Monday, October 31, 2022

Joy Thorkelson interview for BC Labour Heritage Centre one of a number of features on Prince Rupert labour history now available for viewing

Former UFAWU President and Prince Rupert City Councillor
Joy Thorkelson is featured in two video presentations by
the BC Labour Heritage Centre

A short note on the UFAWU-Unifor Social media feed last week, offers up a lead for those with an interest in local history to pair of rather extensive interviews with Joy Thorkelson, the long serving union rep and former president of the union, as well as a former city councillor in Prince Rupert.

There are two,  hour long plus interviews  that make for the history trip into the city's past, you can review them from this link to the BC Labour Heritage Centre

The interviews for the project date back to 2019, and were conducted by Rod Mickleburgh and Donna Sacuta and they recount some pivotal moments in Prince Rupert labour history, along with some of the key moments from Ms. Thorkelson's time as City Councillor.

The first of the hours explores her arrival in Prince Rupert and some of the key moments on the waterfront in the early 70's through the 90's with the focus then shifting to what propelled her to City Council.

That portion of the interview takes us the the days of the Port Expansion and how Thorkelson felt that Council needed some representation from someone from the fishing sector to keep the discussion on the struggles there.

As that part of the first of the two sessions, Ms. Thorkelson observes how her focus while on council was to be the one who spoke for the working class and those at the lower end of the social spectrum who were being ignored and marginalized.

She also speaks of her advocacy in 2005 as housing was beginning to become a key issue for the community; with the costs increasing and stock declining. 

Some foreshadowing then, towards housing concerns that still resonate to this day.

The second hour returns to the state of the Fishery and some of the changes of corporate agendas and government oversight of the fishery of the past that led to where the industry is at today.

The interview with Joy Thorkelson is just one of a number of presentations to review as part of an evolving library of Prince Rupert  labour related video presentations to be added to their work in recent months.

Included in the listings, the. 1919 Prince Rupert General Strike, the organization work of Mary LaPlante and the reminiscences of the fishing industry by Arnie Nagy.

More notes on items of interest on the labour scene in Prince Rupert can be explored through our archive page.

1 comment:

  1. "Well, I think the whole labour movement hurts for the lack of an active Communist Party. I do believe so." Joy Thorkelson
    Transcript page 8