph’s College at the University of Alberta.

“He has been involved for over 35 years in board leadership positions with several community and church organizations in inner city Edmonton addressing issues of poverty, health, hunger, housing, and community and economic development.”

Bob is a past president of the EDCC, and his community service also includes: 

  • Board Chair – Edmonton Social Planning Council (late 1970s)
  • Founding Board Chair – Boyle McCauley Community Health Centre (early 1980s)
  • Founding Board Chair – Edmonton Inner City Housing Society (early-mid 1980s)
  • Board Member and Treasurer - Innroads Housing Cooperative (1985-present)
  • Founding Board President – Edmonton Community Loan Fund (mid-late 1990s)
  • Board President and Fundraising Chair – Central Edmonton Community Land Trust (late 1990s-present)
  • Board Trustee – Edmonton Housing Trust Fund (2006-2008)
  • Board Member – Greater Edmonton Alliance (from 1997 into the 2000s)
  • Founding Committee Member – Edmonton Food Bank
  • Committee Member – McCauley Revitalization Committee
  • Committee Member – Good Friday Outdoor Way of the Cross Committee
  • Board Chair – Inner City Pastoral Ministry
  • Chair – EDCC’s No Room in the Inn Committee (2009-present)
  • Coordinator and Steering Committee Chair – Edmonton Interfaith Housing Initiative (2010-present)

In the year 2000, Bob McKeon received the City of Edmonton's highest honour, a Citation award for community service. In 2013 he was awarded Msgr. Bill Irwin Award of Excellence, given by Catholic Social Services to an individual or organization who has made an exceptional contribution to the well-being of the community.

Bob was instrumental in organizing the Social Justice Commission of the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton, serving as its part-time director from 1977 to 1989, and returning as Coordinator of the Office for Social Justice in 2009. He plans to retire at the end of June.

Congratulations, Bob! And thank you for all you have done and continue to do to make this world a better place.