Joseph Mairs was a 21-year-old trade unionist and a coal miner who died in 1914 after being arrested by government troops during the Occupation of Ladysmith. (Citizen file)

Ladysmith’s annual Mairs memorial honours labour martyr

His grave is inscribed with: “A Martyr to a Noble Cause – The Emancipation of His Fellow Men” and on Sunday, Jan. 19, the life and work of Joseph Mairs will be honoured in Ladysmith.

Mairs was a 21-year-old trade unionist and a coal miner who died in 1914 after being arrested by government troops during the Occupation of Ladysmith. He was among the coal miners fighting for an eight-hour day, health and safety regulations and union recognition.

This will be the 18th annual memorial event.

“We have for all these years honoured his sacrifice by holding a gathering which includes music, food and a speaker,” explained organizer Eden Haythornthwaite. “All this is to examine the history of working people and their endeavours to build a better world. We always aim to inspire all our current efforts to continue with this important work.”

This year the keynote speakers are Dipti Baranwal and Noah Lippe-Klein.

Baranwal is a South Asian immigrant who has spent the last 11 years teaching in Los Angeles.

“Inspired by the historic 2012 Chicago teachers strike, Dipti helped initiate and sustain Students Deserve, a student-teacher-parent organization that is working to end racism, challenge privatization, and shift public consciousness,” said her biography.

Lippe-Klein is also from L.A.

He “has been teaching History at Dorsey High School in Los Angeles for 20 years. He is on the Board of Directors of UTLA, the union that led last year’s 6-day strike,” according to his biography. “He also supports the student movement in LA called Students Deserve, which leads the Making Black Lives Matter in Schools campaign.”

Together, their talk is called “The Historic L.A. Teacher Strike and the Work of Making Black Lives Matter in Schools.”

As in years past, Art Farquharson, Beverley McKeen and Lily Haythornthwaite and their friends will play live music at the event.

The event begins indoors at 1 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church Hall in Ladysmith then moves outside for a walk to the graveyard.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Preliminary inquiry dates set in Duncan court for Coogan murder case

Lawyers for the man accused of killing his brother inside the apartment… Continue reading

One year later: Theo the giant pig settling into Sahtlam sanctuary

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Editorial: Have your say on changes to assisted dying law

In June of 2016 Canadians gained the right to physician assisted death — but there were caveats.

Alzheimer’s Awareness campaign challenges stigma

In January, residents of the Cowichan Valley are invited to take part in Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

VIDEO: Trudeau insists Iran respect families’ wishes when it comes to burials

All 176 people on board the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 were killed

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

B.C. asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ when screening for coronavirus

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Advocates call hospital parking fees a ‘shakedown’ after learning most Island tickets are waived

Victoria General and Royal Jubilee hospitals among the most ticketed on the Island

University of Victoria tells stories of Holocaust survivors with graphic novels

International storytelling initiative launched first meetings this winter

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Most Read