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

Climbers compete for Choc and Chalk

Annual competition attracts more than 100

T.W. Paterson column: Hudson Bay Co.’s Dr. Benson marched to a different drummer

Chief Factor James Douglas soon banished him to the Columbia River

Cowichan resident with dementia breaks silence on stigma in Alzheimer Society campaign

“I don’t think I’ve encountered stigma as much as I’ve encountered a lack of understanding”

Cowichan’s Achurch named all-star MVP

LMG goalie and teammate Scott help VISL beat FVSL

Indian Day School survivors can now submit claims for $10K-$200K in compensation

Anyone who is part of the class action is being encouraged to start the process now

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

BC Ferries hybrid ships arrive in Victoria on Saturday

The battery-operated vessels will take over smaller routes

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

Most Read