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West, Lena Zablonski oral history interview

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Lena Zablonski West is an 87-year old former resident of Queensborough. She first met her husband, Helmar West, when she was only 16. Years later when she was a bit older, she met him again and wound up marrying him. Helmar was a longshoreman and a boatman. They had four children: Cameron, Christine, Robert and Lorraine. Lena was active in the longshore ladies’ auxiliary. They would throw Christmas parties for longshoremen’s children, and pensioners’ dinners. She recounts a time in New Westminster’s history when the Queensborough swing bridge still was in place, and the May Day festival was commonplace. In this interview, Lena relays many anecdotes about people shemet as a longshoreman’s wife and the sights and sounds of New Westminster in the past.
Interview with Lena Zablonski West
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Copyright is held by the author(s) and participants.
You are free to copy, distribute and transmit this work under the following conditions: You must credit the (Re)Claiming the New Westminster Waterfront research partnership, Simon Fraser University, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada.
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