Cowichan labour boss dead at 67

Veteran woodworker, union boss, forestry politician, negotiator and family man Roger Stanyer lost his battle with cancer Dec. 29.

Roger Stanyer (second from left) is flanked by Bill Routley

Roger Stanyer (second from left) is flanked by Bill Routley

Veteran woodworker, union boss, forestry politician, negotiator and family man Roger Stanyer lost his battle with cancer Dec. 29.

He was 67.

IWA leaders remembered Stanyer as the workers’ friend, and a tactician with timber-firm brass.

Son Ryan, described him as a gentle role model.

“My dad was my hero. He’s the reason I went into the forest industry and followed in his footsteps,” the log broker said.

“He was a man of few words who could be gruff, but he was a big softie with the biggest heart in the world.”

That virtue helped at contract talks.

“Dad always bargained on behalf of the workingman, but he had friends on both sides.”

Legendary IWA boss, Jack Munro, agreed.

“Roger was a remarkable person,” he said of golfer and cowboy-music fan Stanyer, who headed Cowichan’s IWA Local 1-80 from 1976 to 1990.

“First and foremost, Roger was a logger who understood how complicated (the industry) can be.

“Roger was really connected to the workers, and was a great spokesman.

“Later, I appointed him vice-president of IWA Canada, and he excelled at it during a tough 1986 strike that ran for 107 days across B.C.”

Cowichan MLA, and former 1-80 boss, Bill Routley remembered Stanyer’s patience that earned Duncan timber-baron Herb Doman’s support in ‘86.

“Roger was the voice of reason at the table.

‘Things got quite interesting but he stood his ground. When in doubt, Roger always said, ‘Put it to a (member) ballot.’”

Stanyer was raised in Caycuse’s Camp Six, served as IWA’s national president, B.C.’s assistant-deputy minister of forests, deputy-minister of labour, and CEO of Forest Renewal B.C.

Stanyer always maintained an innate sense of forestry issues among workers and employers, Munro noted.

Routley concurred with Munro

“He said,’We have only one thing to offer our membership: integrity.’”

Stanyer’s celebration of life was Jan. 7, 1 p.m. at Duncan’s Travelodge Silver Bridge Inn.