The Cowichan Lake Community Forest Co-op presented a $2,000 cheque to the Kaatza Station Museum on Monday, July 6 during a groundbreaking ceremony held at the museum to celebrate the commencement of building an addition there late in the fall of 2015.
This addition will house the 250 boxes of the International Woodworkers of America’s (IWA) provincial and national collection. This includes documents, maps, banners, films and other artifacts that need to be preserved.
Cowichan Valley MLA Bill Routley spoke about the importance of having this collection in a safe accessible place so it is available for the public and researchers.
The Cowichan Lake area played a lead role in the formation of the IWA and many of the leaders in the union movement have come from this area.
At the celebration, John Mountain, job evaluator with the United Steelworkers’ District 3, spoke on behalf of the district’s director, Stephen Hunt, who supports the collection being in the care of the Kaatza Station Museum.
Lorne Scheffer, chair of the Cowichan Lake Community Forest Co-operative added that the co-op is very proud that the collection is going to be in Lake Cowichan.
He also emphasized how important the union has been to the safety and wellbeing of workers in the industry.
Bruce Ingram, finance chair of the Forest Co-op presented a cheque in the amount of $2,000 to Pat Foster, President of the Kaatza Historical Society. This cheque will assist the fundraising committee in their efforts to raise funds for the addition.