Hoolsema, Hank oral history interviews

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ILWU Local 502

Hank Hoolsema is an experienced longshoreman, who grew up on a farm in Langley with 15 siblings. His extended family includes 20 longshoremen, including his father. His first longshore job was to pull logs from log booms onto a pallet in 1963, and he has remained on the waterfront every since. Hoolsema never attended school, but his father taught him manual labour on the farm, which Hoolsema credits for allowing him to succeed in the physically demanding longshoring industry. Despite not having any formal education, he was able to increase his ratings through earning multiple journeyman “tickets,” including switchman and engineering tickets. Today, Hoolsema is 67 years old, and still receives calls from the hall about work because of his qualification as a motor engineer. He states that he appreciates that he has the chance to continue to work, as he is not ready to retire.

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Interview with Hank Hoolsema