Doug Kelly has worked a variety of jobs with the City of New Westminster, from a labourer, to a clerk, to a meter reader, and even the manager of the City Market. He describes the Market in detail, and also lists various businesses that used to occupy Columbia Street. Doug feels that the changes to the New Westminster waterfront are bringing new life to the area.
This interview was conducted in conjunction with Hist451: Oral History Practicum taught at Simon Fraser University during Spring 2014.
This interview is with Bobby Labinsky. Bobby Labinsky [deceased] was a retired longshoreman who first started working in 1954, and became a member in 1958. His father was Leo Labinsky, who helped establish ILWU in New Westminster and area. Bobby wanted to make money, and would work extra jobs on the side. In this interview, he talks about his family life, other workers, types of jobs he did, and his decision to go work at the Westshore terminals.
McDonald and Langstroth were the daughters of a New Westminster longshoreman, and have lived in the city their entire lives. Their father became a longshoreman during the Second World War, and was president of the longshore pensioners association union. The women are current teachers in Delta and Coquitlam, but will be retiring soon. In the interview they describe vivid memories from their childhoods in New Westminster including dressing up to visit Woodward’s Department Store, visiting the weekly farmers market with their mother, and listening to CKNW radio for the announcement of the May Day Queen. The interviewees provide detailed descriptions of stores along Columbia St. and observations on how the “feel” of the city changed with recent residential redevelopment.The interview was conducted as part of History 461 – Oral History Practicum at Simon Fraser University.
Alice LaRose was a part of a FrancoCanadian family of eight who migrated from Alberta to British Columbia in the late 1930s. Her father was a carpenter, and she reports that they put their children to work early. Both Alice and an older sister worked at Fraser Mills during summer holidays, and Alice later worked at Pacific Veneer and Edmonds & Walker. She describes the life of a working girl at the mills and the daily life of living in Queensborough and working in New Westminster. Two of her brothers worked as longshoremen in New Westminster. Alice married in the 1940s and moved to Quesnel.
This recording is an interview with New Westminster residents Doug and Helga Leaney, owners of the Paddlewheeler Tours. Doug captains the MV Native, while Helga runs catering downstairs. Initial interviews with both Doug and Helga were conducted on the MV Native on September 21, 2013; with a follow-up a week later. The major themes discussed are development, marketing, and support for tourism in the city of New Westminster, and the waterfront.
Tom Mark was born in 1923. In 1941 he joined the Air Force and spent most of the Second World War in Yorkshire, England. He married an English woman, who he met at the local dance, and together they moved back to Canada at the end of the war. By 1948 he got his first job as an attendant at a diesel service station on the New Westminster waterfront, and around 1956 he was the sole operator of the Shell service station beneath the Pattullo Bridge on the New Westminster waterfront, which serviced ships and boats.
The interview was conducted as part of Hist 451: Oral History Practicum offered at Simon Fraser University during Spring 2014
This interview with Bill McDermid, Senior Project Manager for Fraser River Pile and Dredge (FRPD) which is located in New Westminster. He saw a FRPD job posting at British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) for a construction management position, which was the closest position that he was looking for when he went to school. He said that marine construction was appealing to him because it is unique from general construction. Marine construction also offers more opportunity for travel up and down the coast of British Columbia, and working in places more interesting than concrete towers or residential building. The interview is largely about FRPD’s operations.
Don McIntosh is a member of a multi-generation longshore family; he father was a longshoreman and later first aid specialist, and Don’s son is now a member of the union. Don was attracted to the longshoring occupation after having worked a summer at Bjornson Construction and saw how much money he could make as a longshoreman. He worked out of the union hall in New Westminster for many years before he became a foreman at Westshore Terminals. In his time, he has handled everything from the flour ships to India, to lumber from Fraser Mills, to boxes with 400 pound of frozen fish. Companies mentioned that he has worked for are Pacific Coast Terminals, Fraser Surrey Docks, Fraser Mill as well as Westshore Terminals.
Archie Miller was born in 1946 and is a New Westminster native. His family were commercial fishers, and Miller reports that would have ended up in the fishing industry if he had not, serendipitiously, applied for the curator job in New Westminster after graduating from Simon Fraser University. Since retiring from the museum in 1999, he and his wife, Dale, operate a small business conducting local historical research. Throughout his working life, he has been involved with numerous waterfront and community events, and continues to support the display of and education about the city’s working history.
The interview was conducted as part of History 461 – Oral History Practicum at Simon Fraser University
Cindy Miller started working as a longshoreman in 2003 at the age of 40, at the urging of her father-in-law. Her husband also starting working longshore around the same time, but was more reluctant. Since then, her son and daughter have also become longshoreman . Cindy had previously worked in construction and thus was experienced in manual labour. This prepared her for the intensive and male-dominated workforce. She was part of a cohort of longshoremen trained through BCIT. She is an active member of the union’s new education committee.